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In the foreground is wild grass that borders a body of water. On the other side of the body of water are many multicolored trees. There is a sunset in the sky.
Sunset at Kensington Metropark
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The best hiking trails in Metro Detroit

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Sunset at Kensington Metropark
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It looks like spring might finally be here to stay. As the leaves come out and the flowers bloom, it’s the perfect time to enjoy the many hiking trails around metro Detroit. Many of the area’s Metroparks and nature preserves offer scenic views and multiple trails for hiking, cycling, cross country skiing, and horse riding. We’ve tried to mark the pathways that offer all or some of these.

Our map spans as far north as Paint Creek Trail to the long trail system at the Lower Huron Metropark. We’ve also included some urban trails like the Dequindre Cut. Remember that Metroparks need a pass, as does Belle Isle (if you drive there). We’ve also included links to park/trail maps, where applicable.

By no means is this an exhaustive list, as many local parks offer places to wander, hike, jog, or bike. Did we forget one of your favorites? Do you have specific suggestions or intel on any of the parks? Let us know in the comments or drop us a note on the tip line.

Note: Parks/trails are arranged from north to south.

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Paint Creek Trail

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Paint Creek Trail in northern Oakland County runs nearly nine miles and was the state’s first non-motorized rail-to-trail. It’s a favorite for joggers, cyclists, cross-country skiers, and hikers. It runs from Rochester to Lake Orion, and there are a variety of places to park to access the trail. A full map can be found here.

Stony Creek Metropark

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Up in Shelby Township and going into both Oakland and Macomb Counties, Stony Creek Metropark has 27 miles of hiking trails. The park has a variety of trails, from paved to primitive, flat to hilly, and some are shared with cyclists. A park map with hiking and cycling trails, difficult to easy, can be found here.

A stunning #FallScene as the leaves begin to turn at #StonyCreekMetropark. Gorgeous capture, @angelas_angle!

A post shared by Oakland County, Michigan (@oaklandcounty) on

Clinton River Trail

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The Clinton River Trail runs through Oakland County from Rochester to Sylvan Lake, extending westward as the West Bloomfield Trail. It also connects to the Macomb Orchard Trail to the east. The trail runs through both suburban and rural areas, and includes paved and unpaved sections. Here’s a map for hitting the trails.

Kensington Metropark

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Kensington Metropark in Milford has an 8.5 mile paved hiking and biking trail around Kent Lake, plus a seven mile nature trail just for hiking. You might also run into equestrian trails along the way. A full map can be found here.

Check out this #amazing evening photo at Kensington by @detroitdj.

A post shared by Huron-Clinton Metroparks (@mimetroparks) on

Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve

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This park in Southfield may not have as the miles of trails as the others, but Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve offers a quiet, peaceful place for short walks, fishing, and appreciating the natural habitat. Plan your visit here.

A sky of blue and clouds of white make for another splendid #SummerDay in #OaklandCounty. Thanks @yesthisismatt!

A post shared by Oakland County, Michigan (@oaklandcounty) on

Maybury State Park

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Hiking, biking, horse riding, skiing, exploring a farm—Maybury State Park in Northville has many options for recreation. A hiking trail runs six miles (a full trail and park map is available here). Parking is located near the farm entrance off Beck Road, and many picnic shelters are available along the trail. It’s also a great place for fall colors.

Rouge Park

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There are lots of little trails in the biggest park in Detroit. The Prairie Pathway has a butterfly garden, the Stone Bridge Nature Trail is a nice little loop in the heart of the park, and then there’s seven miles of paved trails as well.

There’s other non-trail parts to the park worth visiting, like D-Town Farms, a field where people often fly model airplanes, and the Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Center and horse stable.

Dequindre Cut

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Park in Eastern Market and hop on the Dequindre Cut, which runs from Mack Avenue to Atwater. Then go either left or right to go to the Riverwalk. This urban greenway is paved, with plenty of murals along the way. There are designated lanes for walking/jogging and biking. Bathrooms are located in Eastern Market near Shed 3 and at Rivard Plaza along the Detroit River.

A path alongside a row of buildings that have murals painted on them. Michelle Gerard

Belle Isle

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Detroit’s island park has miles of trails to explore. Many visitors walk around the Belle Isle loop, which has sidewalks in varying conditions depending on where you are. Non-paved trails cut through the middle of the island. On the west side of the island, a lovely trail makes its way to the lighthouse and over to some fishing areas. Bathrooms are located at comfort stations throughout the island. A map with landmarks and trails can be found here.

Remember during the spring that the Grand Prix set-up is underway on the west end of the island.

Rouge River Gateway Natural Area

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The Rouge River Gateway Trail can connect you to dozens of miles of trails for hiking, biking, or jogging. The trailhead is right by Andiamo off Michigan Avenue in Dearborn. This trail can take you through the 17 miles of Hines Park, or over to the longer metro 275 trail. It also has a smaller loop at Canton. A full map can be found here.

