Picture this: cool air with the sun pouring on you, leaves crunching under your feet and not a soul around. There could be mud, rain, wind or snow, but none will deter you from enjoying the pure nature of Michigan. Running or walking along the many trails offered in Michigan is one of the best ways to experience our awesome state. No iPods allowed, just simply enjoy the sounds nature provides. So venture out and discover Michigan in a new way.
Brighton Recreation Area: Boasts many trails, including The Penosha Trail and The Kahchin Trail. The Penosha or Blue Trail is five miles, while The Kahchin or Yellow Trail is three miles long. Both trails are densely surrounded by trees making them optimal for cutting the wind and cold in the winter time. The trails at Brighton Recreation Area are quite serene and picturesque in all seasons, especially winter after a snowfall. Moderate hills are abundant along the trails, offering a challenge as well as some fallen trees to climb on.
Pinckney State Recreation Area: Best on a warm spring, summer or fall day, located on 11,000 acres. Featuring well marked trails that constantly cross paths, runners or hikers can create custom trails without getting lost. The best mapped out trails are The Waterloo Trail at 35 miles long, Potawatomi Trail at 17 miles and Crooked Lake Trail at 5 miles. Don’t be afraid of the distances however, these trails can all be tackled in one (long) day and produce amazing scenery.
Island Lake Recreation Area: This area has two great hidden secrets: The Yellow and Blue Trail. Both are mulit-purpose trails, great for mountain biking, running or walking with markers every quarter mile. The Yellow trail is 6 miles and the Blue trail is 9 miles, while both are narrow single tracks. These trails offer a little bit of everything: hills, sand, mud (if you’re lucky), rivers, bridges, deer, train tracks and lots more. Benches are also located periodically through the trails to sit, rest or just enjoy the view.
Seven Lakes State Park: Offers great short trails, perfect for the winter or those short on time. The Green Trail Loop is 2.1 miles and the Red Trail Loop is 1.8 miles long. The trails are wide and wind around a lake. Deep valleys along the trails provide great places to explore as well has huge trees to climb.
Stony Creek Metropark: Has always been a favorite among runners, walkers and hikers. The Hike-Bike Trail is 6 miles of pavement that travels around Stoney Creek Lake for a more relaxing, moderate excursion. However if rough, uneven or hilly sounds interesting, check out the Green, Blue or Black trails. The Green trail is 5.7 miles and the easiest of the three, Blue is 3.6 miles and is a little more difficult, while Black is 4.6 miles and the most difficult and fun. ~Danielle Gordon, Regional Director