North Country Trail Association

Trail Town: Litchfield

The City of Litchfield is located in the northwest corner of Hillsdale County, between the cities of Albion and Hillsdale along State Highway M-99. The beautiful Saint Joseph River flows through the community, offering fishing, canoeing and picturesque views. Litchfield is delighted to be recognized as a Trail Town and serve as your base for enjoying the North Country National Scenic Trail in Hillsdale County.

Litchfield is located at the crossroads of two state highways, M-99 and M-49. It is centered between M-60, US-12 and I-69, and is located in Hillsdale County, the only Michigan county bordering both Ohio and Indiana. The North Country Trail passes through town from the intersection of Mosherville Road and M-49 to the north, and from Herring Road just west of Cronk Road to the south. About 10 minutes south is the town of Hillsdale, which offers more options for dining and supplies for hikers and recreation lovers.

The City of Litchfield is known for its unique history in this rich and productive farming area of Michigan. The area’s first inhabitants were the Pottawattamie Indians. The Pottawattamie Indians who roamed the countryside when the settlers first arrived were the Leathernose family of the Baw Beese tribe. Settlers eventually moved to this area from eastern portions of the United States. The City first went by the name of Columbus but was changed to Litchfield in 1837. The first school in Litchfield Township was also established in 1837. The Village of Litchfield was incorporated in 1877 and became self-supporting through the system of licenses and taxes. Litchfield incorporated as a city in 1970 with Governor William G. Milliken approving the Proposed Charter in July, and the first City Council Meeting held in August.

Along with the North Country Trail, residents and non-residents alike will find ample recreation possibilities in and around the City of Litchfield. Visit the City’s website for a complete list of local businesses and an events calendar.

The City of Litchfield has many extraordinary features one might find in a small southern Michigan city. It has established a market of nearly 50 businesses, many of which are located in the downtown area and in an Industrial Park to the south of the city. With the recent organization of a Downtown Development Authority (DDA), new developments and beautification projects are in the process. For summer recreation there is a city-owned swimming pool, with pavilions for reunions or parties. Reservations are required for the use of these pavilions, and they can be reserved by contacting the City Office. Located just south of downtown Litchfield on M-49 is Firemen’s Park, which is located on the Saint Joseph River. Firemen’s Park features a pavilion and a gazebo for family reunions or parties, plus a playground, shuffleboard courts, volleyball and basketball courts. A small fishing pond with a handicapped accessible dock is located near the City Nature trail and the North Country Trail. Paddle and fish on the Saint Joseph River, or golf at Litchfield Greens.

In late summer is the annual Sweet Corn Days Festival, which is the third weekend in August. Free sweet corn is provided both Friday and Saturday, along with activities, such as tractor pulls, a parade, car show, mud bogs, fireworks, pancake breakfast, treasure hunt, volleyball tournament, games and many food vendors. In the past there have been mud drags and a rodeo as the main events of this festival. The Festival is held in the downtown Litchfield area.

The Chief Baw Beese Chapter is responsible for the North Country Trail section through Litchfield.


Additional Resources

Header photo by Kenny Wawsczyk