Northern Michigan Morning Hikes and Afternoon Beach Spots

It’s the perfect combination: Northern Michigan hikes and beaches paired for the perfect day. Northern Michigan beaches summon bare toes for summer strolling. Yet, if you are looking for a more strenuous hike before you set up your beach chair,  we’ve got the perfect pairs for you from Sleeping Bear Dunes to Harbor Springs. Take a morning hike through one of these trails, then pass the afternoon lounging at the gorgeous Northern Michigan beach your trail is paired with .

Thorne Swift Preserve

You don’t even have to get in the car for this one. Hike the mile or so of easy trails and then head straight to the water.

This sweet Lake Michigan beach is a bit of a secret, tucked away in a pretty 30-acre preserve near Harbor Springs. It’s just 300 feet of frontage, but on most days you’re likely to have it all to yourself. Bonus: There’s also 1.5 miles of easy hiking trails and boardwalks through dunes and cedar swamps, and an interpretive nature center the kids will adore. On Lower Shore Drive, off M-119 four miles north of Harbor Springs. 231.526.6401,