Michigan hosts the most North Country Trail miles of all eight states. The NCNST crosses nearly the entire Upper Peninsula from east to west, allowing for almost 550 miles of trail use. The Trail then traverses the mighty Mackinac Bridge at the Straits of Mackinac and continues for another 600 miles to the Ohio state line.
Across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (the UP) the Trail primarily provides a wilderness experience. The UP’s prime scenery includes large lakes, old growth forests, rugged hills, numerous waterfalls and the colossal Lake Superior shoreline – all set amid some of the most remote, uninhabited country found on the North Country Trail. The five-mile segment that is the Mackinac Bridge can be crossed on foot during the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk each Labor Day. In Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, the Trail winds through the expansive Manistee National Forest, and a wide variety of state and county parks, state forests, state game areas, small towns and urban areas.
Explore the Trail by Region
Western Upper Peninsula: Wisconsin/Michigan state line to eastern boundary of Craig Lake State Park
Central Upper Peninsula: Eastern boundary of Craig Lake State Park to Luce/Alger county line
Eastern Upper Peninsula: Luce/Alger county line to Mackinac Bridge
Northwest Lower Michigan: Mackinac Bridge to northern boundary of Manistee National Forest
Manistee National Forest: Northern end to southern end of the entire Manistee National Forest
West Michigan: Southern boundary of Manistee National Forest to Kalamazoo/Barry county line
Southern Michigan: Kalamazoo/Barry county line to Ohio/Michigan state line
Important Notes and Additional Information
A Recreation Passport is required for entrance into Michigan State Parks and Recreation Areas, as well as state boat launches, state forest campgrounds and state trail parking lots. This does not include federal, local, county, municipal or metropolitan parks or recreation areas. Learn more from Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources. A resident Recreation Passport cannot be purchased online.
Michigan state park reservations can be made through midnrreservations.com.
Header photo by Tom Walker