5 Stunning Foliage Hikes in Michigan

By Steve Anderson

5 Stunning Foliage Hikes in Michigan

Michigan is tops when it comes to stunning fall foliage. When the leaves start to change and float to the ground from the tree branches, the best way to experience it is by hiking. So strap on your hiking boots and head outside to truly immerse yourself in nature with these five stunning foliage hikes in Michigan! 

1. Port Crescent State Park

Port Crescent State Park offers a foliage hike that's rated easy, a simple hike that's a great day trip for anyone wanting to check out the leaf action in Michigan. Over near the Saginaw Bay portion of Lake Huron, Port Crescent offers seven miles of hiking trails, including a loop and a specifically-established nature trail. Throw in birding, canoeing, and fishing and you'll be able to see not only foliage but also plenty of the local fauna, making for a complete experience. 

2. Tahquamenon-River Trail

It's one of Michigan's greatest hikes, and those who hit this trail around late September into early October will be greeted with some of Michigan's first bursts of color change. Home to a wide array of different trees, from maple to hemlock to beech, you'll see plenty of foliage around here and often a lot earlier than most other places can offer due to its extreme northern location. Of course, there's also the falls and the river to check out here. This 4.5-mile trail will give you the opportunity to check out a whole lot of natural beauty in one place.

3. Mackinac Island Trails

Mackinac Island is famous as a tourist destination, and known for its unspoiled natural beauty. That means a whole lot of walking, and the entire island will offer up 140 miles—yes, 140 miles, about half the distance from Detroit to Chicago—of trails to cover. There's a complete perimeter trail on hand here allowing visitors to circumnavigate the island, and those who go inland will be treated to a host of natural wonders from caves to rocks to some of the most amazing fall foliage you'll see in the state.

4. Porcupine Mountains

One of Michigan's few mountains, the Porcupine Mountains near Silver City offer a staggering spread of options. This area boasts the third-highest point in the state. It’s one of the best spots to check out a wide array of colorful Michigan foliage presented before you like a magnificent patchwork leaf carpet. Try out the popular Escarpment Trail while you’re here. Hiking the Porcupine Mountains will let you explore high-up views and stunning foliage, all in the same area.  

5. Greenstone Ridge Trail at Isle Royale National Park

Greenstone Ridge Trail is one of Michigan's hardest hikes. It's the kind of thing that only experienced hikers should undertake, but those who do will get access to an impressive 40-mile trail. The island itself can only be reached by boat or plane, and you'll need to set aside at least a couple days to get the full view. You'll have a staggering amount of foliage to check out here thanks to forests of incredible density. You'll also have a look at exposed bedrock, miles of shorelines, and even potentially some wildlife as Isle Royale is home to both moose and wolves.

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