Best Hiking in Upper Peninsula of Michigan | 8 Jaw-Dropping Trails + Map and Pictured Rocks!

Best Hiking in Upper Peninsula of Michigan: Jaw-Dropping Scenic Trails | By Sherry Trautman | Traveling Michigan

Hey Hikers!

I've pulled together some fantastic places to hike in Michigan's Upper Peninsula + Pictured Rocks that range from very easy to challenging. These hikes are also some of the best fall hikes in the Upper Peninsula.

These Michigan scenic fall hikes show off the UP's brilliant colors!

The Best Part?

These Michigan hiking trails are super scenic, free and awesome for photography! Plus, I've noted how difficult they are, distances and photos!

With such a wide variety of both hiking trails, Michigan is a fantastic state for outdoor enthusiasts! 


From the forests, shores, islands and lakes, there are about 13,000 miles of Michigan hiking trails to explore, so gather your equipment and start your journey!

How to Use This Best Hiking in Upper Peninsula Map 

Grab this link to Best Hiking in Upper Peninsula Map in Google Maps so it's live on your phone as you drive.

Helpful Map Tips:

  • Click on the plus and minus in the left corner to zoom in or out of the map.
  • Click on the icons for more info, addresses and photos of the stops.
  • Click on the map to drag and move it to view surrounding areas.
  • In the Header, click on the rectangle in the upper left of the map to see a menu of all of our stops. Click on anything that looks interesting to see where it is on the map. To hide the menu, click the rectangle in the header. 
  • In the Header, click on the "square" icon in the upper right side to expand the map for better viewing. 

Table of Contests *Quick Links...

    Perfect Michigan scenic fall hikes!

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" ~John Muir

1. Mosquito and Spectacle Falls Hiking Trail Along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Mosquito and Spectacle Falls Hiking TrailChris and His Mom Resting at the Mosquito and Spectacle Falls Hiking Trail

This picturesque and challenging trail is approximately 3 miles round trip with exquisite views along the way.  This trail is near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore!

Things to know before you go:

  • This Upper Peninsula hiking trail is strenuous with lots of steep hills, roots and climbing.
  • Trail is not recommended if you fall easily or do not have sure footing.
  • There is a porta john at the trail head (bring tp as there might not be any)
  • Bring snacks and at least 2 water bottles per person. More if you are hiking in higher temperatures
  • Bring bug spray
  • Wear hiking boots with great soles as the terrain is bumpy and can be muddy

Time Allotment: 3+ hours

This hike is also a spectacular scenic fall hike in the UP!

2. Log Slide Overlook (Seriously Wow Views!)

0.5 mile round trip with exquisite views of the dunes and shoreline.  This awesome hiking trail is access to the Log Slide Overlook, the Devil's Slide and the North Country Trail.

Things to know before you go:

  • This trail is on the dunes so it's sandy and can cause difficulty walking
  • There are porta johns

Time Allotment: 1+ hours depending on if you explore the North Country Trail.

Be sure to wear a sturdy hiking boot!  I wear these women's hiking boots for the wider toe box.  Chris prefers these men's hiking boots because of the amazing memory form takes the pain out of walking.

3. Sable Falls Trail and Grand Sable Dunes Hike

You Have Two Options:

1.  See "Grand Sable Trail Parking A" on the map above. Much shorter hike to the falls and to the dunes but you miss the exquisite river views.

2.  See "Grand Sable Trail Parking B" on the map above. Breathtaking hike along the river with ladders and fun challenges along the way. 

Distances for B:

0.8 Grand Sable Dunes

1.2 Sable Fall

1.4 Lake Superior

Time Allotment:

Plan two hours from the parking lot at A as the walks to the falls and the dunes are much shorter. 

If you plan to walk the entire trail from the visitors center at B, plan about 4 hours, depending on how fast you walk and if you want to sit and enjoy the beauty. 

NOTE: All notes from here on are for parking at B (the visitor's center)

Parking is in the visitors center where there are bathrooms.  There is also a porta john if the visitors center is closed.

Best Hiking in Upper Peninsula Michigan, Sable Falls Trail and Grand Sable Dunes HikeBest Hiking in Upper Peninsula Michigan, Sable Falls Trail and Grand Sable Dunes Hike

Things to know before you go:

  • The trail is pretty flat but there is a section in which you must climb down one steep log ladder with several stairs and then back up a longer log ladder to continue along the trail.
  • An option is to hike to the dunes (comes first along the trail) and then head back to your vehicle and drive to the very close Sable Falls parking lot if you are getting tired.
  • If hiking in the fall with cooler temps: the woods hike is nice and cool but you will get hot once you hike out onto the dunes if it is full sun.  Wear layers.

4. Tannery and Memorial Falls Hike

Read More About Tannery and Memorial Falls!

I didn't check the mileage but I'm guessing about .8 round trip of hilly hiking to reach these falls. 

Things to know before you go:

  • This trail has lots of steep hills and can be tiresome.
  • No porta johns 
  • Bring a water bottle. More if you are hiking in higher temperatures
  • Bring bug spray
  • Wear hiking boots with great soles as the terrain is bumpy


  • Option One: (See Map) Park on Nestor Street, the entrance to Memorial falls only has a small marking on the right side of Nestor Street.
  • Option  Two: (See Map) Park in the tiny lot on Washington off Munising Rd.

Time Allotment: 2 hours

Love to see more waterfalls?  This lovely Michigan waterfall book would make a thoughtful gift to someone visiting Michigan or even a Michigan resident (I have only seen about half of them!)

5. Sand Point Marsh Trail (Easy Boardwalk!)

Sand Point Marsh Trail, Upper Peninsula MichiganSand Point Marsh Trail, Upper Peninsula Michigan

The Sand Point Marsh Trail is one heck of a great place to walk and see wildlife.  It's a 0.5 mile loop that is all boardwalk. You can then walk the beach across the road!

Things to know before you go:

  • Very easy, flat boardwalk with small sections on dirt.
  • May be muddy in the dirt sections if it recently rained.
  • It's a loop so you can't get lost!

Read more about this trail on our Pictured Rocks page!

Hiking in weather? Grab a raincoat or warm pants!

6. Robert McQuisten Recreation Area

Best Hiking in Upper Peninsula Michigan at Robert McQuisten BoardwalkBest Hiking in Upper Peninsula Michigan at Robert McQuisten Boardwalk

Wetmore, MI 49895

The Robert McQuisten Recreation Area is an exquisite boardwalk loop that is wonderful to explore during all the seasons. However, as the autumn Michigan trees begin to change, it's absolutely breathtaking!

We discovered this Upper Peninsula gem while visiting Munising and the breathtaking Upper Peninsula waterfalls.

Time Allotment: about 1 hour.

Things to know before you go:

  • There is a porta john in the parking area. Bring toilet paper just in case.
  • It's an easy, flat walk on boardwalks the entire way
  • Be careful if you have small children as the rails are well spaced and kids could fall through easily.

7. Tahquamenon Falls Route: One of Our Favorite Michigan Hiking Trails

Tahquamenon Falls HikingTahquamenon Falls Hiking

Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Luce County, Michigan (Upper Peninsula)

We are absolutely in love with hiking the trails at Tahquamenon Falls.  It's so adventurey, so...communing with nature. That's why it is one of our favorite Michigan hiking trails.

This intermediate trail is 5.8 miles long, but it is more than worth it. If the view of massive waterfalls enchants you, Tahquamenon State Park is a place you must visit. 

The main attraction is the Tahquamenon River and its beautiful waterfalls, which can be viewed either from the platform (if you love a good challenge) or from the bottom of the falls, where you can appreciate their magnificent beauty. 

Here is an in-depth hiking trail map of Tahquamenon falls by All Trails that you may find useful. 

Tahquamenon FallsTahquamenon Falls

Hiking is not the only thing you can do at the park; there are also other activities available to visitors, like camping, backpacking, canoeing, and fishing. Fun for everyone!

If you are looking for that perfect Instagrammable moment, visiting Tahquamenon Falls in the fall will give you the perfect landscape photo as the trees are bursting with color.

FYI: If you do not have the Michigan Recreational Passport, there is a small fee you have to pay upon entering the park. 

8. The Manistique Boardwalk and River Walk

The boardwalk in Manistique is just over two miles long and follows the shoreline of Lake Michigan. 

It will take you past the stunning red lighthouse with scenic rocks.  

There is a porta john located at the parking area near the lighthouse.

Visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore!

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is an exquisite region perfect for hiking, exploring, boat tours, waterfalls and great eats!

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Which places provide the best hiking trails in Upper Peninsula for couples? 
Headed to the UP with my boyfriend and we are looking for less busy trails. You know, more time for nature and not screaming kids or people. Answer …

Which places provide the best hiking trails in Upper Peninsula for kids and families? 
We have kids and wish to do some hiking trails in the UP, do you have a recommendation? Answer If you have small children, we would recommend …

What is considered a strenuous hike? Not rated yet
What do you consider a strenuous hike? Distance? Hills? We have kids so I'm looking for a rather flat hike for their capabilities. Answer I take …

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Stay Hydrated as You Hike!

It's super important to stay hydrated as you hike.  Be sure to have plenty of water and a camelbak is a great way to keep your hands free!

Hiking in Cold or Rainy Weather?

Best Pants for Cold WeatherBest Pants for Cold Weather
Best Raincoats for Heavy RainBest Raincoats for Heavy Rain

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

"Sherry & Chris"

We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "" A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

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