The autumn color is starting to show in this terrific photo by @obrainys. #waynecountyparks #exploreevenmore

A post shared by Wayne County Parks (@waynecountyparks) on

Cherry Hill Nature Preserve

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Northeast of Ann Arbor, Cherry Hill Nature Preserve has 160 acres of trails, forests, meadows, and wetlands to explore. The hills can give hikers some spectacular views for all seasons.

Lower Huron Metropark

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The Lower Huron, Willow, and Oakwoods Metropark system runs from Flat Rock up to Belleville, along 275. 15 miles of hiking and biking trails are available, along with canoeing, kayaking, and camping options. A full trail map can be found here.

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Paint Creek Trail

Paint Creek Trail in northern Oakland County runs nearly nine miles and was the state’s first non-motorized rail-to-trail. It’s a favorite for joggers, cyclists, cross-country skiers, and hikers. It runs from Rochester to Lake Orion, and there are a variety of places to park to access the trail. A full map can be found here.

Stony Creek Metropark

Up in Shelby Township and going into both Oakland and Macomb Counties, Stony Creek Metropark has 27 miles of hiking trails. The park has a variety of trails, from paved to primitive, flat to hilly, and some are shared with cyclists. A park map with hiking and cycling trails, difficult to easy, can be found here.

A stunning #FallScene as the leaves begin to turn at #StonyCreekMetropark. Gorgeous capture, @angelas_angle!

A post shared by Oakland County, Michigan (@oaklandcounty) on

Clinton River Trail

The Clinton River Trail runs through Oakland County from Rochester to Sylvan Lake, extending westward as the West Bloomfield Trail. It also connects to the Macomb Orchard Trail to the east. The trail runs through both suburban and rural areas, and includes paved and unpaved sections. Here’s a map for hitting the trails.

Kensington Metropark

Kensington Metropark in Milford has an 8.5 mile paved hiking and biking trail around Kent Lake, plus a seven mile nature trail just for hiking. You might also run into equestrian trails along the way. A full map can be found here.

Check out this #amazing evening photo at Kensington by @detroitdj.

A post shared by Huron-Clinton Metroparks (@mimetroparks) on

Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve

This park in Southfield may not have as the miles of trails as the others, but Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve offers a quiet, peaceful place for short walks, fishing, and appreciating the natural habitat. Plan your visit here.

A sky of blue and clouds of white make for another splendid #SummerDay in #OaklandCounty. Thanks @yesthisismatt!

A post shared by Oakland County, Michigan (@oaklandcounty) on

Maybury State Park

Hiking, biking, horse riding, skiing, exploring a farm—Maybury State Park in Northville has many options for recreation. A hiking trail runs six miles (a full trail and park map is available here). Parking is located near the farm entrance off Beck Road, and many picnic shelters are available along the trail. It’s also a great place for fall colors.

Rouge Park

There are lots of little trails in the biggest park in Detroit. The Prairie Pathway has a butterfly garden, the Stone Bridge Nature Trail is a nice little loop in the heart of the park, and then there’s seven miles of paved trails as well.

There’s other non-trail parts to the park worth visiting, like D-Town Farms, a field where people often fly model airplanes, and the Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Center and horse stable.

Dequindre Cut

A path alongside a row of buildings that have murals painted on them. Michelle Gerard

Park in Eastern Market and hop on the Dequindre Cut, which runs from Mack Avenue to Atwater. Then go either left or right to go to the Riverwalk. This urban greenway is paved, with plenty of murals along the way. There are designated lanes for walking/jogging and biking. Bathrooms are located in Eastern Market near Shed 3 and at Rivard Plaza along the Detroit River.

A path alongside a row of buildings that have murals painted on them. Michelle Gerard

Belle Isle

Detroit’s island park has miles of trails to explore. Many visitors walk around the Belle Isle loop, which has sidewalks in varying conditions depending on where you are. Non-paved trails cut through the middle of the island. On the west side of the island, a lovely trail makes its way to the lighthouse and over to some fishing areas. Bathrooms are located at comfort stations throughout the island. A map with landmarks and trails can be found here.

Remember during the spring that the Grand Prix set-up is underway on the west end of the island.

Rouge River Gateway Natural Area

The Rouge River Gateway Trail can connect you to dozens of miles of trails for hiking, biking, or jogging. The trailhead is right by Andiamo off Michigan Avenue in Dearborn. This trail can take you through the 17 miles of Hines Park, or over to the longer metro 275 trail. It also has a smaller loop at Canton. A full map can be found here.

The autumn color is starting to show in this terrific photo by @obrainys. #waynecountyparks #exploreevenmore

A post shared by Wayne County Parks (@waynecountyparks) on

Cherry Hill Nature Preserve

Northeast of Ann Arbor, Cherry Hill Nature Preserve has 160 acres of trails, forests, meadows, and wetlands to explore. The hills can give hikers some spectacular views for all seasons.

Lower Huron Metropark

The Lower Huron, Willow, and Oakwoods Metropark system runs from Flat Rock up to Belleville, along 275. 15 miles of hiking and biking trails are available, along with canoeing, kayaking, and camping options. A full trail map can be found here.