Leelanau Pines Campground is just 30 minutes away from both Traverse City, MI and Sleeping Bear Dunes, two major areas that offer a variety of hiking trails. Whether you're staying at our campground for a week or weekend, or just passing through Traverse City, we recommend checking out one of the many hiking trails the Northern Michigan area has to offer. Keep reading for all the best hiking trails near Traverse City to find one that's perfect for you!
Hiking Trail #1: Empire Bluffs Trail - 1.5 Miles
Located 30 minutes from Leelanau Pines Campground is the Empire Bluffs Trail - one of the most popular hikes along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The trail is a short 1.5 miles and only takes about 20 minutes to reach the stunning lookout. This is an easy hike for all members of the family and worth every second for the incredible view. Plus, on a clear day, you can see South Manitou Island!
Hiking Trail #2: Pyramid Point Hiking Trail - 0.6 to 2.7 Miles
Pyramid Point Hiking Trail is another favorite for both the Traverse City locals and out of town guests. With multiple different routes and hikes available, this hiking location offers something unique for everyone. One of the more popular hikes is a quick walk from the parking lot to the high bluffs, where you can get a stunning overlook of both Lake Michigan and the Manitou Islands. The parking lot and base is a quick 28 minutes from our campground, making it the perfect choice for a day trip depending on what type of trek you're looking for.
Hiking Trail #3: Sleeping Bear Point Trail - 2.8 Miles
The Sleeping Bear Point Trail is an easy 2.8 mile loop along the rolling sand dunes to Lake Michigan Beach. Although it's not a strenuous hike, it's always fun to work up a little sweat and take a dip in the lake before heading back to the parking lot. This relaxing and beautiful hike is 33 minutes from Leelanau Pines Campground.
Hiking Trail #4: Alligator Hill Trail - variety
One of the longer treks to see Lake Michigan views is Alligator Hill Trail, a quick 29 minutes from our campground. While they have many shorter and longer trails to choose from, this trailhead is great for the hiker looking to get in their steps for the day! The hilly loops make up approximatley 9 miles worth of trails and show not only views of Lake Michigan, but also beautiful Glen Lake from certain vantage points!
Hiking Trail #5: Leelanau State Park Trails - 6 Miles
At the very tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, 36 minutes from our campground, is the Leelanau State Park Trails. Once again this area features many different trails to choose from equaling over 6 miles of hiking and over 1.5 miles of clear beach access. Along the trails you'll be able to see Cathead Bay at the Lake Michigan Shoreline, Fox Islands, and the historic Grand Traverse Light House.
Hiking Trail #6: Dunes Trail - 3.5 Miles
One of the most famous hikes in Northern Michigan is the Dunes Trail. Although this hike is only 3.5 miles long, it can take up to 2-4 hours due to the steep and consistent incline of the dune. It's one of the most strenuous hikes in the area but worth every minute once you get to the top! This exciting hike is 31 minutes from Leelanau Pines Campground and is a great Traverse City hiking trail.
Hiking Trail #7: Grand Traverse Commons Area - variety
A quick 25 minutes from our campground is the Grand Traverse Commons Area - an easy hike along 480 acres worth of woods near downtown Traverse City. There are four different parking lots with options for many different length hikes to choose from. Plus, it's nestled right along The Village at Grand Traverse Commons so you can grab a drink or bite to eat after working up a sweat!
Hiking Trail #8: Old Mission Point Park - 6.1 Miles
Also closer to Traverse City, and 49 minutes from Leelanau Pines Campground, is the Old Mission Point Park. The main trail is around 6.1 miles of relatively flat trails leading to Lake Michigan where Traverse City's East and West Bays come to a head. This is an easy lovely hike for the whole family to enjoy.
Hiking Trail #9: Sand Lakes Quiet Area Trail - 7.4 Miles
The Sand Lakes Quiet Area Trail is 7.4 miles of trails great for hiking or biking. The pathway is located near Traverse City, 49 minutes from our campground, in the Pere Marquette State forest. These hikes offer adventurers a beautiful wooded terrain of hills, trees, and 5 small lakes sourrounding the area. Just like its name states, it's a quiet and enjoyable way to spend the morning or afternoon.
Hiking Trail #10: Boardman Valley Trail - 6.2 Miles
Last but certainly not least, is the Boardman Valley Trail, 32 minutes from Leelanau Pines Campground. This is an easy 6.2 mile hike that will likely take around 2 hours out and back. During the hike you can enjoy serene and peaceful views of the Boardman River, the river that flows through Traverse City!
What are you waiting for?! It's time to explore one, multiple, or all of these Northern Michigan Traverse City hiking trails to top off your family getaway. Don't forget to bring sunscreen, plenty of water, and snacks!