Motor City hikers who want to taste every flavor of Michigan wilderness don't have to travel far. Minutes from downtown, near Milford and I-96, the Huron River Valley harbors almost every type of ecosystem found in the state, from marshes to wildflower-filled meadows and upland forests. Bird watching and trout fishing opportunities abound, and within Proud Lake Recreation Area, 21 miles of trail tour it all.
drive time: Detroit: 40 minutes
guides: Hiking Michigan, by Mike Modrzynski ($13). Free trail map available from Recreation Area.
contact: Proud Lake Recreation Area, (248) 685-2433; www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/parklist.asp