Northern Michigan Morning Hikes and Afternoon Beach Spots

Northport State Park

Over eight miles of shady trails to explore at the northernmost point of Leelanau Peninsula and secluded Lake Michigan beaches worth seeking out.

Pitch a tent at one of the 55 rustic campsites, rent a mini cabin, or make a day out of exploring the 8.5 miles of hiking trails at this state park, its lighthouse museum and hidden beaches near the north tip of Leelanau Peninsula. No pets are allowed on the shoreline, because the area is prime nesting ground for the tiny, rare piping plover. Spot them (from a distance)—and find blissful solitude—at secluded Cathead Bay, reached by a ¾-mile walk from the parking lot, over forested dunes nearly as enchanting as the sandy cove beach. This summer, a traveling exhibit of 100 aerial lighthouse photographs debuts in the Fog Signal Building.

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