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Benzie County Michigan Trail Guide

A guide to all of the trails for hiking, biking,
cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing
in Benzie County, one of northwestern
Michigan’s favorite counties

Jim Stamm • 231-882-5673

Send Email • Beulah, MI, 49617



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The Book

With the FIFTH edition, the Benzie County Michigan Trail Guide provides the details for 25 trails in Benzie County for hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. The Michigan Shore-to-Shore Trail is also used by horse riders. The Betsie Valley Trail is a former railroad with a long paved section that can also be used by road bikes and roller blades.

Included in the guide is a road map of Benzie County showing trailhead locations and the major roads around them. If you'd like a more detailed map, check out Northwest Michigan (folding map) from Universal Maps,

Many details are provided for each trail, including: links to each trail's Web site and trail map; trail lengths, hiking times, and difficulty; GPS coordinates, detailed directions, and links to Google Maps for each trailhead; as well as helpful tips and comments.

So,... besides some good hiking shoes, this is about all one should need to "take a hike!" Keep this guide in your car or at your cottage for easy reference!


This book is available at these fine establishments throughout the Benzie County area, as well as Glen Arbor and Northport (Leelanau County) and Traverse City (Grand Traverse County)...

• Backcast Fly Shop
• Benzie Area Historical Museum
• Timberline Campground (a)
• Vacation Trailer Park

• Benzie County Conservation DIstrict
• Crystal Lake Adventure Sports

• Conundrum Café

• Betsie River Campsite
• Frankfort Chamber
• Frankfort Tackle Box
• Point Betsie Lighthouse Gift Shop
• The Book Store
Glen Arbor
• The Cottage Book Shop

• Riverside Canoe Trips
• Tag Limit Outdoors

Lake Ann
• Lake Ann Grocery

• Dog Ears Books

Traverse City
• Brilliant Books
• Horizon Books

Ask for it at your favorite bookstore — they can order it. Although you are very much encouraged to shop locally, should it be needed, this Benzie County Michigan Trail Guide book is also available online at Amazon.

This book is also available at the following libraries:

  • Benzie County
    • Benzonia – Benzonia Public Library (d. e)
    • Beulah – Darcy Library (b, d)
    • Frankfort – Benzie Shores District Library (d, e)
    • Thompsonville – Betsie Valley District Library (e)

  • Grand Traverse County
    • Fife Lake – Fife Lake Public Library
    • Kingsley – Kingsley Public Library (e)
    • Interlochen – Interlochen Public Library (e)
    • Traverse City
      • East Bay Branch Library (e)
      • Traverse Area District Library (e)

  • Leelanau County
    • Empire – Glen Lake Community Library (e)
    • Leland – Leland Township Library (e)
    • Suttons Bay – Suttons Bay Bingham District Library (e)


If you're in the Benzie County area, please contact me for wholesale arrangements. If you're outside of Benzie County, the book is available via book distributors such as Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and NACSCORP. The details for the book are: "Benzie County Michigan Trail Guide" by Jim Stamm – ISBN-13: 978-1477501696, ISBN-10: 147750169X.

The Trails

The trails covered in the Benzie County Michigan Trail Guide are a great way to explore year-round one of northwestern lower Michigan's favorite counties. The trails travel along streams, rivers, inland lakes, as well as Lake Michigan overlooks, beaches, and bluffs. They travel through hills, woods, valleys, dunes, wetlands, and meadows. Some trails follow former railroads or logging roads, or go through former farms and orchards. Four of the trails are in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. All encompass a myriad of plant and animal life and have something unique to offer.

To view all Benzie County trailhead locations at once, electronically…

  • Obtain the free Google Earth program – it's available for computers and mobile devices, and as a Web browser plug-in.

  • Download this KMZ file to your device, then open it to see all trailhead locations in Google Earth.

    There's a place marker for each trailhead. Zoom in and out to see the exact location of each trailhead. Open a place marker (by tapping or clicking on it) for a link to the trail details and a trail map.

See more of the county here: Roaming Benzie County – a 3:30 minute slideshow (with music) of photos taken while roaming the Benzie County trails.

More Trails and Details

See the Northwestern Michigan Trail Guide page for more details about Benzie County trails as well as MANY MORE throughout northwestern lower Michigan — all within about an hour of Traverse City. All the trails mentioned can be used for hiking, most allow cross-county skiing and/or snowshoeing, some can be used for mountain or road biking, and a few even for horseback riding.

More Benzie – Rivers, Lakes, and Creeks

You might also appreciate A Guide to Benzie County Michigan Rivers, Lakes, and Creeks which is a handy reference guide for fishing by boat, paddling (canoeing, kayaking, rowing, etc.), and other recreational boating 33 of the county's 58 inland lakes, 2 of its 4 rivers, and 5 of its many creeks – ALL the navigable and publicly accessible inland water in the county.

More Rivers and Lakes — Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties

A complement to the Benzie "water guide" mentioned above is the A Guide to the Rivers and Lakes of Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties, Michigan book, which covers all 65 of the publicly and easily accessible inland lakes, the in-county pieces of the five rivers in those two counties, and ALL of the access points to those lakes and rivers.

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