The Headlands International Dark Sky Park

This trail is good for Hiking XC Skiing

  • Length: 6.19 mi
  • Surface: Natural
  • Organization: Emmet County
  • Trail Website:

The Headlands contains approximately 550 acres of pristine woodlands, more than two miles of undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline and many species of rare and endangered plant life. Visitors to the Headlands may experience sightings of the many wild animals native to the area including: bald eagles, osprey, white tail deer, wild turkeys, coyotes and occasionally a black bear. Marked nature trails guide hikers, bicyclists, cross-country skiers, and nature photographers to experience the park throughout the changing seasons.

The Headlands is one of only six International Dark Sky Parks in the country. The Headlands possesses exceptional natural darkness, starry skies, and natural nocturnal habitat. Dark Sky programs are available. says "The two-track trails are short and make the Headlands an easy hike, off-road bike ride or Nordic ski outing that is ideal for families. A number of loops are possible but the entire perimeter of the trail system is only 3.5 miles." Click here for a map of The Headlands. 


Note: Not all sections of each trail are approved for every activity listed for the trail as a whole. Please click on individual trail sections to see approved activities for that section.

Map Legend

  • Trail Head
  • Historical Site
  • Beach
  • Natural Feature
  • Campground
  • Park
  • Cultural Interest
  • Scenic View
  • Educational Interest
  • Visitor Center
  • Emergency Care
  • Water Access
  • Fishing
  • Wildlife or Nature Viewing
  • Trail Friendly Business

Trail Photos


UV Index

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