Houghton Hiking Trails
Hiking trails around Houghton

Houghton MI Hiking Trails

Chassell Trails

Directions: 1st Trailhead at old school, 1 block off ofUS-41 on 2nd Street in Chassell. 2nd trailhead – At Blinking yellow light in Chassell on US-41, head west on Chassell-Painesdale Road for 0.9 miles and turn right on Archambeau Road. Travel for 0.2 miles and parking area is on left or park on road.  Both trailheads have signs for the trails.  There are two loops to the trail.  Completing all the loops will be approximately 5 miles.  Check the trail markers as the Father’s Day Flood changed some of the loops and may be shorter.  Trails are for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

Houghton to Chassell Railroad Bed Trail

This trail follows the old railroad bed from Chassell to Houghton and can be accessed at the Chassell Township Park or the Nara Nature Park where the Pilgrim River crosses under US-41.  Small sections of this bed were washed out by the Father’s Day Flood but small easy detours can be simply made.  This old railroad bed is open to hiking and biking. Trail is approximately 8 miles long and is considered an easy trail, flat, but does trail Portage Lake most of the way.  The trail continues out of Chassell for a short distance.  

Houghton- Portage Township Schools Forest

Off Gundlach Road in Houghton across from city garage and fire station. A 27 acre school forest has a barrier free 0.5 mile nature trail with three interpretive themes.

Hungarian Falls Nature Area

Hungarian Falls, Middle Section

Great hike with three waterfalls.  The lower trail is considered moderate to difficult.  Two trailheads: upper trailhead has the moderate trails, the lower trailhead climbs up to the falls and is difficult for many people. Directions: Along M-26 west of Lake Linden in Tamarack City, turn north onto 6th Street. Take the left fork(Golf Course Road) and drive up the hill 0.5 miles to an access road on your left marked by a closed gate. Park along the shoulder and hike in along this access for 0.2 miles. Turn right at the fork to access the KLT's Hungarian Falls Nature Area, or turn left to visit the lower falls. All 4 waterfalls can be visited in 45 minutes to an hour and are worth the trip! Trails can often be eroded or steep, be sure to watch your footing as you traverse the gorge. In winter, this stretch of Golf Course Road is not plowed. Park at the bottom of the hill and hike up to a railroad grade to the left.  Just before the gorge the trailhead begins.  This is a difficult climb of 0.5miles as it is all uphill , narrow, and when wet, very slippery.  Halfway up the lower trail, a trail branches off to the left and takes you down to the bottom of the gorge, and winds itself up to the bottom of the lower falls. From this path, another waterfalls can be viewed on the left which cannot be seen from above.

Lake Linden-Hubbell School Forest

Off Bootjack Road in Lake Linde you will find a 400 acre school forest that has 4 trails open to non-motorized traffic on a year round basis.

Maasto Hiihto & Churning Rapids Trails

This is 20 miles of looped trails with trail maps posted by intersections and trailheads.  The trails are considered moderately difficult.  The terrain is variable with steep, narrow ravines, and gently rolling meadows.  Used for hiking, biking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Trailheads are located at three locations: 1.0 Christensen Road Trailhead– Follow M-203 about 4 miles north of Hancock or 4 miles south of McLain State Park, and park along Christensen Road; 2.) Maki Trailhead – Look for the 90-degree bend near the end of High Point Road off M-203 about three miles north of Hancock; 3.) Maasto Hiihto Trailheads – In Hancock with signed trailheads near the (a) Houghton County Arena on Birch Street, and (b) the Hancock City Garage on Tomasi Drive.  

Marsin Preserve

A Gentle 0.75 trail comprises two major loops: the Field Loop and the Cedar Swamp Loop. Directions: Turn onto the Houghton Canal Road off M-26, just south of downtown Houghton and travel 7 miles to Red Brick Road, about one mile past Oskar.  Turn right and go about 0.5 miles to the parking area on the right.

McLain State Park

North Entry Lighthouse at McLain State Park

McLain State Park offers two miles of sand beach on Lake Superior. Across the street from the main entrance also is a 1.5 mile nature walk around Bear Lake.  The trail is easy as terrain is flat with a few rolling hills.  Trails are also scattered throughout the interior of the park. Walk the coast of Lake Superior and take a walk out on the breakers to the North Entry Lighthouse.

Nara Nature Complex

Located at the east end of Houghton's paved recreation trail, it includes the Peepsock Trail (3/4 mile trail along Portage Lake that begins near Pilgrim Terrace Industries) & the Nara Nature Trail, a 6 ft wide, 2300 ft long elevated boardwalk with 5 fishing sites that begin across from the Pilgrim River Steak House and runs along the Pilgrim to its mouth.  This section of the trail was washed away during the Father’s Day Flood and is now in the state of being repaired.

Robert Thorson Brown Nature Sanctuary

An Easy Trail of 0.5 miles roundtrip.  Wet in Spring and after heavy rain.  Boardwalk extends through cedar swamp and has two lookouts overlooking the fen. Directions: From Houghton, follow M-26 through South Range to Painesdale.  A few miles past Painesdale, look for the small green sign for Lake Perrault and turn right (north) onto Lake Perrault Road.  About 0.10 mile fromM-26, you will see the sanctuary sign on the right.  Turn right onto the two-track and park by the trailhead sign on the right.  

Paavola Wetlands Preserve

Paavola Wetlands Map

The 2.5 mile looped trail is considered gentle with some rock crossings in wet areas.  Directions: From Hancock, travel north on US-41 toward Calumet.  From the yellow blinking light on the top of Quincy Hill, travel approximately 1.5 miles and turn right onto Paavola Road before the junction of Boston Road. Make an immediate left onto Mesnard Location Road, follow to the end and continue unto No. 9 Road. Continue on NO.9 Road and follow 0.9 miles to the small trailhead parking area on the left side of the road.   Trail maps are posted at intersections.

Steve Farm Nature Area

Map of Steve Farm Nature Area

From Houghton/Hancock: 1. Head north on M-26, following signs for Lake Linden 2. Follow M-26 for about 3 miles 3. Turn Right onto Main Street in Dollar Bay (by Quincy’s Restaurant) 4. Turn Left onto Hellman Avenue, following signs for Point Mills 5. The road soon turns into Upper Point Mills Road. Follow this to the Left up the hill for another 1.6 miles 6. Turn Right to stay on Upper Point Mills Road for about 0.4 miles 7. At the fork, keep Right. Look for a hanging road sign after 0.3 miles. Please park on the shoulder and hike into the trailhead, located just beyond the sign. The road is plowed in winter but may be narrower use caution when crossing. Total hiking distance on all of the trails is roughly 1.5 miles.

Sturgeon Sloughs Wildlife Area/Bert de Vriendt Nature Trail

The Sturgeon River sloughs wild life area has a 1 3/4 mile nature trail through the managed waterfowl/wildlife area on the Sturgeon River. Self-guided nature tours with docks, observation platform and picnic pavilion. Just south of Chassell on US-41.  Part of the wooden walk through the sloughs has been affected by the weather.  The Bert de Vriendt Nature Trail remains in good shape.