Hike The Old Indian Trail: Empire, Michigan

The Old Indian Trail: Empire, Michigan

Distance: Two loops, each about 2.5 miles long

Terrain: Black Arrow Loop has sections of steep hills and sharp curves.

Vegetation: Evergreens and hardwoods, sand near Lake Michigan. 

This trail rewards it’s hikers with spectacular views of Lake Michigan and it is on my list of recommended loops to check out! Enjoy a hike outside on The Old Indian Trail- found just off M-22 between Empire and Frankfort, north of Crystal Lake and Point Betsie Lighthouse. My family and I did the trail last week, early April 2020, so the leaves were not quite out yet on the trees. Yet, it was still a wonderful hike and I would highly recommend it! The trail starts off next to the woods, there is a large parking area and a sign next to the road that says “Old Indian Trail” (see image below). You will then take one of two loops that lead you towards the water. Before you hit the beach, you will come upon about a quarter-mile of sand dunes, until you arrive at the Lake Michigan beach. Look North and South to the stunning untouched shoreline of Sleep Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore. The entire trail provides beautiful scenery and about a mile and a half to the water where you can rest along the Lake Michigan shoreline. See the map below to find out how to drive to the starting point.  And in the Winter months this is a great trail for show shoeing and cross country skiing.  Happy Hiking!