Yes! There Are Hiking Trails Near Detroit, And These 6 Treks Will Whip Your Butt Into Shape – Thumbwind

Yes! There Are Hiking Trails Near Detroit, And These 6 Treks Will Whip Your Butt Into Shape – Thumbwind

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

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 s

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.

The Hines Park & Rouge River Gateway Greenway Trail

The Hines Park and Rouge River Gateway Trail are two of the five trail systems along the Rouge River and extended northwest to Northville. The northern trailhead starts in Northville near a 7-mile road on the Hines Park Trail. This is a paved trail and it extends south. It’s a perfect urban route that quickly links up with the Riverview MTB Trailhead on Ann Arbor and Newburgh Roads. 

The trail passes historic Nankin Mills, an 1800s gristmill now converted to a nature and cultural center near the middle of the path, right before reaching Ann Arbor Trail. Nankin Mills features indoor bathrooms and tanks with local animals. Nankin Mills was one of Henry Ford’s Village Industry sites. The Ford Village Industry effort sought to give rural areas small-scale employment away from the big cities. 

The final two miles of this greenway terminates just north of the Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum at the Rouge River Gateway Trailhead. Combined the greenway is 19.5 miles long. 

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