It is arguably one of the most beautiful times of the year to take a walk or a ride through nature trails in the Sanctuary of the Great Lakes. A Day in the Woods. The air is as crisp as the leaves, and the foliage around you leaves a distinct earthy smell to your senses. It’s the time right before mother nature goes into her long winter sleep, get out and enjoy it!

Pick from one of these day itineraries below, or make an adventure-filled weekend with all four.

Rockport State Recreation Area

North on US 23 to Rockport Rd., Alpena. Rockport StateRecreation Area has something for every outdoor explorer. Michigan’s 100th State Park, Rockport includes a deep water boat launch,  a series of unique sinkholes, a 300-acre abandoned limestone quarry, and a dedicated Natural Area with a historic ghost village, a bat hibernaculum, and rugged hiking and biking trails. At night, this park is a premier destination for dark sky viewing. Hunt for 400+ million-year-old fossils in the old quarry and take up to 25 pounds per person (per year) home with you! Amenities include picnic tables, a rustic bathroom, and outdoor grills.

Ocqueoc Falls

M-68, Rogers City. A beautiful sight this time of year! This hidden gem contains the largest falls in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, with four small rapids and a pool for splashing. OcqueocFalls is also the first universally accessible waterfall in the nation, making it an ideal destination for everyone! Hike through the six-mile Bicentennial Pathway, enjoy the picnic area, or stay overnight at the rustic Ocqueoc Falls State Forest Campground.

Norway Ridge Pathway
Walking at Norway Ridge

Walking at Norway Ridge

4.5 miles SW on Werth Rd. from Alpena. Seven marked miles of groomed hike, bike, and ski pathways make this recreation spot ideal for all four seasons. The warm months are perfect for hiking and biking, while the cold months are perfect for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Chippewa Hills Pathway

Kissau Rd., Ossineke. Chippewa Hills Pathway is a 6.6 mile groomed trail that offers mountain biking, hiking, and winter cross-country ski and snowshoe pathways for every skill level, novice to advanced. Several single-track pathways offer intermediate to advanced mountain bike adventures.

Now head out there and stretch your legs, breathe in that fresh crisp air, and unwind. It’s waiting for you.