Surround yourself with gorgeous Northern Michigan scenery while taking a peaceful hike just a short drive from Traverse City. From wildflower spring hikes to winter cross-country skiing, here’s how to enjoy Sand Lakes Quiet Area year-round.

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Welcome to Sand Lakes Quiet Area

March can be a wild card in Northern Michigan—snow and ice one day, rain and mud the next. Thankfully, spots like Sand Lakes Quiet Area exist, where you can seamlessly transition your weekend plans from wintry cross-country skiing to hiking six miles of trail surrounded by oak and pine. Nestled in the sprawling Pere Marquette State Forest, and just a short drive from Traverse City, you’ll feel truly at peace watching wildlife along the area’s five marl lakes.

Explore the area with these available trail activities:

  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Snowshoeing
  • Mountain Biking
  • Cross Country Skiing
Sand Lakes quiet area

Photo by Dave Weidner

Explore Sand Lakes Quiet Area

Featuring 2,800 acres of tract and tons of trail activities, here’s how to find your way around Sand Lakes Quiet Area with help from our friends at Michigan Trail Maps.

There are five glaciated-created Sand Lakes in total that contain a high percentage of calcium carbonate in the sediments at the bottom, the reason some of them feature an unusual greenish color. Several of the lakes are more than 40 feet deep and Sand Lake No. 1 is managed for rainbow trout while Sand Lake No. 2 has brook trout.

The tract’s maintained trails form a 6-mile loop, with eight trailheads providing access from four different roads and the Guernsey Lakes State Forest Campground. The trails are wide, well-marked with locator maps at the junctions, and generally easy to follow. The posts are numbered in a clockwise direction, with Post No. 1 located at the Broomhead Road Trailhead parking area. From this trailhead it’s only a 1.1-mile trek to the walk-in sites on Sand Lake No. 1. For an even shorter route to the campsites begin at post No. 6, a trailhead located on Sand Lake Road, and you’ll be pitching your tent in less than a half mile.

Learn more on the Michigan Trail Maps website.

Sand Lakes quiet area

Photo by Dave Weidner

Sand Lakes quiet area

Photo by Dave Weidner

Photo(s) by Dave Weidner