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.

Easy walk in the woods with interesting history provided along the way. Mosquitoes were abundant, but slow and generally easily brushed away.

hiking
17 hours ago

Great trail, nice scenery. Pleasant hike.

on Wolf Creek Trail

22 hours ago

Michigan hiking is a joy

Excellent little hike. Quiet with captivating forest and a creek for much of the trail. Nice cascades around several bends. Interesting learning about the copper mining history as well, and seeing an old mine shaft.

beautiful nice walk

Really enjoyed the historical markets along the route. Nice babbling creek. Trail quite overgrown in several sections. Bug spray is a good idea in summer.

hiking
3 days ago

I really liked this spot. There’s a lot trails to check out and I hope to go back soon to explore some more. Very peaceful and easy to look at scenery and not a lot of traffic. Easy trails for hiking/walking, running, biking, etc. I’m training for a half marathon and may run there a few times to change my normal route Up. Bugs were non existent until about 6-630 so if you go later bring bug spray! It’s also been fairly dry recently so I’m sure with enough rain and cooler weather the bugs would be bad!

17 Miles all paved! Take the bus from Traverse City and ride back from Suttons’ Bay! Very beautiful ride. Winery at about the 7.5 mile point, Shady Lane Winery. Cheese plates and tastings.

Nice for a quick walk. Wish it was marked better on where to go because when I first started walking it turned from paved road to gravel and I didn't know if I took a wrong turn. However, following the trail map on my phone was easy enough. Would go back again. It seems like a safe area as well.

Very beautiful and leads you to other trails. Bring big repellent.

This is an easy trail that offers views of the river, many we wild as animal sightings, a pleasant walk or bike ride around a lake and several stops for restrooms and water.

love the spot but the stairs are a little unkempt. hard to manage because they are all different sizes. a great short hike done in less then a half hour. great place to take pictures. one of our favorite places.

Nice hike to hidden swimming lake.

Great trail with hills and recovery plateaus.

Parked at the south Slagle Creek parking lot with plans to do and out and back hike to the small waterfalls. Walked down a hill, over a pretty wooden bridge, and then the trail wound to the right (north). The trail offers great views of the Manistee River along the way. Note there are one or two areas where the trail is very close to the edge and you have to watch your step. Loads of ferns, several footbridges, people kayaking on the river added up to a wonderful time. There were a few ups and downs, but nothing too extreme. I had knee surgery about 6 months ago and was able to do it, with precautions, especially on the descents. The biggest hill we encountered was the one right before reaching the small waterfalls. I forgot to start recording until a little way into our hike. Would estimate distance from slagle creek parking lot to small waterfalls is about 3.3 miles so 6.6 miles for an out and back.

We started from the lower falls campground, site 145. If you go to the bottom of that loop, there is a small loop trail that takes you down to lower falls. We took the the branch going east to start, and it's about .7 miles of really nice pine forrest trail. After exploring the lower falls, we took the .3 mile board walk around the north of the falls and to the start of the official "4 mile trail" to upper falls.

Depending on how often and where you've hiked before, you'll have different feelings on this trail. For me, it was average scenery, mostly through woods but occasionally along the river. The trail is very rooty and has a couple of hills at the start of the 4 mile trail and near the end. Nothing too difficult. I'm sure it's due to time of year (mid July), but several sections of this trail are very overgrown with weeds. The trail is always easy to see, but you'll be fighting overgrowth for about 15% of the trail.

At upper falls you will have to negotiate a bunch of stairs to see the falls. Make sure you go to the end of the boardwalk for best view.

After we were done, we turned around and hiked back. Once we got to lower falls, we got in the water, which was surprisingly warm, then headed back on the shorter "western" leg of the loop up to lower falls campsite. There are nice markers at the intersections with picture of the trail map so you'll know what I mean when you see it.

For this loop I had it measured via Garmin at 9.7 miles. If you walk all the way up upper falls park to the actual falls, I could see it being 10+.

Amazing views of the forest and of Lake Superior

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful place! It was a little bit of a drive on a dirt road but it was worth the drive!

hiking
6 days ago

Very scenic. Beautiful river. Trail ranges from wide to narrow, mud to rocks to leaves, some trees are down over the trail through the whole thing, but that just makes it more fun.

trail running
6 days ago

We did a trail run loop, parked at the west side of the red bridge (bridge still out). Clocked 20 miles without any side trips, took us 5 hours. It was a very very calm river day - We staged 2 small rafts on the east side and floated across; also could have swam across. Be warned - i could easily see this river having tougher/swifter conditions after a rain. Lovely forest trail with amazing river views. Previous reviews are accurate - NCT side has no water for most of this section. I’d say both sides are same difficulty, NCT has longer ups/downs but MRT has more roots, shorter ups/downs, and harder to navigate due to social trails and campsite side trails (when running we were forced to stop and check several times to ensure on right path). Have fun running among the trees & ferns & mushrooms!

They have done a lot of work to the mtb trail system this year. It is now longer as Cramba is adding mtb trails and the park is adding general use trails. There are also many trails in the larger area of the park that are rideable with some nice climbs Nice scenic area with the river running through.

Pretty, serene, and well marked every step of the way!

backpacking
7 days ago

Completed this loop counterclockwise. It was very intense at times and was no easy task to complete. 20+ miles in two days was difficult, but rewarding overall. This is the perfect weekend backpacking trip and there is a campground about halfway around the loop trail.

Great trails with much of the path edging the river/rapids. Beautiful woods and well-marked.

FYI, River Bends park connects to Clinton River Heritage Park on Van Dyke.
AFTER you pass Jimmy Johns Field, cross the street (Auburn Rd), stay on trail and go down under 59, then cross Clinton River, go down Davis Street two blocks then turn left on Nichols. From Nichols you’ll pickup trail in Clinton River Heritage Park located on Van Dyke just south of M59.
From Clinton River Heritage Park the trail continues on to Clinton River Park and then to Dodge Park. Stay on the trail along the Clinton River when in doubt, especially in Dodge Park.
There’s a gas station across the street from Dodge Park to eat or refreshments if needed however we always pack a lunch. Also plenty of clean bathrooms with running water at Dodge Park. Enjoy the ride. I believe the round trip between Dodge and River Bends Parks is less than 15 miles.
Our next excursion will be from Dodge Park (where we always start out) To Paint Creek Trail. Hopefully the trails all connect but will review once completed.

Also, all trails mentioned above are paved

Lots of bugs was being swarmed by at least 10 flys the entire walk was annoying so tired around and went home

love these trails for day hiking ❤

Beautiful views. Easy to hike with a few challenging areas.

hiking
9 days ago

Great walk with a buddy! It dead ends at the ‘turn around’. It’s nothing but mushy marshland, but you get a different perspective on the hike back to the beginning.

Extremely sandy, similar to walking on a soft beach, so be prepared to stabilize your ankles and to get some sand in your shoes. I can see why it’s a good horse trail. The forest is beautiful and lush, but there was a lot of trash along the trail.

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