There is nothing quite like being active in the great outdoors to rejuvenate your mind and body. But sometimes a simple run around the block or bike ride through town might not excite you. For those seeking more adventurous outdoor exercise, you’re in luck: Michigan has countless destinations around the state to add excitement back into your favorite routine.
Go for a run. Let breathtaking views distract you by heading to one of the state’s unique running paths. Detroit’s Dequindre Cut Greenway features a 1.35-mile trail alongside an old train line from the riverfront to Eastern Market. For more scenic spectacles, sign up for one of the organized runs across the Mackinac Bridge—you’ll see amazing views of Mackinac Island.
Hit the water. Fact: Michigan has more freshwater coastline than any place in the world. So there is no shortage of spots to stay active on the water. Try kayaking at one of the state’s top notch paddling destinations. Those who are more expert kayakers or are looking for a challenge will enjoy the beautiful views along Houghton’s Keweenaw Water Trail.
Blaze a trail. Michigan provides countless options for both hiking and off-road biking. Hikers can explore expansive trails, like Michigan’s 875-mile portion of the 4,600-mile North Country Trail, which stretches from New York to North Dakota. Bikers will no doubt find southeast Michigan’s Potawatomi Trail, one of the state’s mountain biking havens, beautiful and challenging.
Work on your freestyle. Fitness trails combine cardio with upper and lower body exercises by featuring different pieces of equipment along an outdoor route. There are many throughout the state that will challenge you. Washtenaw’s County Farm Park, for example, includes 18 freestyle fitness stations along a 1.4-mile running trail.
Go vertical. While indoor climbing walls provide a great full-body workout, there’s nothing like the real thing to mix fitness with scenic views. In the UP, experts and beginners can find the perfect route for their skill level at Marquette’s AAA Wall. And in the mitten, skilled climbers will enjoy a challenge at The Ledges in Grand Ledge.
Photo credit: Pete Lounsbury