Michigan Hikes to Get Your 10,000 Steps In
Michigan’s two peninsulas have so many beautiful natural areas, people who love to hike have a scenic buffet of places to choose from. Whether you prefer long walks through old-growth forests scented by pines, or paths that take you along rivers or near a Great Lake, the Mitten State has plenty of corridors designed to delight and get you a great workout. We’re going to highlight hikes across the state that will help you get your 10,000 daily steps.
Why 10,000 steps? For a long time, people have used 10,000 steps as a marker when it comes to measuring their daily health and activity level. It can burn about 400 calories, depending on how briskly a person is walking. And while the latest research shows people don’t need to walk as much as 10,000 steps a day to maintain their health, a lot of people still love to hit this milestone because research has shown it comes with added health benefits.
One recent study has shown that taking nearly 10,000 steps each day has big benefits for your body as well as your mind. It found that people who brought their daily step count to that level had:
- Less heart disease
- Lower chances of having a stroke
- Fewer cases of heart failure
- Lower rates of 13 types of cancer
The study in JAMA Neurology, published by the American Medical Association, also found that people who amassed at least 9,800 steps each day had cut their risk of dementia by about 50%.
So, what are you waiting for? To help you plan your next great hike, we are highlighting some trails across the state where you can easily get your 10,000 steps. Walking 10,000 steps approximately equals five miles. All come with a side of gorgeous views.
Chapel Rock & Chapel Beach Trail at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore: This Upper Peninsula national park is an outdoor gem known for its wild beauty, waterfalls and colorful sandstone cliffs. And while there are 100 miles of trail in the park, this 6.2-mile round trip hike is a winner because it passes Chapel Falls, then continues on to Chapel Rock and the pretty Chapel Beach area.
Weary Legs Trail at Hartwick Pines State Park in Grayling: This 7.5-mile loop is a great workout, and also offers mid-trail crossover sections for hikers who don’t want to walk the entire length. Hartwick Pines is one of Michigan’s largest state parks and includes nearly 50 acres of old-growth forest. The Weary Legs Trail takes hikers through a portion of this forest. It’s a view worth marveling at.
North Ottawa Dunes in Ferrysburg: This back dune trail network offers 10 miles of hiking on the border of Ottawa and Muskegon counties, with some stunning views of Lake Michigan. It has got some heart-pumping climbs through its changes in dune elevation, and offers some sweeping beach and forest views.
Wadhams to Avoca Trail in St. Clair County: Birders and train enthusiasts will love this pretty and fairly flat trail that follows the path of an old rail line. A rebuilt trestle platform is the highlight and offers great views from the overlook areas – and a spot to rest.
- How to Get Your Steps in Near Michigan’s Soo Locks
- Best Places to See Migrating Birds in Michigan
- Hidden Gem Camping Spots in the Upper Peninsula
Photo credit: Getty Images