After completing two walks in Japan, I’ve been on the lookout for options a bit closer to home. A multi-day hike with tent, sleeping bag, food, stove, etc. just seems like more than I want to do. But there aren’t a lot of “inn-to-inn” hiking routes that I’ve discovered in the US.
I’ve considered putting together my own route using existing paths and seeking out AirBnBs nearby for lodging. Feasible, but it’d require quite a bit of research effort.
So in the meantime I’ve decided to try hiking Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail. The trail is still in development, and ultimately will stretch from Belle Isle Park in Detroit to Ironwood in the western Upper Peninsula. (Iron Belle, get it?)
Rather than trying to tackle it in a multi-day fashion, I’ll be doing day hikes. So I don’t have to backtrack, I’ll use some combination of Uber or pestering my husband to pick me up when I’m tired of walking and want to call it a day. Being a new and incomplete trail, I haven’t found too much written by others who have walked it. Especially in the southeast Michigan part, I’m sure it’ll be pretty urban/suburban/industrial.
The trail has two routes: one below in blue for walkers, and a second in red for bikers. Part of the route overlaps with the North Country Trail. You’ve probably never heard of the North Country Trail, either, but at 4,600 miles, it’s the longest of the National Trails. Longer than the Adirondack, or the Pacific Coast.