I got on the website Trails.com and looked up hiking in Southeast Michigan and the Detroit Area and the site brought up a map that highlighted all the trails in my area. From here I checked the websites of the ones I was interested in to find out more. Trails.com gives the name, length and location of the trail on an easy to read map. It also offers a short description of each trail and some helpful tips. I looked at three hikes that vary in location and length.
1. Paint Creek Trail - length 8.9 miles, location - Rochester Hills - This trail is a hike through northern Oakland County that passes a local cider mill. It was the first Rail-to-Trail conversion in Michigan.
2. Island Lake Recreation Area - length 12 miles, location - Brighton - This recreation area has two hiking loop trails that total 12 miles. If you want to extend your stay there are campsites but the trails are pretty easy. Island Lake also offers canoe rentals (we've done this before), a shooting range and picnic facilities.
3. Proud Lake Recreation Area - length 21 miles, location - Commerce Township - This park offers 21 miles of trails and is the premier hiking destination in the Detroit area. They also offer canoe and boat rentals along with biking trails. If you want to make a weekend out of it there are two campsites one more rustic than the other.
I caught the hiking bug in college but have not been in a long while. My wife and I are just getting back in to hiking and backpacking (camping along the trail for multiple days). Along with these local trails my backpacking wish list also includes Isle Royal National Park and the Porcupine Mountains in the U.P. If you are also interested in getting outdoors this spring and summer checkout Hiking Michigan, a free hiking club that offers info on group hikes, classes, camping, canoeing, kayaking and almost everything you need to know to get outdoors.