Best Hikes in Hiawatha National Forest (MI)

Hiawatha National Forest Overview

With one hundred miles of shoreline on three of the Great Lakes, the Hiawatha National Forest in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is uniquely positioned to provide visitors with a range of nationally distinct recreation opportunities. In addition to the best hikes in Hiawatha National Forest described below, a small section of the 4,600-mile North Country National Scenic Trail passes through the forest. The nearby Picture Rocks National Lakeshore also offers some of the best hikes in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Nearest Metro AreaGreen Bay, WI
Area Size894,836 acres
EstablishedJanuary 16, 1931
Hiking Trails161 miles

Click here for more National Park or National Forest hikes!
You can also view some of our most popular Gear Recommendations here!

Trailhead Traveler’s Recommended Best Hikes in Hiawatha National Forest

(*** = Best hikes in Hiawatha National Forest)

Au Train Songbird Trail*** – 2.1 mile loop
Au Train Lake
Au Train Lake, Photo by Joe Passe

This easy 2 mile interpretive hiking loop next to Au Train Campground offers a unique wildlife watching opportunity. The trail winds through forest and field, along bog and lakeshore, and includes an observation platform on Au Train Lake’s Buck Bay. The best time to hear the ‘woodland concert’ is in the morning when the birds are most active, but you can walk the trail any time of the day. In the forested areas, you may see such birds as chickadees, cedar waxwings, and nuthatches. From atop the observation platform, near the trailhead, you may see ducks, shorebirds, and perhaps even an eagle or osprey.

Bruno’s Run Trail – 9.3 mile loop

The trail winds its way past a host of small lakes etched in this relatively young glacial plain, taking users over gently rolling country. Further along, the trail runs over foothills, along overlooks and through valleys. The many lakes and streams in the area as well as a variety of trees and other plants make it likely that those traveling the trail will spot wildlife or tracks.

Haymeadow Falls Trail – 0.9 mile loop

This 0.9 mile loop trail leads hikers from the Haymeadow Campground to Haymeadow Falls, a series of small staircase falls. The Haymeadow is recognized as a high quality trout stream and anglers can be seen along its banks. Sections of the trail are wet so be sure to wear boots.

Grand Island Loop*** – 20.4 mile loop
Trout Bay Beach, Photo by Forest Service, Eastern Region

Grand Island is located in Lake Superior, about one-half mile from the mainland community of Munising, Michigan. Visitors can reach the island via passenger ferry or private watercraft. This epic loop around the perimeter of the island will take you to tons of beaches, amazing cliff side overlooks, and gorgeous views of the crystal blue waters of Lake Superior.

Peninsula Point Trail – 2.0 miles out and back
Hiawatha National Forest
Peninsula Point, Photo by Amy Bayer

This 1 mile long linear trail ends in the shadows of the Peninsula Point Lighthouse, located at the tip of the Stonington Peninsula. Interpretive signs along the trail describe the unique features of the point including 500 million year old fossils, plant life not found elsewhere in the Upper Peninsula, and the importance of the area to the Monarch Butterfly.

Featured Image: Autumn Dirt Road – Hiawatha National Forest, Photo by Tony Webster

Don’t forget to stock up on the essentials before you plan your next hiking or camping trip! We have recommendations on: