Michigan offers a diverse range of hiking with 1,150 miles – the most miles in all 7 states.
In Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, the Trail traverses over 500 miles through a variety of small towns, urban areas, state forests and game areas, and the Huron-Manistee National Forest, all while working its way to the Mighty Mackinac Bridge.
Explore by Section
OH/MI border to the Kalamazoo/Barry County line
Mileage: 99 miles (41 off-road/58 on-road)
Need to Know: Long stretches of road walks with limited camping opportunities. Most off-road trail are multi-use pathways. Dogs are not permitted within Fort Custer National Cemetery.
The Trail: A mix of forest and farm country that primarily follows multi-use pathways and temporary road walks. Hike over lush farmland and tramp the back roads of a part of Michigan where there are so many lakes they are referred to by number.
- Lost Nation State Game Area
- Baw Beese Lake
- Battle Creek
- Fort Custer National Cemetery
- Kellogg Bird Sanctuary
- Kellogg Biological Station
Kalamazoo/Barry County line to the Southern boundary of the Manistee National Forest
Mileage: 140 miles (66 off-road/74 on-road)
Need to Know: Long stretches of road walks and limited camping opportunities.
The Trail: Completed Trail is generally on public lands including two State Game Areas, connected by scenic roadwalks.
- Yankee Springs Recreation Area
- Barry State Game Area
- Middleville and the Paul Henry Thornapple Trail
- Middleville State Game Area
- Lowell and the North Country Trail Association Headquarters
- Lowell State Game Area
- Fallasburg Park
- Seidman Park
- Rockford and the White Pine Trail
- Cedar Springs
- Rogue River State Game Area
Huron-Manistee National Forest
Traversing the entire length of the Manistee National Forest
Mileage: 139 miles (123 off-road/16 on-road)
Need to Know: Dispersed primitive camping is allowed, without a permit, unless posted closed or “no camping.” No camping within 200′ of a body of water except at designated sites. Visit the Huron-Manistee National Forest USFS website.
The Trail: Enjoy sandy soils that support a pine-hardwood forest, cross the Pere Marquette and Mansitee Rivers, and enjoy the popular Manistee River Trail loop.
- Croton Dam
- White Cloud
- The historic Birch Grove Schoolhouse in White Cloud owned by the NCTA (available for rent for meetings, retreats, or for hikers).
- Ward and Udell Hills
- Hodenpyl Dam Pond
Trail Towns: White Cloud
Northwestern Lower Michigan
Northern boundary of the Manistee National Forest to the Mackinac Bridge
Mileage: 227 miles (171 off-road/56 on-road)
Need to Know: Majority of property is managed by State Forest. Dispersed camping is allowed on State Forest unless posted “no camping” or if you are within one mile of a designated campground. You must also post a camp registration card at your campsite, which you may get at this link or at a local Michigan DNR office. The Mackinac Bridge can only be walked on Labor Day each year. When planning a long hike that will require getting over the bridge otherwise, contact the Bridge Authority for a ride across.
The Trail: The Trail through Northwestern Lower Michigan offers diverse sections and features from flat open meadows, to ridge top views, rivers, and lakes, including 2 scenic loops – a 20 mile loop at Fife Lake, and an 18 mile loop at the Jordan River Pathway.
- Hodenpyl Dam
- Pere Marquette State Forest
- Fife Lake
- 45th parallel line
- Jordan River National Fish Hatchery
- Mackinac State Forest
- Wilderness State Park
- Mackinaw City
- Mackinac Bridge
Lower Michigan Events
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