PLAN YOUR HIKING ADVENTURES AT A HIGHER LATITUDE.
With over 2,000 miles of trails, you and your buds can hike for days, make sure to gear up at Dunegrass before you hit the trails.
Arcadia Dunes, GTRLC’s largest preserve at 3200 acres, includes over 15 miles of hiking trails that wind through dunes, forests and many other landscapes. With hikes from 1 to 11 miles, this is a great destination for a short walk or mini hiking/camping getaway. As a land conservancy, this is a well-traveled park, so please take a moment to review our Responsible Cannabis Guide before your hike. Visit Arcadia Dune’s website for much more information, guided tours and other outdoor adventures.
Sleeping Bear Dunes
At the world famous Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, you can hike about 100 miles of designated trails in the Lakeshore. There are 13 trails on the mainland for hiking, and most of them are maintained during the winter for cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. Each trail has a trailhead with a parking area. Hiking trails on the dunes are marked by blue-tipped posts, so it’s hard to get lost here, but we recommend you lose yourself in a Higher Latitude state of mind.
Hungerford Recreation Area
A non-motorized area with over 6,500 acres of national forest system lands. The area provides opportunities for great year-around hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and horseback riding . There are two loops for hiking and mountain bikes, creating a 10-mile trail. The trail is marked with blue diamonds for the mountain bike trail with a bike symbol, look out for horseback riders as the trails cross. Some of the trails offer camping spots so you can chill, kick back and spark up.
White Pine Trial
The Paris chunk of the 92-mile White Pine Trail is a 5.6-mile less traveled point-to-point stretch that starts near Big Rapids and ends in Paris, that is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, running, and road biking. It’s open all year, but is best from March until October. Dog -friendly, but keep ‘em leashed.
Big Rapids Riverwalk is an easy 4.5 mile popular trail located in the heart of Big Rapids. Take a walk or ride on the trail and stop for lunch, and just two blocks from the Dunegrass on State Street. Plenty to explore as the trail runs on both sides of the river. Your Higher Latitude trailhead starts at Dunegrass! Doggos can come, but they’ve got to be leashed.
Waldeck Island Nature Trail
Waldeck Island is an 11-acre preserve on Stone Ledge Lake, and is open to the public. A quiet spot for hiking and snowshoeing, it’s located just south of Cadillac off of M-115 and is easy to find. The entrance is off of the end of Friedrich Strasse Court. A very short hike that is under one mile, lightly traversed loop, trail features a lake and is good for all skill levels.
Fife Lake Loop
Along this 21-mile loop trail, hikers can enjoy the scenic views, serenity of the forest, streams and the Manistee River. Take advantage of the two state forest campgrounds in the loop and the Trail Town of Fife Lake Village. It is a perfect-sized loop for a weekend get-a-way for backpackers or there are options for different-length day hikes. Ask your Dunegrass crew for the inside track while you’re getting supplies.
Pine Baron Pathway
A set of four loops, each two to two and a half miles long, interlock and take you through a serene forest, opening to clearings at points. The perimeter of the loops is approximately six miles, and while the trails are groomed regularly, there are some slightly rolling hills that can be a bit challenging for some. A very quiet and private hike located approximately five miles southwest of Dunegrass in Downtown Gaylord.
Sturgeon River Preserve
Try this out for a short, leisurely walk in nature. The preserve offers a half-mile loop, and a boardwalk by the river. Great for a family hike with small children. About nine miles northeast of Gaylord.
Iron Belle Trail
The Iron Belle Trail runs just outside of the entrance to the Ostego Lake State Park. The trail is comprised of 2,000 miles of networked trail, crossing through 48 different Michigan counties from the western tip of the Upper Peninsula to Belle Isle and is around 68% complete. Join in outside the park and see how far you can go. Talk about a Latitude Adjustment!
Manistee River Trail
The Manistee River Trail is 8.8 miles of rolling hills, past several wetlands, bridges crossing two creeks and a waterfall near the northern end of the trail. Several observation sites along the trail provides vista views of the Manistee River and surrounding area. There are several dispersed campsites along the trail for a latitude adjustment or an overnight adventure.
The Big M Trail is a 37.9 mile loop trail that is a popular loop for mountain bikers and cross-country skiers. Because of this, there is a variety of terrain that can be quite hilly and may not be the best for beginners. To get there, go about 20 miles east of Dunegrass in Downtown Manistee and start living the Higher Latitude.
Shoreline, Red Pine, and Bareback Trails Loop
A 7.6 mile loop that takes you along the lake and leads you back inland. Or the reverse, it’s up to you how to enjoy this 3.5 hour journey. Beautiful for summer or winter activities, though could be difficult for a beginner. Dogs can roam freely on some parts of the trails, so your buddies can have a great adventure too. From Dunegrass on Genesee, go approximately eight miles north and start your Higher Latitude Adventure.
Little Presque Isle
Seven miles north of Marquette, discover the jewel of Lake Superior. Make sure to budget enough time to explore the rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, bedrock lakeshore, wetlands to forest and wooded dunes. Bring a camera for the views of nature’s beauty that can’t be had elsewhere and the wildlife sightings on land and air. Now this is what a Higher Latitude is all about.
Dead River Falls
A super short two mile loop, but worth it. If you are looking to see numerous waterfalls without going too far off of the beaten path, the Dead River Falls are for you. Located just a few minutes outside of Marquette, the falls are situated along a half-mile stretch where the Dead River drops over 90 feet. The trailhead to the falls is located behind a powerhouse on Forestville Road.
Thomas Rock Outlook
Take an easy hike on the universally-accessible trail through the woods to the top of Thomas Rock and view the wonders of Lake Superior and the surrounding wilderness. This scenic lookout also has a grand view looking west to the Keweenaw Peninsula and east to Granite Island. The nature trail features interpretive signs identifying a variety of wildflowers, trees, wildlife and plants along the trail. It will take roughly 20 minutes to walk the entire trail at a laid-back pace, covering about a mile in distance.
Take the climb to a HIgher Latitude on the trail to Hogback Mountain. Beautiful and features a spectacular payoff at the top! The 360-degree view is an incredible sight. The trail is marked with white/blue blazes and can be hard to follow, but the view at the top is magnificent. The majority is relatively flat and easy, but the last half-mile is a steep incline with a scramble at the top. If it’s been raining, it can be slippery and dangerous, so make sure you have good, grippy shoes and are sure-footed when you step. Budget at least 90 minutes for this trek and get ready to do some blazin’ of your own!
Keystone Rapid Trails
The 525-acre Natural Education Reserve is a long, narrow preserve that includes more than 5 miles of the Boardman River. North of Cass Road is the Boardman Valley and the Sabin Pond Trails and the Boardman River Nature Center. South of Cass Road is the Boardman Pond, Lone Pine and Keystone Rapids Trails. Both sections of the reserve are popular but the Keystone stretch of trails on the east side of the river are particular popular in the April and May.
Otter Creek Trail
At the end of Esch Road, which intersects with M-22 about 4 miles south of Empire. Otter Creek empties into Lake Michigan just to the left of the parking lot. This shallow, warm stream is a favorite place for kids to play in the summer. This is the site of the historic ghost town of Aral. It was a vibrant logging village with a sawmill and dock. You can still find remnants of some of the foundations and dock. The trailhead to Otter Lake Loop Trail is on the gravel road just east of the parking lot. You easily hike all the way around Otter Lake. There is also a bridge over Otter Creek near the trailhead.