When it comes to hiking in Michigan, you’ll be hard-pressed to find trails more beautiful and full of landmarks than those in the Tahquamenon Country in and around Newberry. Not only do these include miles within Tahquamenon Falls State Park, but also on the North Country Trail — part of the nation’s National Scenic Trail System. Since our trails made the cut for the nation, we’re hoping they make it onto your vacation itinerary, too.
We put together a list of our favorite, and some of Michigan’s best, hiking trails all within Tahquamenon Country to make planning your hiking adventure a breeze:
The North Country Trail is part of the National Scenic Trail System that runs throughout the United States. The North Country Trail runs through seven states from New York to North Dakota. There is no biking allowed on the North Country Trail – foot traffic only. Two chapters of the North Country Trail Association maintain the sections that run through Luce County: the Hiawatha Shore to Shore Chapter and the Superior Shoreline Chapter.
The Superior Shoreline chapter runs along what is known as “Shipwreck Coast.” Remnants of shipwrecks, lighthouses, logging camps and more are in evidence along the way. Starting from Two Hearted River State Forest Campground, the trail crosses the river by means of suspension bridge. From this point west to Grand Marais, the trail is relatively flat and generally follows along the bluff overlooking Lake Superior.
The Two Hearted Campground is a nice, no frills place to spend a few days. Even though the large trees that once populated the trail are now gone, hiking along the cliff over Lake Superior is breathtaking. The panoramic views of the Big Lake, as referred to by locals, are showstoppers. Many places exist along the trail with ready access to the lake.
It is an area populated by bears, wolves and the occasional moose. Approximately 17 miles west of the Two Hearted river mouth brings you to Muskallonge State Park, a very hiker friendly park where the trail leads directly through the campground before resuming its course along the bluff overlooking the lake. The winter months in this region are often brutal with snow remaining on the trail into May.
Continuing west to Grand Marais an additional roughly 17 miles, the views of the lake remain unspoiled. Currently, approximately seven miles west of Muskallonge State Park one fords the Blind Sucker River before continuing on to Grand Marais. The river has a solid bottom and is just over knee depth. In high water times, it can be swift.
The entire shoreline from the Two Hearted to Grand Marais is known as a rock hunter’s paradise with a large display kiosk at the road entrance to Muskallonge State Park. Other than the immediate area of the Two Hearted Rivermouth, Muskallonge State Park and where the trail crosses or is adjacent to the roadway, you’re not likely to see another hiker.
The Hiawatha Shore-to-Shore Chapter’s (HSS) portion of the North Country Trail (NCT) begins at the south end of the Mackinac Bridge and passes through both Chippewa and Mackinac counties before making its way through Tahquamenon Falls State Park before it turns north again to Lake Superior and the mouth of the Two Hearted River.
This portion of the NCT is uniquely composed almost entirely of true foot trails through remote forests free of commercial establishments. You must hike over 80 miles from Saint Ignace before you reach the first restaurant (the Silver Creek Grill and Pub) in Eckerman, near Whitefish Bay. The next businesses are 20 and 25 miles up the trail; a summer camp-store at the Lower Tahquamenon Falls and, finally, Tahquamenon Falls Brewery and Pub at the Upper Tahquamenon Falls.
This Upper Peninsula section of trail features a low population density, few paved road crossings and several rustic campgrounds. 122 miles of varied topography can be experienced including lakes, streams, ridges, bogs, an outcropping of the Niagara Escarpment, several sand dunes and more as you cross the Eastern Upper Peninsula. Careful logistical planning is required for longer hikes. There are many access points for day hikes. M123 is your main access highway.
These 14 miles of groomed ski, hike and bike trail await! During spring, delicate white wildflowers blanket the forest surrounding this doubletrack maze. Skiers visit each winter and hikers and mountain bikers in summer. The hard-packed trail is a fast, rolling ride that crosses an inviting singletrack and rambles through dense forest with trees sprouting huge, gnarled growths like crouching gargoyles. The trail is fairly well marked with the typical pathway posts, arrows and maps, but it does become a bit of a puzzle between posts six and eight. Vandalized 'signs with missing maps leave riders confused but there are so many other doubletracks to explore that being lost might be a welcome diversion. There are many loops and different pathways so that you can change it up to make it a quick and easy hike or an all-day adventure. People also use it for horseback riding! From M28 east, turn on to county road 403 south to the end of the road to access.
This beautiful campground also has some amazing backcountry hiking and walking along Lake Superior. Located on Lake Superior at the mouth of Two-Hearted River in Luce County, 35 miles northeast of Newberry via M-123 and County Roads 500, 414,412 and 423.
A short but beautiful hike, stroll along the boardwalk and nature trail in part of the Tahquamenon Forest. The Tahquamenon River is nestled along this beautiful trail, where blue herons, ducks, other birds and wildlife abound. Just North of Newberry on M123.
A beautiful rustic campground, with a 1.5-mile hiking trail M123 to County Road 500 To County Road 437.
Hiking is the most popular activity in the park. Closed-toe shoes, water and snacks are recommended. Some trails are long, so please bring adequate supplies. Leashed dogs are welcome on these State Park hiking trails, too. Call (906) 492-3415 for trail maps and additional information. Here are some of the trails you can explore!
While we’ve listed our favorite hikes, Luce County is full of two-track roads and back roads that are perfect for hiking down. We recommend stopping at the Newberry Information Office for a county map while you are in town. Start planning your hiking trip today!