On a hot summer afternoon, few things are as refreshing as a breezy stroll along the waterfront. Lucky for us, Michigan is home to many lovely waterfront walkways. Here are a few favorites that should be added to your “must-visit” list.
1. Mackinac Island Loop
This 8.3 mile loop around Mackinac is one of the most popular tourist attractions for those who visit the island. Bikers, walkers, and in-line skaters will be blown away by amazing views of Lake Huron and other natural wonders.
2. P.J. Hoffmaster State Park (Muskegon)
A visit to this park and campground offers access to a series of trails near the banks of Lake Michigan. Athletically inclined visitors can take the tiring “Dune Climb Stairway” to access breathtaking views of the lake, while a series of less difficult foot-trails exist for those seeking a more relaxing hike.
3. Betsie Valley Trail (Northern Michigan)
This beautiful trail stretches for nearly 22 miles from Thompsonville to Frankfort in Northern Michigan. Check out the six-mile stretch between Frankfort and Beulah if you’re interested in walking and biking — you’ll be treated to views of Crystal Lake and inlets of Lake Michigan.
4. Detroit Riverfront
The River Walk on the Detroit Riverfront extends for approximately five and a half miles, giving visitors the chance to admire the beautiful Detroit skyline and the Ambassador Bridge. It’s a perfect chance to enjoy natural scenery without straying too far from the city.
5. Houghton Waterfront Trails
This 4.5 mile paved area along Portage Lake is perfect for walkers, bicyclists, and joggers alike. The trail is home to multiple spots for fishing and connects hikers to Houghton’s Nara Nature Park on one end and the Waterfront Recreation Area on the other.
6. Grand Haven Waterfront Trail
Perfect for bicyclists, the Grand Haven Waterfront Trail is home to incredible views of the Lake Michigan shoreline. It stretches for 2.5 miles and is full of spots to stop for dining or sightseeing along the way. Round out your walk with a stroll down the gorgeous pier.
7. Thomas Edison Parkway (Port Huron)
This beautiful waterfront walk in Port Huron spans a scenic section of the sparkling St. Clair River. Whether you’re a walker, biker, or picnic enthusiast, you’ll find a way to enjoy your time at this lovely river-walk.
8. Boardman Lake Trail (Traverse City)
A member of the Traverse Area Recreational Trail (TART) system, the Boardman Lake Trail is a 3-mile walk around one of Traverse City’s loveliest bodies of water. Visitors will encounter a variety of terrain types throughout the hike, from pavement to crushed limestone.
9. Deerfield Nature Park (Mt. Pleasant)
Located along the Chippewa River, this 591-acre park boasts several trails, swing bridges, and lookouts along the water. Grab your bike or your hiking shoes and take in the scenery year-round.
10. Kollen Park/Heinz Waterfront Walkway (Holland)
This short but scenic walk in the lakeside town of Holland is a great spot to watch a breathtaking Michigan sunset. Located on Lake Macatawa, the Kollen Park/Heinz Waterfront Walkway takes visitors for a stroll past Holland’s Heinz Pickle Factory.
Lace up your walking shoes or hop on your bike to explore these beautiful Michigan waterfront areas. Happy trails!