Nature August 08, 2017
9 Beachfront Hikes In Michigan That Are Perfect For A Summer Day
There’s something for every sort of nature-lover here in Michigan, from towering trees to riverfront beauty. Two of our most wonderful attractions, though, are our beaches and our seemingly endless hiking trails. If you’re looking for a way to combine both of these outdoorsy gems, look no further than these nine beachfront hikes here in the Great Lakes State.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Presque Isle Park Loop (Marquette)
Presque Isle has long been considered one of the most stunning natural areas in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and it’s an incredible spot for hikers of all ages. Follow the Presque Isle Park Loop as it stretches for 1.9 miles out and back along the shores of Lake Superior. Bask in forested beauty and take in glimpses of the waterfront as you make your way along this lovely path.
2. Mt. Pisgah Dune Boardwalk (2238 3rd Ave, Holland)
If you’re not a fan of traditional hiking, but still want to experience the beauty of walking along a shoreline, the Mt. Pisgah Dune Boardwalk might just be the perfect place for you. Hike up and down wooden stairs, glance out at the Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa, and catch stunning glimpses of Big Red Lighthouse during your stroll.
3. Bay City State Recreation Area (3582 State Park Dr, Bay City)
With 2,100 acres of land to explore, it’s tough to have a bad time when you visit Bay City State Recreation Area. Situated on the shores of Saginaw Bay, this natural oasis offers everything from wetlands to wildflowers — and you can experience it all by venturing down the park’s Chickadee Nature Trail or one of several hikes within Tobico Marsh. There’s a trail here to suit every fitness level.
4. Harrisville State Park (248 State Park Rd, Harrisville)
Walk among cedar and pine trees as you make your way through Harrisville State Park’s two-mile hiking trail, which is the perfect way to get in some exercise before lounging on the shores of Lake Huron. Whether you’re a longtime hiker or simply an outdoor enthusiast looking for a bit of fresh air, you’ll enjoy your time at this one-of-a-kind state park.
5. Sleeping Bear Point Trail (Glen Arbor)
This breathtaking 2.8 mile loop offers incredible views of Lake Michigan and its surrounding sand dunes at Sleeping Bear, one of the state’s most beautiful destinations. This trail is appropriate for beginning hikers and even includes direct access to the lake via a separate point approximately half a mile into the trek. There’s no better place to appreciate the beauty of the Great Lakes State.
6. North Ottawa Dunes (18201 N Shore Rd, Ferrysburg)
This gorgeous destination in Ottawa County is an absolute paradise for Michiganders who love spending time outdoors. Throughout the area, you’ll find ten miles of dune-lands and hiking trails to explore — all just a stone’s throw from the Lake Michigan shoreline. There’s truly nothing not to love about North Ottawa Dunes.
7. Miners Beach at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (Munising)
While this walk certainly doesn’t qualify as a traditional hike, it’s nothing to scoff at. Take a one-mile stroll directly upon the sands of Lake Superior as you visit Miners Beach, one of the most beautiful destinations within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Looking for something more strenuous? Never fear: Pictured Rocks offers over 90 miles of hiking trails in total.
8. Olive Shores (8555 Olive Shore Ave, West Olive)
This West Olive gem sits along the shoreline of Lake Michigan and features some of the most lovely wooded beauty imaginable. Walk along the on-site loop trail, follow a series of stairs and boardwalks to the beach, or simply bask in the fresh air of Olive Shores. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a first-time visitor, you’ll be enamored.
9. Kirk Park (9791 N Lakeshore Dr, West Olive)
If you adore Michigan’s dunes, you’ll be in heaven with a visit to Kirk Park. The park itself stretches along the shores of Lake Michigan for approximately one third of a mile, and several nature trails are available for hikers of all experience levels. Good news for dog lovers: there’s even a pet-friendly beach accessible via the trails here at Kirk Park!This might just become your new favorite destination.
Did we lave any of your favorite beachfront hiking areas off our list? We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below. Happy exploring, Michiganders!