Explore the most popular walking 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.

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

A few uphills and downhills that might be challenging for elderly and people with disabilities.

hiking
1 day ago

Hiked this last week. We just went to the bluff and then back. Incline all the way to bluff. View was awesome! You can see North Manitou Island and North Manitou Shoal Lighthouse. Definitely worth the walk.

hiking
2 days ago

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

Watch out for Poison Ivy. Bring a wide brim hat for the deer flies and a bazooka for the horse flies.

hiking
2 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
2 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!

very nice trails!

Great little trail that takes you to some interesting bridges and even a spot that was once (as far as I can tell) a house.

hiking
2 days ago

I took a Unplanned Day trip Adventure with two of my boys ages 11 and 9. We pulled over to climb what we thought to be One big dune. Out of curiosity we kept on going and Our adventure ended up being Over three miles of 9 up hill dune climbs to Lake Michigan. 27 Trail marks one way. Bring Water and A Snack!

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.

walking
3 days ago

A great, paved spot around the lake that’s perfect for a walk or run. There’s a cute detour to overlook the lake. Very popular, definitely not rough terrain for a hike.

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

Hardly anybody on trails was real nice.
Terrain was good (flat) but no issues.

Went on a 90 degree day (mid day) and the heat didn’t bother me, but some black flys ruined my run.

Had bug spray on, but that didn’t seem to help.

Think would be much better during a non-Black day attack aka different time of day or different season

very challenging. Highly recommend starting very early in the a.m. especially during the summer. Bring lots of water. My 7 y.o. walked in and out, however my 3 y.o. walked in and I shoulder carried him out. Easy for him but very challenging for Daddy.

Extremely difficult, please bring plenty of water. Beautiful water views at the end, but Dune Climb makes you work for it. Many quit after the first few inclines, so the water view was more secluded. Prepare to sweat!

Kinda hard to find, by the way it has a sign that labels it DTE trail or something. Be mindful as there are a lot of mountain bikers, and they have it set up so hikers walk the opposite direction, which lead to a couple times a fast biker with headphones almost slammed us.

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

A nice shaded hike to take my dogs. Very peaceful and relaxing.

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

Great for biking, hiking, and just enjoying the sounds and sights of nature. This trail is used by many and therefore becomes a ”safe” trail to use. Much is a hard pack surface but it does turn to gravel as you travel west. There are few places along the route for restroom breaks and there are no shelters. Come prepared.

love these trails for day hiking ❤

hiking
4 days ago

Nicely shaded and a couple of pretty views.

Decent trail for biking. It's crushed gravel at the start and is paved all around the lake. The trail was a little unclear at the Shelby rd. Intersection. You need to bike on the sidewalk a short ways until you can connect with he actual bike trail again.

Nice hike mostly wooded good trail!

I went on a Friday and I only saw a handful of people. Very nice trails, although a couple of them were not marked/maintained well. I will be back!

Easy trail, my 7 and 10 year old had no problem doing the Black Arrow loop. Next time we plan to walk the extra beach portion.
Tons of mosquitoes so don’t forget your bug spray!

on Old Indian Trails

5 days ago

beautiful hike through the dunes, varied terrain and tree varieties

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