If you live in Southeast Michigan, getting out into the wild and woods can be a struggle. The area is urban and built up. Roads and highways crisscross the “motor-city” making it hard to imagine anything resembling nature nearby. Fortunately, many old abandoned railways that crossed the region have turned into urban greenways. We found six of the top hiking trails near Detroit in Southeast Michigan. These are perfect for a healthy workout or even an overnight campout. All are a short drive away from Detroit.
Detroit Hiking Trails Map
We created a little map of the five trails mentioned in this article. You can zoom in to see the details. Feel free to share it with your trek buddies.
Pinckney State Recreation Area – Waterloo-Pinckney Trail
Michigan is home to many natural landscapes, and the Pinckney State Recreation Area Waterloo-Pinckney Trail is no exception.
This well-marked trail system offers a variety of hiking opportunities for visitors of all levels. The trails wind through a variety of terrain and provide scenic views of the recreation area and the surrounding countryside.
Beginner hikers will find easy, level trails that take you through scenic woodlands and along the banks of the Pinckney River. More advanced hikers can explore easy to intermediate courses that take you over rocky ridges and through meadows with vistas overlooking both the river and countryside.
The Waterloo-Pinckney Trail is a 34-mile trail that begins in the Waterloo State Recreation Area and ends in the Pinckney Recreation Area. The trail passes through Park Lyndon County Park and kettle lakes, swamps, open meadows, and eskers. Parts of the trail are available for mountain biking and horseback riding, while the trail’s entirety can be traveled on foot. Hiking the entire trail could take several days. The Michigan DNR map of the Waterloo-Pinckney trail should be consulted for details.
Camping along the trail is not allowed. However, several campgrounds are located along the trail route, including Portage Lake with modern campsites, The Pines – rustic backpack only, Sugarloaf – modern, Green Lake – rustic, Blind Lake – primitive camping backpack only, and Crooked Lake – rustic.