The Best Backpacking in Traverse City

Looking for the best backpacking in Traverse City? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Traverse City. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top backpacking spots in and near Traverse City

  • Leland, Michigan

    Camp on South Manitou Island

    5.0
    South Manitou Island is situated off of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Lake Michigan. The island is only accessible by a two-hour ferry ride, which leaves once a day from Leeland.Upon arriving at the island boat dock, you'll soon realize this isn't an ordinary experience. South Man...
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  • Honor, Michigan

    Camp at White Pine Campground

    4 mi / 200 ft gain
    This is one of the cheapest ways to stay near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore overnight. You'll have access to the beach right near your campsite. It's remote enough to be quiet, and it's not a very long hike.There are only 6 campsites available, and they come on a first come, first serve ...
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  • Mesick, Michigan

    Backpack the Manistee River Trail

    4.0
    17.6 mi
    Starting at the Red Bridge River Access Area just off North Coates Hwy (about 8 miles east of Brethren, Michigan) there is a small parking lot opposite of the trailhead where you can leave your car. The trail is part of the North Country Trail (NCT) so it is well marked with signs leading the way...
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  • Mesick, Michigan

    Hike the North Country Trail: Manistee River Section

    5.0
    19.8 mi / 2739 ft gain
    This trail is perfect for backpacking, hiking, trail running, snow shoeing, or cross country skiing! The North Country Trail in the Manistee River section is 19.8 miles long, out and back. Depending on the distances you plan to cover, the trail ranges from beginner - advanced use. Given the eleva...
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  • Mesick, Michigan

    Backpack the Manistee River Trail Loop

    23 mi
    Day 1: Arrive at Seaton Creek Campground and pay for parking for the number of nights you plan on hiking the loop. For this particular trip, I hiked the loop in 2.5 days and 2 nights. Hike 1.4 miles from Seaton Creak Campground to a suspension footbridge on the banks of the Manistee River. At thi...
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  • Leland, Michigan

    North Manitou Island Loop

    13.55 mi / 1010 ft gain
    North Manitou Island Loop is a loop trail that takes you by a lake located near Maple City, Michigan.
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  • Harrietta, Michigan

    North Country Trail: Manistee River Section

    19.55 mi / 2621 ft gain
    North Country Trail: Manistee River Section is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a river located near Harrietta, Michigan.
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  • Elmira, Michigan

    Jordan River Pathway

    18.48 mi / 2008 ft gain
    Jordan River Pathway is a loop trail that takes you by a river located near East Jordan, Michigan.
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