Elevation Gain
75.00 ft (22.86 m)
Trail type
2.75 mi (4.43 km)
Warming hut
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Proud Lake Recreation Area boasts a bevy of easy to moderate trails in the Huron River Valley and watershed. One such trail is a loop path that takes the hiker through marshlands, around ponds, and along the Huron River. It is a central and easily accesible trail with wide paths for many to enjoy in all four seasons. The Huron River was historically significant to the Native Americans in Michigan and used by Chief Pontiac to unite local tribes against British and Colonial encroachment.

Starting from the trailhead near the posted park information sign at the east end of the parking lot, follow the trail past the nature center and continue into the tall pines to a four-way trail intersection. Turn right to head toward the Marsh Trail; the park has trail markers at each intersection, but take care as they are in numerical order, and this trail deviates from the numbers to form a loop. This loop was intended to be family friendly with toddlers in mind.

Once at the Marsh Trail, turn right again to follow the trail around the pond traversing over boardwalks and skirting the water's edge. About halfway along the south end of the pond, there is an observation platform with benches and a view of the pond. At the southeast corner of the pond, find another intersection. Continue along the pond turning north to follow this loop. The alternate path leads toward the campground at Proud Lake Recreation Area and is also an accessible horseback riding trail.

Continuing along the loop, follow the trail and continue north and away from the pond toward the River Hawk Lodge. This campsite and lodge offers summer camp options for youths as well as a conference center for rent. The trail wraps around this area to the south and eventually intersects with the Huron River. At the river, there are additional trails over the bridge to the east, but this short loop continues along the river's edge heading back west. Not too far from the bridge, a group fire pit is found along the water's edge along the north border of the River Hawk Lodge.

Farther downriver, the trail begins to leave the water's edge and reenters another marsh region, where several boardwalks will be encountered again. The trail reaches another intersection near the parking lot, where the end of the hike lies to the south. This trailhead provides access to another path leading west toward the canoe livery and more park offerings.

This recreation area borders several populated towns in the Detroit metro area, so the park may be crowded. Take care to stay on the paths to preserve the region's natural offerings. If interested for a post-hike snack or beverage, the towns of Wixom and Milford offer several options. Milford is just around 7 minutes away and hosts River's Edge Brewing Company and the restaurant/taproom Palate, while the Drafting Table Brewery in Wixom is less than 10 minutes away. For more information, refer to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Open Year-round



Easily accessible. Family friendly.


Can be crowded. Road noise in some parts of the park.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Trailhead Elevation

954.00 ft (290.78 m)

Highest point

958.00 ft (292.00 m)


Family friendly
Vault toilet
Flushing toilets
Guided tours
Potable water
Near lake or river
Bird watching
Historically significant
Picnic tables
Rental facilities

Typically multi-day


Groomed trail


Snowmobiles allowed



Nearby Adventures


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