Trails

Seney National Wildlife Refuge has over 12 miles of trails located off the main campus, at the Show Pool Shelters and off of Robinson Road. The Whitefish Point Unit has an elevated boardwalk which takes visitors through cobblestone deposits and stunted jack pines out to the tip of the point. All trails are open year round to nature enthusiasts, photographers, hikers and runners. In the winter the trails off of Robinson Road, the Northern Hardwoods Trail System is groomed for Nordic skiing. Snowshoers are welcome but we ask they not step in the ski tracks. We ask you leave your four legged friends home when the ski trails are groomed, the holes their paws make in the snow reduce skiing enjoyment.

Trails

Tip-of-the-Point Trail

Open Season: Year-round. Daylight use only.
Location: Whitefish Point Unit. Trailhead near north edge of the parking lot.
Length: 0.25 miles (one way)
Surface: Hard. Surface Type: Wooden board walk.
Grade: Average 1%
Cross Slope: Average 1%
Trail Width: Minimum 48 inches, Average 60 inches
Information: This trail takes you nearly out to the end of the peninsula that reaches into Lake Superior. The boardwalk allows visitors an opportunity to see the fragile jack pine dune habitat without disturbing it. As you walk slightly above the sand and cobblestone, watch for a variety of dune plants near the ground and scan the trees for a perched birds. The jack pines which normally grow to 100-feet in height are stunted here, often growing to only about 20-feet tall. The point acts as a natural funnel for migrating waterbirds, passerines, and raptors making this a great trail for birders during migration. Start your hike at the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory. They have several bird feeders and benches located at the back of the building. Migratory and resident birds feast at these feeders and frequent sightings include blue jays, evening and pine grosbeaks, sparrows, nuthatches, and others. The end of the boardwalk offers a view of the lake and the shorebird shack. If you have binoculars or a spotting scope you may be able to locate the endangered piping plover nesting on the beach or see a wide variety of waterfowl using the water just off the point. In the spring be prepared for lots of mosquitoes!

 

Cub Hollow Trail

Cub HollowOpen Season: Year-round (groomed ski trail during winter). Daylight use only.Location: Access from the Robinson Road parking lot and gate.Length: 0.5 milesSurface: Firm. Surface Type: Dirt and mowed vegetation.Grade: Average 8%Cross Slope: Average 3%Trail Width: Minimum 60 inches, Average 60 inchesInformation: Cub Hollow is a branch off the Bear Hollow trail. It travels up and down through hardwood forest adding a bit more challenge to your hike or ski. Keep an eye out for spring wildflowers and cavity nesting birds.  Black flies and mosquitoes can be prolific from late spring through late summer. In the fall watch for colorful slime molds on downed trees along this trail; they are frequently sighted along the trail and can be white, black, golden or bubble gum pink in color. When they are on the move, they almost resemble the veins in your body. When they are getting ready to reproduce, they form little fruiting bodies which can resemble a bunch of grapes, little paper lanterns or even honeycombs.
Trail Length (mi)
0.48
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / intermediate
Moderate
Estimated Time
10 Minutes
Route Type
Point to point
Trail Activities
Wildlife watching
Snowshoeing
Birding
Dog walking
Painting and drawing
Photography
Running
Wild edible foraging
Cross-country skiing
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Bear Hollow Trail

