Set out for a morning walk at the preserve to catch a glimpse of animals starting the day, or an afternoon trek, which could include a picnic just off the path. There are a diverse range of options, depending upon what mood strikes and the ease or difficulty level desired. Walk past lakes and rivers or keep on the lookout for a crane or coyote, each hike offers something different. Here are a few of the best summer backpacking trips near Detroit.
Crosswinds Marsh Preserve
27600 Haggerty Road
New Boston, MI 48164
(734) 654-1223

Crosswinds Marsh Preserve is an interpretive wetland area located within the Wayne County Park System in southeast Michigan. The footpaths are easy to navigate, making this a great destination for hiking with the family or just the adults. This 1,000-acre area contains seven miles of hiking trails, giving visitors the chance to experience the sights and sounds of nature in its truest setting. Hike through the forest and around the marsh, while keeping your eyes peeled for turtles sunning, eagles soaring and beavers building their abodes. Special coordinated hikes are held, such as a Bird Hike, at different times throughout the year. Please see the website for event details and dates of upcoming hikes.

Stoney Creek Metropark 
4300 Main Park Drive
Shelby Township, MI 48316
(586) 781-4242

Stoney Creek Metropark is part of the Huron-Clinton Metropark system that is located in southeast Michigan, about 31 miles outside of Detroit. Walk under the shady canopy of trees, through the golden meadows and around the glistening lake water. The six miles of paved trails feature rolling hills and include just enough of an incline to keep it interesting. Trails at the preserve are perfect for those looking to be out in the fresh air, and those who are in search of a moderate exercise. Within the center of this almost 4,500-acre park lies the sparkling lake, which provides an idyllic setting for a hike.

Clinton River Trail 
Rochester Hills, MI 48309
(248) 656-4673

The Clinton River Trail measures 16 miles and winds through many towns. The trails range from crushed rock and dirt to pavement; a majority of the paths remain unpaved. This trail was formerly a railroad line, so the hike will meander gently through woods and alongside the river. This is just the place for those interested in witnessing what nature has to offer in the form of deer, coyotes and other wildlife.  Wildflowers and greenery dot the trails, with some towns and main streets popping up along the way, making this hike a picturesque trail.

Maybury State Park
20145 Beck Road
Northville, MI 48167
(248) 349-8390

Maybury State Park features a scenic series of trails that make a great escape from city living for the day. Rolling hills and towering trees can be found throughout the six miles of trails. The surrounding area changes from shaded to open, and back again. Trails wind alongside the 1,000 acres of natural land. Sit on the banks of the lake and take a break, or keep up the momentum and make your way through the expansive system of marked trails at this picturesque park.

Related: Best Bike Rides In Detroit

Kensington Metropark
2240 W. Bruno Road
Milford, MI 48380
(810) 227-8910

Kensington Metropark covers an expansive and very diverse terrain. Climb over hills, walk through trails that wind through fields and enjoy forests and sweeping open areas. Walk alongside the Huron River and enjoy the view of the scenic waterway. There are many nature trails to choose from and each offers a great opportunity to catch a glimpse of flora and fauna in its natural habitat. Bird watchers will be delighted to see a blue heron, a family of swans gliding along Kent Lake or even some chickadees. Hikers interested in walking through the park should enter through the the hiking trails to avoid park entrance fees.

Related: Best Campgrounds In Southern Michigan

After receiving a BA in Photography from Savannah College of Art & Design, Nicole Wrona began working with a diverse range of musicians. In addition, she is a freelance writer for numerous publications. Her work can be found at and