Best Places to Hike in West and Southwest Michigan
The west side of the state is rich with trails that allow you to explore a variety of natural features and settings. If you’re looking for some of the best hiking trails in Michigan, start here with these accessible options.
- Blandford Nature Center: Choose from a variety of trail difficulty levels at Grand Rapids’ Blandford Nature Center, which boasts 143 acres of preserved land featuring wildlife, mature forests, meadows, wetlands and streams. Photo credit: Michael Mol
- Kalamazoo River Valley Trail: Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly stroll or a nature trek, the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail has you covered with plenty of miles to see.
- Kal-Haven Trail State Park: With 34.5-miles of trail stretching from South Haven to Kalamazoo, there are plenty of scenic sites and towns to explore along this paved trail, which is located on a former railroad line. Photo credit: Philip Brewer
- Manistee River Trail: Follow the Manistee River for about nine miles with views of wetlands, bridges and a waterfall near the northern end of the trail. Photo credit: Huron-Manistee National Forests
- Millennium Park: Explore an extensive network of 18 miles of trails in one of Kent County’s most popular parks, which offers 1,400 acres of recreation opportunities including swimming and a splash pad. Photo credit: Rachel Kramer
- North Country Trail: Check out the trail headquarters in historic downtown Lowell and head north toward the Lowell State Game Area and Fallasburg Park for an enjoyable hike with plenty of beautiful scenery. Photo credit: A Healthier Michigan
- P.J. Hoffmaster State Park: This popular Muskegon park has a 10-mile trail system to explore, with rewarding views of Lake Michigan, plenty of dunes and white pine forest.
- Rosy Mound Natural Area: If you’re not afraid of climbing a lot of stairs, the Dune Overlook observation deck at Rosy Mound in Grand Haven offers spectacular views of Lake Michigan. Photo credit: John Winkelman
- Saugatuck Dunes State Park: Take advantage of 13 miles of hiking trails at the park, which wind through wooded dunes and reward you with stunning views of Lake Michigan for your efforts.
Before your next hiking adventure, check out this episode of A Healthier Michigan Podcast. Host Chuck Gaidica is joined by Dan Muncey, onsite well-being coordinator at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Paul Yauk, trail coordinator for the State of Michigan to discuss the best local parks.
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Photo credit (featured image): Huron-Manistee National Forests