Bear Hollow Image Details Puffballs growing on a log by Sara Giles/USFWS.Open Season: Year-round (groomed ski trail during winter). Daylight use only.Location: Access from the Robinson Road parking lot and gate.Length: 1.1 milesSurface: Firm-Hard. Surface Type: Dirt, mowed vegetation, and packed gravel road.Grade: Average 8%Cross Slope: Average 3%Trail Width: Minimum 60 inches, Average 96 inchesInformation: This trail winds up and down through northern hardwoods to a hemlock forest dotted with vernal pools. After the foot path section, the trail follows Pine Creek road back to the trailhead. During the spring or after heavy rains be sure to wear waterproof hiking boots or galoshes. In the spring wildflowers like spring beauty, trout lilies and Dutchman’s breeches dot the forest floor. In summer watch for pileated woodpecker nesting holes in the trees, if you’re lucky you may see a young woodpecker peeking out of a hole. In autumn this is a great place to look for fall fungi. The forest is dotted by interesting mushrooms like waxcaps, puffballs, dead man’s fingers, golden spindles and more. In winter this trail and it’s off-chute, Cub Hollow, provide cross-country skiers with a bit of a challenge. 
Trail Length (mi)
0.85
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / intermediate
Moderate
Estimated Time
30 Minutes
Route Type
Loop
Trail Activities
Wildlife watching
Snowshoeing
Birding
Dog walking
Painting and drawing
Photography
Running
Wild edible foraging
Cross-country skiing
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Skunk Ridge Trail

Skunk RidgeOpen Season: Year-round (groomed ski trail during winter). Daylight use only.Location: Access from the Robinson Road parking lot and gate.Length: 1.2 milesSurface: Firm-Hard. Surface Type: Dirt, mowed vegetation, and packed gravel road.Grade: Average 3%Cross Slope: Average 3%Trail Width: Minimum 60 inches, Average 60 inchesLocation: Access from the Robinson Road parking lot and gate.Information: Take a walk or ski through the hardwoods. This trail runs up, down, and along a ridge, then travels through a flatter section before following Pine Creek road back to the trailhead. If there is a breeze the ridge might provide a bit of relief from biting insects during summer months. It is a great place to look for spring wildflowers and fall fungi.
Trail Length (mi)
0.80
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Estimated Time
45 Minutes
Route Type
Point to point
Trail Activities
Wildlife watching
Snowshoeing
Birding
Dog walking
Painting and drawing
Photography
Running
Wild edible foraging
Cross-country skiing
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Show Pools Connector Trail

Trail Renamed to the Show Pool Shelter ExtensionOpen Season: Year-round. Daylight use only.Location: Trailhead is at the Show Pool Shelter access site or along the Pine Ridge Nature Trail.Length: 0.4-milesSurface: Firm. Surface Type:  Dirt, mowed vegetation, boardwalk, wooden foot bridge some stone stepsGrade: Average 5%Cross Slope: Average 3%.Trail Width: Minimum 48 inches, Average 48 inchesInformation: This extension, off the Pine Ridge Nature Trail, takes you to the Show Pools and Show Pool Shelter Access Point north of the visitor center.  The trail travels through mixed forest, through a dip that requires using several old stone steps, over a section of the ditch system and between two pools. NOTE: The section that runs between the North and South Show Pools is currently CLOSED due to a breach in the dike; take the South Show Pool trail  - which adds about a mile to the distance between the Pine Ridge Nature Trail and the Show Pool Shelter. The Show Pool Shelter was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the late 1930s. Over the years it has had several types of coverings: an original covering that looked similar to birch bark, asphalt shingles and finally cedar shingles.
Trail Length (mi)
0.42
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Estimated Time
10 Minutes
Route Type
System
Trail Activities
Fishing
Wildlife watching
Snowshoeing
Birding
Dog walking
Painting and drawing
Photography
Picnicking
Running
Wild edible foraging
Cross-country skiing
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

South Show Pool Trail

South Show Pool TrailOpen Season: Year-round (Show Pool Shelter gate is closed in the winter). Daylight use only.Location: Depart from the Show Pool Shelters.Length: 1 mileSurface: Firm. Surface Type:  Mowed vegetation.Grade: Average 4%Cross Slope: Average 2%Trail Width: Minimum 64 inches, Average 64 inchesInformation: Take a walk around the South Show Pool. This trail offers views of part of the refuge’s pool system and historic water control structures put in by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and 1940s.
Trail Length (mi)
0.99
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Estimated Time
20 Minutes
Route Type
Loop
Trail Activities
Fishing
Wildlife watching
Snowshoeing
Birding
Dog walking
Painting and drawing
Photography
Picnicking
Running
Wild edible foraging
Cross-country skiing
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Manistique River Run Trail

