Great Marsh Trail

A short hike great for birdwatching in "the largest wetland complex in the Lake Michigan watershed."

Hiking Easy

Distance
2.3 km
Ascent
4 m
Descent
4 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
183 m
High Point
186 m
Gradient
Great Marsh Trail Map

The Great Marsh Trail is an easy hike featured for its diversity of wildlife across "the largest interdunal wetland in the Lake Michigan watershed." The park notes how "flocks of coots, mallards, and wood ducks now glide over the wetland's surface," while "kingfishers, tree swallows, and rusty blackbirds rest during migration." This is one of the best trails for birdwatching, plus the northern trailhead is wheelchair accessible to an observation deck with stunning views of the marsh.

Description

This hike is entirely flat and along a well-maintained path, but it can be very wet and muddy after recent rain. Neither restrooms or potable water are available at the trailhead or anywhere along the path.

The southern trailhead (seen here) is located off of Broadway Avenue in Beverly Shores. The gravel parking lot is open from 6:00am to 11:00pm and no entry fee is required. Slightly north on the road, the northern trailhead is paved and allows wheelchair access to the main observation deck. Leashed and well-behaved pets are also allowed to join in on this hike.

Source

Difficulty

Easy

Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area