Nature September 09, 2017
9 Amazing Michigan Fall Hikes Under 3 Miles You’ll Absolutely Love
There’s nothing more breathtaking than hitting the trails on a crisp, colorful autumn day. Crunchy leaves, fresh air, and a healthy workout — what’s not to love? While some of us could hike all day, others prefer shorter walks through nature. When you’re pressed for time or low on energy, here are nine amazing hikes in the Great Lakes State that are under three miles long.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Grand Haven Waterfront Trail (Grand Haven)
Who says the beach is only for summertime? We Michiganders certainly know better. Bundle up and take a stunning stroll alongside the shores of Lake Michigan with a journey down this 2.5 mile (one-way) trail, which begins at Grand Haven State Park and ends near Coho Drive.
2. Empire Bluff Trail (Empire)
This 1.5-mile round trip trail takes visitors through lush forestry and plenty of delightful fall foliage before giving way to lovely views of Lake Michigan and Sleeping Bear Dunes. Marvel at the scenery before venturing back to your car and continuing your drive along the National Lakeshore.
3. Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary Trail (West Bloomfield Township)
Located in West Bloomfield Township, this looped trail stretches for just under a mile and is perfect for hikers of all ages and abilities. Along the way, you’ll catch pretty views of an inland lake and plenty of flora and fauna — including some of the most breathtaking colors imaginable during fall.
4. Sable Falls Trail (Grand Marais)
If you love waterfalls, this might just be the perfect hike for you. Located near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Grand Marais, this hike takes visitors directly to — you guessed it — Sable Falls. Marvel at the splendor of this waterfall, which makes for an incredibly picturesque scene in any season.
5. Rosy Mound Natural Area Trail (Grand Haven)
This natural gem near Grand Haven is an absolute must-visit for Michiganders who love the great outdoors. From the parking area, you’ll find a .7 mile trail that includes 1,000 wooden steps up and down the dunes — so be ready to climb! During your hike, stop to admire marvelous views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding dune-lands before continuing directly to the beachfront.
6. Grass River Natural Area Rail Trail (Bellaire)
This trail, which sits near Bellaire, stretches for 2.2 miles through a peaceful natural area, complete with riverfront views, crushed gravel pavement, and a calm atmosphere that will help put any of your daily worries to rest. On a crisp fall afternoon, there’s no better place to unwind and reconnect with nature.
7. Apple Blossom Trail (Iron River)
This Iron River trail is incredibly unique in that it follows the route once traveled by trains making their way between area steel mines and larger cities like Chicago. Coming in at nearly three miles in length, the Apple Blossom Trail perfectly combines history and natural beauty for visitors of all ages.
8. Dequindre Cut (Detroit)
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind combination of nature and art without venturing too far from the comforts of a modern city, head to the Dequindre Cut in Detroit. Situated along the Detroit Riverfront, this marvelous greenway is covered with city-approved public art and often hosts special events for community members. Whether you ride your bike or walk, this two-mile urban pathway will steal your heart.
9. Miners Falls Trail (Munising)
Just can’t get enough of those waterfall hikes? After completing the Sable Falls Trail, check out nearby Miners Falls. This 1.2 mile out and back trail is best visited between May and October, so you’ll want to act fast if you’re planning to take an autumn hike here — but the rush is well worth it! With a low difficulty level and magnificent views of the waterfall as it’s surrounded by fall foliage, you’ll be absolutely amazed.
Have you visited any of these beautiful trails? Did you take photos during your excursions? We’d love to see your pictures and hear your stories in the comment section below!