Manistique River RunOpen Season: Year-round (groomed ski trail during winter). Daylight use only.Location: Access from the Robinson Road parking lot and gate.Length: 2.3 milesSurface: Firm. Surface Type: Dirt road and mowed vegetation.Grade: Average 7%Cross Slope: Average 3%Trail Width: Minimum 96 inches, Average 96 inchesInformation: This beautiful trail partially follows Gray’s Creek and extends to the Manistique River before looping around and heading back to the Pine Creek Road. The trail travels on both foot path, and a 2-track dirt road.  The section beyond the 2-track road is a loop that travels through mixed forest, along the edge of open land, and alongside rivers. During the spring enjoy a host of wildflowers that dot the forest floor. Summer brings a forest of ferns, beaver activity and small perching birds. Enjoy the fall colors while looking for interesting fungi. In winter otter trails cross the snow in a dot, dot, dash pattern where the playful otters run and slide. The trail is mostly flat with a few hills to add a little spice for skiers.
Trail Length (mi)
2.32
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / intermediate
Moderate
Estimated Time
1 Hour
Route Type
Loop
Trail Activities
Wildlife watching
Snowshoeing
Biking
Dog walking
Painting and drawing
Photography
Running
Wild edible foraging
Cross-country skiing
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Smith Farm Trail

Smith FarmOpen Season: Year-round(groomed ski trail during winter). Daylight use only.Location: Access from the Robinson Road parking lot and gate.Length: 0.7 miles (one way)Surface: Firm. Surface Type: Dirt road and mowed vegetation.Grade: Average 8%Cross Slope: Average 3%Trail Width: Minimum 96 inches, Average 96 inchesInformation: This trail runs one way along an old service road that skirts the historic Smith Farm. For many years, this retired field grew crops to feed wildlife, a practice that was discontinued on the refuge in 1984. The refuge has plenty of natural food sources for wildlife. Today the retired field is slowing changing back into northern hardwood forest.
Trail Length (mi)
0.70
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Estimated Time
30 Minutes
Route Type
Point to point
Trail Activities
Wildlife watching
Snowshoeing
Birding
Dog walking
Painting and drawing
Photography
Running
Wild edible foraging
Cross-country skiing
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Pine Ridge Nature Trail

Pine Ridge Nature TrailThe Pine Ridge Nature Trail will have temporary closers starting in 2022 due to the new visitor center and office construction as well as the work on the surrounding campus. Currently the there is a detour on the trail which routes people away from the visitor center demolition site. We will post updates as we begin new phases of our project.Open Season: Year-round. Daylight use only.Location: Trailhead is located at the visitor center.Length: 1.4-milesSurface: Hard – Firm. Surface Type:  Crushed rock, wooden boardwalk , mowed vegetation, dirt.Grade: Average 5%Cross Slope: Average 4.7%Trail Width: Minimum 72 inches, Average 84 inchesInformation: Take this winding path around Upper F Pool. The first quarter mile of the trail is packed crushed gravel leading to a wheel-chair accessible observation deck. Watch for signs of beaver activity as you walk. They are quite active and enjoy building dams near our bridges. The trail offers beautiful views of Upper F and I Pools where you can see trumpeter swans, geese, ducks and loons. After the observation deck the trail surface shifts to native vegetation and dirt.  It passes through mixed hardwood pine forest, includes sections of  boardwalk through wetland, travels through a red pine forest and along the edge of I pool. The trail ends near the fire tower. In the spring be sure to wear long sleeves, a head net and bug spray – this trail is notorious for thirsty mosquitoes.
Trail Length (mi)
1.46
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Estimated Time
45 Minutes
Route Type
Loop
Trail Activities
Wildlife watching
Snowshoeing
Birding
Dog walking
Painting and drawing
Photography
Picnicking
Running
Wild edible foraging
Cross-country skiing
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
Wheelchair friendly
View Trail

Tip of the Point Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.26
View Trail