In-town trails make it easy to get active in Northern Michigan.

Health and fitness experts say that a minimum of 30 minutes of walking a day does everything from lower blood pressure to burn fat. And it just plain makes you feel better. In-town trails are a convenient way to make that happen—over lunch, after work, as an extended walk-the-dog at the end of the day. Think of these trails as convenient as having your own treadmill, but more fun. After all, how many times have you heard a bird call from the depths of your workout room? Or, in the case of Aspen Park Trails in Gaylord, the bugle of an elk? (Find Aspen Park Trails at the end of Commerce Boulevard between Kmart and the post office in downtown Gaylord.)

5 Neighborhood Trails

All begin in the heart of town.

The Riverwalk, Manistee

Fishing boats and the occasional freighter keep pace with you on this 1.75-mile course. Start in the historic downtown district and walk west all the way to the public beach at Lake Michigan. Along the way, 25 markers highlight the history of the region and the importance of the Manistee River.

Bear River Trail, Petoskey

Access this 1.5-mile trail following the river at Lake Street in front of city hall. The path runs between Lake and Sheridan streets. Pedestrian observation decks and restrooms are available in a few spots.

TART Trail, Traverse City

Explore 10.5 miles of paved trail, part of which run through downtown Traverse City neighborhoods, and along Grand Traverse Bay. The trail connects you to restaurants, shops and several recreation areas and parks, including Clinch Park.

Leelanau Trail, Suttons Bay

Extending 17 miles from downtown Suttons Bay to Traverse City over an old railroad corridor, this paved trail passes vineyards, farms, lakes and forest. There are three trailheads for parking along the trail at Cherry Bend Road, Fouch Road and 4th Street in Suttons Bay.

Keith McKellop Walkway, Cadillac

Walk, jog or roller skate on this 5.5-mile lakefront walkway that follows along the east shoreline of Lake Cadillac. It connects to the Cadillac City Park, city boat launch, Blackburn Skate Park, Clam River Greenway, Sound Garden and Veteran’s Memorial. There are public restrooms at the southeastern end and by the boat launch, with several parking areas along the route.

Advice from the experts. Click the cover to read.

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Health & Fitness Tips

Photo(s) by Mae Stier