Take an outdoors adventure and hike through Michigan’s most beautiful terrain. These spots hug the beaches of the great lakes and overlook the picture perfect views of Michigan’s dunes and mountains.

Isle Royale

Gary Alan Nelson

The isolated island within Lake Superior is the best way to get away and become one with nature. Hikers are expected to bring all they will need for the duration of the time at Isle Royale as it has very little contact with civilization. The Isle Royale Queen IV ferry takes visitors out to the island.

The island offers a 4.2 mile hike called the Scoville hike and a ten mile loop hike, Franklin Mountain, honoring Benjamin Franklin. Both hikes offer various overlook and view points. The ten mile is loop can be more strenuous so plan for a workout. Entrance it Isle Royale is $7 a day.

Jordan River Valley

Find the shoreline while hiking through the Grass River Natural Area. The area offers day hikes, trails and overnight excursions. The Jordan Trail Pathway is an 18 mile hike that usually is taken as an overnight trip. All hikes within the Jordan River valley are medium to easy. The area is made up of wetlands and forests and surrounded by various bodies of water. The fee for this area is $15 a day.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

A fan favorite- this park has beautiful outlook views and the coast of Lake Michigan. The area has 13 trails for hiking and many other miles of pathways over the dunes and look outs. Dunes Trail and Empire Bluff Trail are to must-do hikes. Dunes is more strenuous due to the sand while Empire Bluff offers amazing views of the lake. The cost of the park is $20 per vehicle and it lasts for seven days.

Arcadia Dunes Overlook Trail

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This quick hike leads to a beautiful view. The deck at the top of the overlook offers one of the highest views of Lake Michigan and it overlooks one of the deepest parts of the lake. This area is a great place to get a walk in and watch the sunset. The trail is free.

Mission Point Lighthouse

At the end of Mission Point Peninsula in Traverse City visitors and locals alike take the trails to hike to this beautiful view. The area has cherry orchards and vineyards as well as miles of hiking trail. Trail maps are available online and entrance to the lighthouse is $10. This area was also chosen as one of the top ten coastal drives in North America.

Porcupine Mountains

Lars Jensen

Beautiful mountains and a huge waterfall; Lake Superior backs up to these mountains to offer an amazing experience for a hiking trip. The lake of clouds is the stunning water area with a waterfall and swimming hole. The Escarpment Trail is four miles of the best views the Porkies have to offer. The park costs $8 a day.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Photo by Courtney Kotewa


Up to ten miles of hiking trails in the beautiful area on the cusp of Lake Superior. For an easy hike, trek to the Au Sable Light Station for a great view. For a light walk on the shore take Hurricane River Campground. For an intense hike, the North County National Scenic Trail offers the perfect adventure. Lastly, Chapel Rock is a famous overlook site to visit. The fee for this lakeshore is $5 a day.

Mackinac Island

Photo by Ashley Abroad

Take a step back in time and visit Mackinac Island. This beautiful area has trails through historic landmarks as well eight miles of hiking trails around the area. Check out Arch Rock, an area that Native Americans thought to have divine powers. The clear water of Lake Huron is enchanting as you spend time in Mackinac Island’s wildlife.

What are the best summer hiking destinations? Let us know on Gone Beachin’.



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  1. MacArthur Peterson

    great article might need to go check these out 🙂