Explore the most popular river trails in Michigan with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

great trail for a morning hike.

Top 5 hike in Michigan for sure, if not #1 or #2. Must do it.

23 hours ago

Nice trail in the Ortonville Recreation Area although I like the Bloomer Unit better. Very elevated. It's too bad they don't build a lookout or something at the top. You would have some incredible views!

Pretty cool little trail for hiking. Even better area for kayaking. Only drawback is the noisy campground.

Nothing compares to that moment I stepped out of the woods and saw the majestic sandstone cliffs as far as the eye could see. It was as though I had walked to the edge of the world. Lake Superior was pristine and great for a swim in the middle of the hike, and the views just got better the farther along the cliffs I hiked. The only downside was the occasional noisy tour boat.

Two friends and I did a shake-down hike here. Very beautiful but the trails were not marked very well. We got lost and had to navigate out. Trails are well-enough maintained but needs improvement with trail marking.

4 days ago

This is a great place to Kayak without worrying about a ton of people unlike the Platte River. The river at times will be a lot faster then you think and to be completely honest, this is the only time I've flipped my Kayak and I swear it was because of a rock that you can't see. Anyway's, it's an 11 mile stretch but that 11 miles is a lot longer than you think so plan accordingly. Enjoy your paddle and have fun! A lot of wild life to see also.

The trails are very beautiful. There are so many loops that you could make it a nice long hike, or enjoy a short hike with the kids.

6 days ago

Beautiful hike in the winter through the snow and view of the river.

6 days ago

I have spent a fair amount of time in this area. It’s a very “doable” hike for just about anyone. That’s the best part. I took my family with me today. We spotted a vehicle so we could just walk it one way. Enough snow on the trail to make things occasionally slippery but not enough to need snowshoes. Very pretty red pines and other lowland boreal forest looking terrain. It’s worth the hike.

6 days ago

I would say the Platte River is the most popular river in Northern Lower Michigan. Saying that, if your intentions are to get away from people then this river isn't for you in the months of June through August. This river is absolutely stunning. During your paddle you'll come across a Nice little sandbar on Walloon lake which is a great social spot to sit and relax and hang with friends. When you're ready you'll continue your paddle and eventually end up at the mouth of Lake Michigan. You can rent kayaks and tubes at "RiverSide" The river gets fairly warm too. At the end of your trip, you can grill out and do your thing. There are BBQ grills and pits at the end. cheers!

Estimate of length is pretty accurate, I’d say around 5 miles. Didn’t see another person the entire trail, which is perfect! Overall well marked. I’d recommend it!

10 days ago

This loop is great for either: A) a moderate full day loop, or B) as I did it, a leisurely two day hike with an overnight stay at the cove. The camp has numerous sites that are fairly well spaced out, and is pretty well situated for sunsets. You can take a brief walk off trail to get to a nice cliff-side view of Superior and Canada, or even go for a bone-chilling swim. Would definitely come back!

Cool place! Today was my first time here. The trails weren’t marked properly, making it hard to figure out where to go. I will be back, my dog and I enjoyed it ☺️

Nice hike, a lot of mud on the trail between the paved/boardwalked upper and lower falls viewing areas if you are worried about getting dirty and only a handful of views along this trail but still fun to hike when it gets off of the river flats. If you are planing on doing the brewery at the upper falls, would recommend you start at the lower hike up and eat/drink then take the shuttle bus back down to the lower. There is row boat rentals at the lower falls to go out to the island for better views of the lower falls.

One of my all time favorite hikes. Started out on the chapel falls side and loved the views of the lake and cliffs. Stopped at the beach campground for a nap in the hammock and lunch then finished up the return on the mosquito falls side. Get there early for a parking spot as the lot fills up quick.

16 days ago

Much more to this trail than what is shown. This is part of a handful of waterfalls in a short section along the Black river with a trail linking the upper falls. The lower fall is accessible from both sides of the river, the far side by crossing the bridge at the harbor and following the north country trail.. A lot of fun to snowshoe here in the winter also :)

16 days ago

Cool trail that travels along the AuSable River. Trailhead is at Largo Springs and passes through Canoer’s Memorial and Lumbermans Monument. 6.4 miles one way. Great dune views near end.

Love hiking this in the winter time!

on Connor Bayou

19 days ago

Nice trail. There are lots of black top trails with little elevation change. Nice views of the Grand River. Heard Sandhill Cranes for the first time this year.


This was my first backpacking trip, I left Chicago bright and early and arrived in the Porkies around 2 in the afternoon. I hiked down to Mirror Lake and camped my first night there. I enjoyed watching some loons traversing the lake as smoke from other campfires slowly crept across the water as the sun was setting. As night began to fall I heard the forest come alive with the sound of an owl that was in the area. I had a fire built up, and enjoyed a nice freeze dried meal. The site I was at that evening was equipped with a bear pole to hang my food on, and there was a pit toilet about 100 yards from the site back in the bush that I stumbled upon while harvesting firewood.
The next day I headed off down the trail to Lake Superior which was where I would set my camp up for that evening. The hiking was fantastic, I did get turned around once where I ended up on the NCT which also passes through the park, but I quickly realized my error and only had to backtrack about a half mile, if even that. That day I crossed a small creek and a river and climbed and descended many hills (calling them hills for lack of a better word) I came across other campers and hikers who were all rather friendly and even was able to strike up a conversation with a few of them. I reached the lake around 2:30 or 3:00 after about 5 hours of hiking and began to set my camp up.
Sleeping next to the lake was rather peaceful as I listened to the waves roll up on the shore, however for being Mid-June, the temperature dipped really low, and I actually woke up shivering in the middle of the night because I was so cold. But I layered up, and went back to bed.
The next day it began to rain, and I decided to just hike out that day instead of having to deal with the rain. I should have stayed because the last night there I was planning on staying on top of one of the ridges that overlooked carp river, and it was a beautiful sight to see. I would recommend this hike to anyone, and am planning to return back there this summer (2018).

mountain biking
27 days ago

Nice single track, decent elevation and little traffic. Many loops to accumulate miles.

1 month ago

Great for hiking with dogs. Add 3+ miles to take the Sand Creek Hike Loop . Trails are marked well. Easy to follow. The Sand Creek loop is more narrow in places. Think twice before hiking here directly after a large rainstorm; river bottoms area becomes washed out. Nice place to see and hear woodpeckers; best area in West MI to see a carpet of trillium and other wildflowers in the spring.

What a beautiful hike in the snow. Well marked, and yes after the one mile I did today it seems a little shy on the estimate. I can't wait to see the whole thing!

trail running
1 month ago

Great trail running that's more challenging than some of the other local routes-expect the trails to be less groomed and more hilly. It's very shady in the summer and much less trafficked when Fitz gets crowded. There's also a quarry for swimming if you want to cool off!

1 month ago

Gorgeous! I walked this trail the week of Thanksgiving 2017, so there was plenty of snow. There was actually a surprising amount of foot traffic considering the weather. The trails were a little treacherous with the ice that formed from the waterfall spray, so I don’t recommend going in the snowy seasons unless you are pretty sure-footed. The snowy falls made for some really beautiful photos though!

So pretty! I hiked this short trail during the week of Thanksgiving 2017. There was quite a bit of snow and the falls were beautiful! I can’t believe of all the times I have been to this area I have never made this quick hike. Very flat, easy, great photo ops. Only saw one other person there, I am guessing it is pretty deserted once snow starts falling.

It is dog friendly. Great trail to get away from the city without driving too far.

Very beautiful trail along the winding swan creek. Lots of biodiversity with unique setting. Only downside is the trail is very narrow or undeveloped in areas.

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