Up North Blog

Our Favorite Bikes & Hikes

There’s just something about a hike or bike ride on your favorite trail to clear your mind, calm your soul, and re-energize your spirit. And in Northern Michigan, we are blessed with an abundance of outdoor opportunities. Whether venturing out to the trails and beaches snaking through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore or hiking and biking your way through the surrounding counties, you will be rewarded with spectacular vistas, majestic birds and animals, sweet fresh air, and a peacefulness you won’t soon forget.

Below are three of our favorite spots, courtesy of our Marketing team. Happy hiking and biking!

Empire Bluffs, Sleeping Bear Dunes

Located south of Empire, the Empire Bluff Trail is a 1.5 mile round-trip hike that leads you to a high bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. While the view of the shoreline and South Bar Lake is breathtaking, my favorite part about this trail is the stroll through the beautiful beech and maple forest. Most enjoy this trail in the summer, but I personally love snowshoeing it in the winter because I’m able to enjoy the quietness of being out in nature and tend to have the trail all to myself! — Sarah Muether, Social Media Manager


Grass River Natural Area, Bellaire

My love of Grass River starts with their mission: “To manage the Grass River Natural Area, conserve and protect its watershed and provide opportunities that increase knowledge, appreciation and community-wide stewardship of the natural environment.” In addition, I am a past board member, it’s 5 minutes from my house, has 7 miles of trails to hike, and an inventory of 400 species of plants, 49 species of mammals and 147 bird species. What’s not to love? — Todd Gyulveszi, Product Manager


Brown Bridge Quiet Area, Grand Traverse County

Located south of Traverse City, my wife Emily and I head to Brownbridge Quiet Area — and its 6 miles of trails that wind around a breathtaking part of the Boardman River — whenever we feel the need to get ‘out west.’ There’s a good amount of undulation, the views are incredible, and the wildlife viewing is spectacular. The Grand Traverse Conservation District has done a wonderful job improving and maintaining this gorgeous section of the Boardman. — Andrew Moore, Marketing Director

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