There are so many places to explore in the Midwest that we could get in the car and explore somewhere new every weekend. Some of the best places to visit are places that are not talked about, we call these the hidden gems. Michigan has several hidden gems to visit. You just have to know where to look.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a picturesque place to visit. With over 100 miles of hiking trails, you can spend days exploring. There are also pristine beaches to spend the afternoon on as well. Sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, inland lakes, deep forest, and wild shoreline are what you’ll find when you to visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. From camping to hiking to sightseeing this is a four-season park that you can visit over and over never having the same experience twice.
Ocqueoc Falls State Forest Campground
Ocqueoc Falls State Forest Campground is located in Presque Isle County, just 12 miles west of Rogers City via M-68. It’s a rustic campground located near Ocqueoc Falls, the only publicly accessible waterfall in the Lower Peninsula. It’s the one place you can jump in and enjoy Ocqueoc Falls. There are 15 campsites available for tent or small trailer use. You can hike up to the falls and then take advantage of the picnic tables and grills to enjoy lunch or dinner. You can also do a little trout fishing from the campgrounds.
Arcadia Dunes offers hiking trails for the beginners to the advanced hiker or mountain biker.
For the beginner take the Old Baldy trail. As you wind through the trail you go through dense hardwoods to the beautiful dune bluffs of Lake Michigan. This overlook is a wonderful place for a picnic or a run with the family pet!
For the more experienced hiker or mountain biker take the Dry Hill Trail. Starting at the St. Pierre trailhead is a 10 mile loop known to mountain bikers as some of the best single track riding in the region. This trail is also friendly to hikers and trail runners, featuring colorful wildflower displays.
Here are a few of the trails you can explore –
10 mile loop (Dry Hill Trail)
1.5 mile loop (Pete’s Woods)
2 mile loop (Chestnut Trail)
1.7 mile direct trail to “Old Baldy” sand dune area/hiking trails
0.7 mile direct “short” trail to “Old Baldy” sand dune area/hiking trails.
0.5 mile handicap accessible trail to dune overlook includes seats to catch the sunset.
These are just a few of the hidden gems waiting to be explored in Michigan.
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