Venture through miles of pristine trails in Jackson County
Load up your gear, family, friends, and the dogs and come to Jackson to find the right trail for hiking, cycling, walking, or running in Jackson County.
Take a brisk morning jog with only the forest critters to keep you company. Or, spend hours wandering the largest state park in the southern peninsula. Maybe you’d rather stick to a casual, weekend bike ride on some of the area’s many miles of paved paths. No matter your skill or fitness level, Jackson’s trails give you a hundred great excuses to get out and experience nature in its purest form.
10+ miles of smooth riding, walking, and running
The Great Lake-to-Lake Trail and the Iron Bell Trail run through Jackson and can take you across the state in any direction. Extending where the Michigan Central Railroad once stood, The Falling Waters Trail in Jackson is at the center-point in southern Michigan for the largest trail system in the state. The trail is a 10.6-mile paved, and nearly completely flat, linear park connecting the Village of Concord to the City of Jackson. This is a great trail for walking, running, rollerblading, and cycling. There are plenty of rest areas and wonderful views as you meander along Lime Lake. Click to download the Falling Waters Trail Map.
You can continue on from the Falling Waters Trail and head into downtown Jackson for 3.4 miles as the Martin Luther King Equality Trail. This trail will bring you into the city where there are wonderful places to eat, and delightful shops and activities to discover. Finally, the Grand River Arts Walk leads walkers, joggers and cyclists from downtown Jackson north through the eclectic Arts District.
Click to view the interactive City of Jackson parks and trails map.
Nature Trails Across the County
Waterloo Recreation Area, the largest state park in the lower peninsula, contains enough trails to last a lifetime. 47 miles of hiking trails, 12 miles of interpretive nature trails, and another 12 miles of equestrian trails are all nestled within 20,000 acres of protected forest.
The MacCready Reserve, south of town, includes 6.5 miles of dog-friendly trails among 400 acres of lush forest environment. With multiple trail loops, you’ll find beautiful scenery, challenging terrain, and a wonderful experience in nature.
The Dahlem provides five miles of diverse trails. Walk among forests, fields, marshes and ponds, including a ⅜-mile trail for those with limited mobility, called the “The Nature For All Trail”. Trails are open year-round and they’re ideal for birding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or simply exploring nature.
Protect Michigan Trails: Don’t Use When Muddy!
Riding or walking on a muddy trail destroys the surface. It leaves ruts/deep holes, uneven tire marks and footprints, contributes to erosion, and creates a hard-to-fix trail surface. Hint: If you are leaving visible bicycle ruts, deep footprints or hoof tracks, the trail is too muddy. For more information, visit the Michigan DNR trail website or check out the DNR eLicense page for purchasing licenses and permits.
Get the Free Trail Guide and More
Explore Jackson’s hiking, mountain biking, road biking and running trails like a pro with the help of Trail Guides. These free guide gives you trail maps, parking info, awesome attractions nearby, and so much more! Get your guide instantly below: