Let’s face it: we’re not all equipped for heavy-duty hiking. Whether by choice or by physical limitations, some of us are restricted to more leisurely walks when we choose to experience Michigan’s natural beauty on foot. If you’re looking for hiking options that won’t drain all of your energy, here are ten easy hikes that will allow you to enjoy the great outdoors without overexertion.
1. Maybury State Park Trail (20145 Beck Rd, Northville)
This 6.5 mile loop trail near Northville is a popular spot for hikers of all skill levels, as well as mountain bikers and cross country skiers. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife — hikers have reported spotting owls during their walk at Maybury.
2. Empire Bluff Trail (Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore)
If you’re looking for a beautiful view of Sleeping Bear Dunes without an overly strenuous hike, Empire Bluff Trail is the spot for you. This family-friendly walk will take you on a 1.6 mile hike to the Empire Bluff Overlook.
3. Pigeon Creek Park (12524 Stanton Street, West Olive)
Tucked away in West Olive near the shores of Lake Michigan, this park offers a breathtaking walk through some of Michigan’s most towering forest views. The 2.8 mile loop will take you past a beautiful river and is pet-friendly.
4. Miners Falls Trail (Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore)
If you want to experience one of Michigan’s most beautiful waterfalls, venture out to Miners Falls within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. It’s accessible from May until October and includes a 1.2 mile out and back trail.
5. Yankee Springs State Recreation Area (2104 S Briggs Rd, Middleville)
Venture to Middleville to check out Yankee Springs, where you’ll be treated to gorgeous views of wildflowers in the warmer months. In total, the trail comprises a 10.9 mile loop.
6. Lansing River Trail (various locations, Lansing)
This trail in Lansing is used primarily for bicycling, but it can be used for walking and running as well. It covers 6.9 miles of land and is easily completed by athletes and outdoor enthusiasts of varying skill levels.
7. Chapel Trail/Mosquito Falls Loop (Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore)
This dog-friendly trail within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is one of the most stunning hikes in the state. It’s suitable for beginning hikers and covers a loop that leads to — you guessed it — Mosquito Falls.
8. Macomb Orchard Trail (24 Mile Road and Dequindre, Shelby Township)
Whether you’re on foot, horseback, or with your canine companion, you’ll enjoy the scenery at Macomb Orchard Trail. The park contains 23.6 miles of walkways to be enjoyed by all skill levels, and features a flat landscape for easy access.
9. Wildwing Trail (4570 Huron River Pkwy, Milford)
Between March and January, outdoor enthusiasts flock to this trail within Kensington Metropark, which circles Wildwing Lake near Milford. In addition to its nearly 2-mile loop of easy hiking, it features plenty of ideal spots for birdwatching.
10. Kal-Haven Trail (4143 10th St N, Kalamazoo)
Head to Kalamazoo and hike along some of Kal-Haven’s 34 miles of trails. It’s also a great spot to take a leisurely bike ride with the family and features stunning views of local flowers and wildlife.
Which of these trails is your favorite? Is there an easy hike in your area that always keeps you coming back for more? Share your suggestions in the comments section.