Embrace the outdoors while checking out beautiful sights on these 12 hiking and biking trails in Metro Detroit
By Alexandra London
Rouge River Gateway Greenway (Hines Park Trail)
The Rouge River Gateway Greenway offers two trails in one: the two-mile Rouge River Gateway and the 17.5-mile Hines Park Trail. Put together, they create a scenic bike path that passes through densely forested woodlands and University of Michigan’s Dearborn’s campus. And with a trailhead located across the street from Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum, the trail offers cool sights from the start. For instructions on how to access the Rouge River Gateway Greenway visit, traillink.com/trail/hines-park-trailrouge-river-gateway-greenway/.
West Bloomfield Trail
East Trailhead: Sylvan Manor Park, 2294 Woodrow Wilson, West Bloomfield
Central Trailhead: West Bloomfield Woods Nature Preserve , 4655 Arrowhead Road, West Bloomfield
The West Bloomfield Trail boasts lots of water views, with lakes, ponds and wetlands along its 6.8 miles (but don’t worry — staying dry isn’t a problem). Great for mountain biking, the crushed-limestone trail follows the 1880s route of the Michigan Air Line Railroad, which merged with the Grand Trunk Western Railroad in the 1920s.
Paint Creek Trail
One of Michigan’s oldest non-motorized rail trails, the Paint Creek Trail was established in 1983. The 8.9-mile trail runs between Rochester and Lake Orion and is a popular spot for biking, fishing and horseback riding. Paint Creek is also part of the Iron Belle Trail, a project currently under development to span 2,000 miles from Detroit’s Belle Isle to Ironwood in the Upper Peninsula. For information on parking and how to access the Paint Creek Trail visit, paintcreektrail.org/wordpress/about/parking/.
Flat, smooth and 4.2 miles long, The Milford Trail connects the Village of Milford with Kensington Metropark in Oakland County. This winding trail offers plenty of scenery as it travels through woodlands and wetlands (it skirts the edge of Milford’s Hubbell Pond). Aside from being perfect for biking or inline skating, the trail is wheelchair accessible. Visit traillink.com/trail/milford-trail/ for parking information.
Independence Oaks County Park River Loop
9501 Sashabaw Rd, Village of Clarkston
Independence Oaks County Park River Loop is a multi-use trail located in Clarkson. This paved, 2.2-mile trail, which winds through wooded wetlands and passes through the Clinton River Flood plain, is perfect for a beautiful walk or bike ride along the river.
Maybury State Park
Maybury State Park hiking trail is a heavily trafficked 3-mile loop located near Northville that’s composed of multiple paths for hiking, walking and running. Rolling woods surround the trail, making it the perfect escape.
Macomb Orchard Trail
20145 Beck Rd, Northville
Named after Southeastern Michigan’s heritage of bountiful apple and peach production, the paved, 24-mile trail runs from the Rochester suburbs to the farms and forest land surrounding Richmond, between Macomb and St. Clair counties. Ideal for biking, waking and also wheelchair accessible, the trail follows the path of the Michigan Air Line railroad, which connected Romeo with Richmond by rail in 1871 in an attempt to build a cross state railroad.
Stony Creek Metropark – West Branch Mountain Bike Trails
4300 Main Park Dr, Shelby Charter Twp
The West Branch Mountain Bike Trails of Stony Creek Metropark is a 4.7-mile loop primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips and mountain biking. The trail winds its way in and out of heavily wooded forests but is relatively flat.
Detroit Riverwalk and Dequindre Cut Greenway
600 Renaissance Center #1720, Detroit
The Dequindre Cut Greenway is a 1.8-mile trail located in downtown Detroit. The smooth, paved trail is great for biking, inline skating, walking and is wheelchair accessible with separate lines for bikes and pedestrians. (It’s nicknamed “the trunk” because in the 1920s, it was a wide trench that sank 25 feet below street level by the Grand Trunk Railroad.) Bonus: Alongside the trail you’ll likely see plenty interesting street art. For access points to the Dequindre Cut Greenway visit, detroitriverfront.org/riverfront/dequindre-cut/dequindre-cut.
I-275 Metro Trail
Running for 33.2 miles between Novi and New Boston, the I-275 Metro Trail passes through the Rouge and Huron River and is a great place for biking, inline skating or walking. For access points to the 1-275 Metro Trail visit, traillink.com/trail/i-275-metro-trail/.
4570 Huron River Pkwy, Milford
Kensington Metropark is one of Michigan’s most popular parks, partly because it’s home to a paved, 9.5-mile loop that surrounds Kent Lake in western Oakland County. Featuring 4,481 acres of hilly terrain, this trail is perfect for biking, inline skating, walking and is wheelchair accessible. The park also offers a number of equestrian and hiking trails that branch off from the main paved loop.
Grosse Ile Trail
The Grosse Ile Trail features 6.2 miles of paved asphalt that runs nearly the entire north-south length of Gross Ile. The scenery along the trail includes lavish homes and water views. If you’re interested in railroad history, make sure to take the on-road loop to see the Michigan Central Train depot (now home to the Grosse Ile Historical Society). For parking and information on how to access the Grosse Ile Trail visit, traillink.com/trail/grosse-ile-trail/.
Source for this article: Traillink.com, a free service provided by national nonprofit organization Rail-to-Trails Conservancy.