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  1. #1
    Registered User ShelterLeopard's Avatar
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    Default Anyone know a good 2-3 day hike in Michigan?

    I'll be up in Michigan this summer, and I really want to hike there (I've only done parts of the AT- never Michigan, or really anywhere else). I'm a fairly experienced hiker, and I may go alone, but I might bring my twelve year old brother. So a pretty easy section of trail would be great. (Preferably near a sandy area at some point, maybe even sand dunes or a small sandy beach on a lake) I love Michigan, and I really want my little brother to like hiking, sooo... Any suggestions?

    Also, what do I need to know about this trail in general? Is it well blazed? Are there good tent sites? (I will get maps and a guidebook too, of course) Thanks,
    The ShelterLeopard

  2. #2

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    Google the high country pathway. You can do sections pretty easy. I took my 14 year old nephew a couple of years ago. we done the whole thing. it was great.

    Clyde

  3. #3
    Registered User 4Bears's Avatar
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    Try the Lake Shore Trail it goes between Gran Marais and Munnising about 40 miles. You could hike the eastern half very flat with a couple good beaches on the way a shuttle service is available for a fee. I hiked it last year saw plenty of wildlife check the link, pm me if you have more Q's. If you want something more rugged try the "Porkies" or Isle Royale.

    http://www.nps.gov/piro

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    Registered User kayak karl's Avatar
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    Default sheepdog

    where's a sheepdog when you need them.......
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

  5. #5
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    The only trail of 2-3 days in southeast Michigan is the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail at 37 miles. Ideally you'll get up to the Upper Peninsula to hike in the Porcupine Mountains or along Pictured Rocks. If not, then your next best bet might be Manistee River Trail/NCT 21-mile Loop.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  6. #6
    Registered User Slosteppin's Avatar
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    Could you do without a trail and just beach hike?

    If you really want sand dunes I would suggest either the Nordhouse Dunes or the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Park). South Manitou and North Manitou Islands are both nice hiking. They are about 7 miles out in Lake Michigan, part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Ferry out of Leland.

    You could also start in Ludington State Park and hike north along the beach into Nordhouse Dunes (National Forest Wilderness Area) and then keep going north into the Lake Michigan Recreation Area (also National Forest). All the way you can either walk the beach or go inland a ways and hike trails up and down over the dunes.

    If you just want a sandy trail to hike the North Country Trail through the Manistee National Forest is mostly a sand trail. Mostly rather flat and easy with northerly sections more hilly.

    Slosteppin

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    Registered User ShelterLeopard's Avatar
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    I do love Sleeping Bear Dunes, but I really want to hike trail- if need be, we could forgo the beach. (But when I hiked the hundred mile wilderness, I happened on a sandy beach that I did not expect, and it was heaven)

  8. #8
    Registered User Slosteppin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShelterLeopard View Post
    I do love Sleeping Bear Dunes, but I really want to hike trail- if need be, we could forgo the beach. (But when I hiked the hundred mile wilderness, I happened on a sandy beach that I did not expect, and it was heaven)
    Then I would have two suggestions, both on the North Country Trail.

    Hike a section of the NCT east of Traverse City so you camp at Sand Lakes Quiet Area. I've seen people swimming in two of the lakes. I might be there tomorrow night.

    You said 2 or 3 days - I do the NCT/Manistee River Trail in two days. Start at Red Bridge, the south end of the loop, hike north on the NCT and camp at Eddington Creek. Then instead of taking the connector trail, continue north on the NCT around the west/north side of Hodenpyl Dam backwaters. You will see some nice places to swim. You will go through the Northern Enhancement Campground. There are two separated campsites for backpackers. Then go back to the connector trail and over to the MRT and south back to Red Bridge. Instead of camping along the backwaters you could go just far enough to find a place to swim and then reverse and go over to the MRT. In the Manistee National Forest you can camp nearly anywhere. North of the Hodenpyl Dam it is Consumers Energy property and camping is only allowed at designated sites.

    Slosteppin

  9. #9
    Looking for a comfortable cave to habitate jrwiesz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayak karl View Post
    where's a sheepdog when you need them.......
    Yes, where is that shaggy furball?
    I bet if you act like a Willey coyote he'll show up.
    Are you still thinking Isle Royale dog, anyone else? I've got the Crown.

    For the OP: the Porcupine Mountains State Park, Isle Royale National Park, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, along with the North Country National Scenic Trail all fit your criteria, as well as most of the other suggestions here. It all depends on how far you want to drive, if your schedule is flexible, and the arrangements needed for transportation.

    Pictured Rocks[42 miles of NCT] http://www.nps.gov/piro/ has a reservation required shuttle http://www.altranbus.com/backpack.html service[$20] from Munising[10a] to Grand Sable visitors center[1130a] on three days of the week[Mon, Thur, Sat], go to their respective web sites to get further info.

    You could also check out the NCTA site: http://www.northcountrytrail.org

    Good luck with your plans, let us know how they turn out.
    "For me, it is better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
    Carl Sagan

  10. #10
    Registered User ShelterLeopard's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone- this is all awesome! I can't wait to go hike in Michigan!

  11. #11
    Registered User acousticmonk's Avatar
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    The 23 mile porcupine mountains stretch of the NCT is beautiful!!!!! There are some really nice trails within the park itself as well, like the escarpment trail, lake superior shore trail, which I believe is integrated in the NCT, and sites like Lily Pond and Lake of the Clouds are wonderful. My personal favorite is the Presque Isle River section, Great campsite right near there. The last time I was there, we had a bear come about 1 foot from our tent about 1 am, he just sniffed a couple of times, tramped around, and then went his separate way! It was exhilarating....
    There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.- H.H. The Dalai Lama

  12. #12
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    What part of Michigan? It's an unbelievably big state to drive around in. From Detroit to the Northwestern part of the UP is about a 12-hour drive, so keep that in mind.

    I will second North Manitou Island if you like some solitude, pretty easy trail and nice, sandy beach. Crescent City (used to be a city, now only the ruins of a dock) has a beautiful, sandy beach.

    Pictured Rocks has GREAT trail for a first-time hiker, easy trail, easy access, fantastic scenery, 12-mile beach. Lake Superior is not always the most inviting for swimming, but occasionally warms up nicely later in the year - not often though. The county runs a bus shuttle for easy logistics.

    The NCT-River Trail loop in Manistee National Forest is always a delightful hike, any time of year, makes a nice two or three day hike depending on your pace.

    The NCT/Jordan River Pathway west of Gaylord is also a beautiful hike through a gorgeous area. Includes plenty of beaver ponds/dams for exploring, river-side hiking, and three very scenic overlooks of the Jordan Valley. Also on the east side of the loop, just slightly off-trail is the Jordan River National Fish Hatchery. These folks have become extreamly hiker friendly over the past few years, working side-by-side with the NCTA in developing and maintaining the trails. They also offer tours of the facilities for hikers and allow over-night camping if you ask I believe. I know they are seriously considering building a trail shelter on their property.

    Plenty of other opportunities also. UP has TONS of good hiking. Lower Peninsula is a bit more limited, but does have lots of opportunities if you head north.

    Good luck.

    Edit: Just saw how old this thread was. Oh well, the info is still good.

  13. #13
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    Smile

    Lyle thanks for updating the thread. I'm going to hike the Manistee/NCT trail loop memorial day weekend.

    The Jordan river pathway sounds like a great hike. I'd love to do that one later this summer.

  14. #14
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by jeepcachr View Post
    Lyle thanks for updating the thread. I'm going to hike the Manistee/NCT trail loop memorial day weekend.
    Did the MRT/NCT loop last weekend and it was great! I'm hoping to get up there a couple more times this summer. It's such a great area.

  15. #15
    Registered User Zeno Marx's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by acousticmonk View Post
    The 23 mile porcupine mountains stretch of the NCT is beautiful!!!!! There are some really nice trails within the park itself as well, like the escarpment trail, lake superior shore trail, which I believe is integrated in the NCT, and sites like Lily Pond and Lake of the Clouds are wonderful. My personal favorite is the Presque Isle River section, Great campsite right near there. The last time I was there, we had a bear come about 1 foot from our tent about 1 am, he just sniffed a couple of times, tramped around, and then went his separate way! It was exhilarating....
    cosigned on the Porcupine Mountains love. such a beautiful, beautiful place. pick a trail and go. You won't be disappointed. Even some old growth forest on the Lake Superior Hiking Trail (I believe the north end). Maybe one of the last stands in the Midwest? I believe they say something to that effect.

  16. #16
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    Default SHT/Sylvania

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeno Marx View Post
    Even some old growth forest on the Lake Superior Hiking Trail (I believe the north end). Maybe one of the last stands in the Midwest? I believe they say something to that effect.
    I believe the 26000 acre Sylvania Wilderness is an old growth forest. It originally was a hunting club for rich people and was never logged. But Sylvania is more of a canoeing destination and not as much a hiking destination.

    For those of you that are interested in the Superior Hiking Trail, check out the thread I started call "quick tours of 4 MN hiking trails." I have posted photos of the Grand Marais to Lutsen part of the trail on my website.

    The farther you go up on the SHT, the less crowded it will be.

    regards from me, Tman

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeepcachr View Post
    Did the MRT/NCT loop last weekend and it was great! I'm hoping to get up there a couple more times this summer. It's such a great area.
    Whoa, my sister and I were hiking on the NCT section of that last Memorial Day weekend. From what I remember, though, we only saw three backpackers. We're going back this summer to do the loop, but we'll probably have to camp as she doesn't have backpacking gear.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerosene View Post
    The only trail of 2-3 days in southeast Michigan is the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail at 37 miles. Ideally you'll get up to the Upper Peninsula to hike in the Porcupine Mountains or along Pictured Rocks. If not, then your next best bet might be Manistee River Trail/NCT 21-mile Loop.
    Watrloo-Pinckney connects to the Potawatomi trail that is a 17 mile loop with cutoffs to make it a 10 or 12 loop. Nice campsite at Blind lake. The only down side is there is a lot of bikes on the trail. You can get maps off the Michigan DNR web site.

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