View Full Version : Michigan Training

04-18-2014, 17:09
Anyone out there know any good trails in Michigan that I could train on for my upcoming thru hike in 2015. I'm planning on doing a week long trip up at Isle Royal but I would like to find some good trails in the lower peninsula that I could do some weekend trips on. (preferably closer to to West Michigan or Lansing area). Thanks!

Feral Bill
04-18-2014, 17:43
http://www.msuoc.org/ I expect these folks can help you.

04-18-2014, 17:55
You might consider hiking some of the North Country Scenic Trail: http://northcountrytrail.org/trail/states/michigan/
The LP wont have much challenging hiking (as you probably know) but if you can get to the UP, The Porkies have some excellent hiking and backpacking opportunities, as does Pictured Rocks.

04-18-2014, 19:12
My 2 recommendations would be the NCT and Manistee River trail from Hodenpyl Dam to Red Bridge and back the next day. Second would be Jordan River starting at Deadman's Overlook to campground and back the next day (near Boyne Falls)..... Ocasey3 is right about LP, but these are good hikes, not very tough elevation, but the first two days on each are a bit longer ... Enjoy

04-18-2014, 19:39
http://www.msuoc.org/ I expect these folks can help you.

Its funny I'm actually a student at MSU and have been meaning to look into the O.C. I've heard great things

Thanks for the advice everyone! All of these trails seem quite doable and relatively close to where I'll be living. As much as I would love to be able to make more trips up to the U.P. I'm just a broke college student, So every dollar I spend on excursions up north is a dollar i cant save for the A.T.

04-19-2014, 06:53
The Rose Lake state game area just north of MSU, has Loop trails and varied terrain. No big sustained hills. Good place to explore.

Map http://www.michigandnr.com/publications/pdfs/huntingwildlifehabitat/sga/roselake.pdf Trails extend to the west of gun range also. I can do 4 hours there with little backtracking.

Ludington wilderness area on Lake Michigan is a great place also. Good sized hills and great views. Great place to sort out your gear.

Grand Ledge also has the Lincoln Brick Park, and Fitzgerald Park for a change of pace. I use the sledding hill at Fitzgerald to work on the legs. About as steep as what you will find on the AT. Wall up backwards also to strengthen your quads, will help on the downhills.

04-19-2014, 13:29
The biggest thing is to get out and hike, the Isle is a great trip, many places to enjoy there.

04-19-2014, 17:13
I lived in Ann Arbor for 30+ years. Unfortunately there isn't much in the lower peninsula, at least nothing that is very challenging. About an hour south you'll find the 36-mile Waterloo-Pinckney Trail, which makes for a pleasant weekend hike, especially in October. Other than that, I'd head west to Manistee and hike a portion of the NCT. http://en.Wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterloo-Pinckney_Trail

04-19-2014, 18:02
Have a look at these. Should be relatively close and allow you to explore some new areas. I agree with those areas suggested above. Hoist Lakes is pleasant - no bikes or motorized vehicles allowed (and enforced from what I've seen).


04-19-2014, 18:06
Also, a little farther away:


04-19-2014, 20:02
The Sleeping Bear Dunes can be rugged hiking. I often start at Platt River and hike NE bushwhacking in the dunes. The trails are mostly flat but bushwhacking the dunes in the trees is more challenging.

04-19-2014, 21:15
Not really wanting to blow off some of the above good advice, but, you're 20 y/o and if you're reasonablly height / weight proportion the trail ought not be a challenge that a few miles in GA won't remediate. Hiking to develop outdoor skills, coping with weather situations, food planning, gear selection, learning strengths, and understanding limitations could be done most anywhere. IMHO, of course.

04-19-2014, 21:31
the NCT and Manistee River trail from Hodenpyl Dam to Red Bridge and back the next day.

This is a good one.

You might look for some areas that have stairs climbing the dunes, and go up and down with a full pack.

Sleeping Bear is another great area. Plus, if you can get camping at the National Park, it is cheap!

The major reason to get out there is to try out your equipment and to get an idea of what backpacking is like. Good luck!!!!

Odd Man Out
04-19-2014, 22:53
North Manitou Island isn't very big or hilly, but makes for a nice weekend in the wilderness.

The Wilderness north of Ludington is the Nordhouse Dunes. Not a big area, but OK if you like having one of the world's great wilderness beaches all to yourself.

Another weekend trip on the NCT can be found on the Jordan River Loop. From the parking area at Deanman's Hill Overlook it is 9 miles out on the NCT to a back country campground and then 9 miles back on the Jordan River Loop trail.

I know you were asking about hiking for trolls, but in the UP, there is Porcupine Mtns Wilderness Park. Lots of trails, arranged so you can put together loop hikes. It would be about 35 miles or more if you went around the whole park. That loop would take you along the big lake, inland lakes, and over the biggest "mountains" in Michigan. Dispersed camping allowed everywhere so the logistics would be easy (except that it's a long haul from East Lansing).

Also in the UP is Pictured Rocks NL. Fairly level as it follows the lake. Also, you must get permit and stick to your scheduled campgrounds. It's an end-to-end hike, so logistics aren't so good, but there is a commercial shuttle service.

Not too far north of the Soo is Lake Superior PP. Their Coastal Trail sounds epic, and not widely known. If anyone has done this one, I would like to hear from you. http://www.lakesuperiorpark.ca/index.php/activities/32-hiking-the-coastal-trail

I've done the NMI weekend backpacking trip. I've visited all the other parks, but haven't backpacked them yet. They are all high on my to do list. Especially the Porkies and LSPP. I hiked a short version of the Jordan River Trail loop on a day hike. The wilderness north of the Soo is a kind of rugged you don't see in MI.