Hiking 924 Miles of Michigan

Christopher Hillier loves spending time outdoors, and a lot of that time is spent on Michigan’s hiking trails. Since April 2011 alone, Chris has hiked nearly 6,000 miles. To continue his adventures, he’ll take on the newly proposed trail that runs 924 miles from Belle Isle all the way to the border with Wisconsin in the western Upper Peninsula. Read about it below and follow his journey at WolverineHikesMichigan.blogspot.com or on Facebook as Hiker Resupply.

I like to be out-of-doors. A lot. I spent 7 months and 9 days hiking the 2,100 mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.  It took me 5 months and 25 days to hike the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. More recently, I’ve been hiking all the best trails in Michigan: the Shore-To-Shore Trail, the Kal-Haven Trail, the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail, etc… My next big hike is a trail that was just proposed by Governor Snyder in November of 2012 that runs 924 miles from Belle Isle all the way to the border with Wisconsin in the western Upper Peninsula. I intend to be the first person to thru-hike this trail. That is, to hike the entire distance over about 10 weeks this spring. I want to use this hike to bring attention to all the great trails we have to offer here in Michigan, as well as for the health benefits of hiking. I want people to know that they don’t have to hike thousands of miles like I do, but they need to get out and walk more often.

People sometimes ask me if my six years in the US Army started my passion for long distance hiking. I explain to them that marching with a rucksack is a world away from hiking with a backpack. But the Army did prepare me for an 18 year career in cardiovascular technology and during that time I saw lots of vascular disease caused by inactivity. If I can encourage people to walk more, I will be doing a good thing.

So far, I’ve been working with the good folks at the Polly Ann Trail, the Detroit Free Press, the City of Warren, the Caroline Kennedy Library, Moosejaw gear stores and the Downriver YMCA. I receive incredible support from my family and friends. I am very proud to have been born and raised in Michigan and I am honored to have been selected as a finalist for the 2013 Governor’s Council Veteran of the Year Award as part of the Governor’s Fitness Awards.  The award will be presented April 25th at Ford Field. Wish me luck and follow me at WolverineHikesMichigan.blogspot.com.

Chris has hiked almost 6,000 miles since April of 2011. You can read about his adventures at WolverineHikesMichigan.blogspot.com or learn more in this story from the Detroit Free Press.

Hiking in Pure Michigan

Embark on an outdoor adventure this summer by means of Michigan’s hiking trails.  With a variety of trails to choose from, hikers can trek through forests, hike along the shores of the Great Lakes, explore Michigan’s sand dunes, and even travel down into urban canyons. 

Michigan’s trail network includes more than 600 trails throughout its upper and lower peninsulas.  Here are just a few of Michigan’s many hiking trails to explore this summer.

Bay de Noc-Grand Island Trail
Take on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and hike the Bay de Noc-Grand Island trail. Stretching over 40-miles, this trail overlooks the Whitefish River basin and follows the ancient portage route of the Chippewa Indians.

Leelanau Trail
For a trail that features nature’s variety, visit Leelanau Trail. This trail connects Traverse City and Suttons Bay and includes rolling hills, lush forests, peaceful meadows, and a variety of water types. The Leelanau Trail ranges 15 miles and is part of a network of four trails located in the Grand Traverse and Leelanau County.

Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore
Enjoy the “The Most Beautiful Place in America” and hike through Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park.  This park includes 35 miles of shoreline including Lake Michigan’s eastern coastline, as well as North and South Manitou Islands.  Forests, beaches, dune formations and ancient glacial phenomena can all be found here, as well as cultural features such as an 1871 lighthouse.

Wagner Falls Scenic Site
Discover the beauty of a scenic waterfall while hiking through Wagner Falls Scenic Site. This Munising destination includes a half-mile trail with an observation deck overlooking the falls. Hike about the virgin pine and hemlock trees and watch Wagner Creek flow into a shallow gorge containing the Anna River.

Warren Woods Forest Preserve
For a more rustic trail, hike Warren Woods Forest Preserve. Open from dawn to dusk, Warren Woods Forest Preserve is a first growth forest with trails that follow the Galien River. Visitors will find abundant wildflowers, a mature beach and maple trees.

Where do you like to hike in Michigan? Share with us below!

Aerial Assignment: Beaver Island

Photo credit - Kevin J. Miyazaki Kevin Miyazaki, a contributing photographer for Michigan Travel Ideas, shares his experience of shooting Beaver Island Michigan from a two-seater airplane.

I’m a frequent flier for photography assignments, but one thing I’m not accustomed to is chatting with the pilot during flight. Through the use of a headset and microphone, my partner in conversation is Keith Teague, owner of Fresh Air Aviation. Keith makes several trips a day from Charlevoix to Beaver Island in small but comfortable passenger planes. The one we’re in today is much smaller—a two-seater he’s pulled out of the hanger specifically for this occasion.

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