White Cloud Trail Town

White Cloud North Country Trail Town

White Cloud, Michigan is located about an hour’s drive north of Grand Rapids, Michigan. White Cloud is delighted to be recognized as a Trail Town and serve as your base for enjoying the North Country National Scenic Trail in Newaygo County and the lower Huron-Manistee Forest.

 Rockin’ the Trails 2019:  Join us June 13-15 for Rockin’ the Trails, a Trail Town Celebration! Learn more and register at rivercountrychamber.com. Three days of fun include guided hikes and kayak trips, campfire rounds, trail runs (bring your dog too!), two kayak races, live music, a beverage tent, great food, kids’ games, informational vendors, a kids/family cornhole tournament and a Toss Out Cancer charity cornhole tournament, a Battle of the Bands, and more!


Getting to White Cloud

White Cloud is located about midpoint on the North Country Trail, and the restored 100 year old Birch Grove School House at the corner of Five Mile and Felch roads was the former headquarters for the North Country Trail Association.

As our city sign proclaims, “White Cloud where the North Begins and the Pure Waters Flow.” That image is very appropriate for those looking for a great Western Michigan recreation destination. After crossing the Muskegon River in Newaygo, you will leave the orchards and farm fields behind and enter the forest covered hills of the Huron-Manistee National Forest. White Cloud is located at the intersection of Michigan highways 37 and 20 and at the southern end of the National Forest. After reaching White Cloud, recreation seekers will have access to the spring fed White River and thousands of pine, oak, and maple covered acres.

Things to do and see

The Trail can be accessed from the White Cloud Campground by a Connector Trail.

The Campground is located on Echo Drive about two blocks west of downtown. It has many sites for camper trailers of all sizes and abundant tent sites for trail hikers. It has all the amenities including laundry facilities, bathhouse, playground equipment for kids and two excellent pavilions, one open and one enclosed for larger events. The larger pavilion has a full kitchen, small library and a great open fireplace for those cool weather events.The Campground Connector trail is a 4.3 mile loop that can take local hikers from the Campground through Forest Service lands where it connects with the North Country Trail and returns to the campground.

Long distance thru-hikers can take the connector trail to the campgrounds for overnight camping or longer stays so they can use the amenities or enjoy the easy walk to local restaurants, motel, or mail a letter or stock up at the grocery, hardware store or use medical facilities.

Section hikers can spot their cars in the Campground Park and hike the beautiful North Country National Trail north and south to other trail heads.

On the return section of the trail, hikers will understand why “Where the Pure Waters Flow” is part of the White Cloud name. Along a section of the Campground Connector trail hikers will encounter Alleyton, an old area logging town build because of the artesian wells and fast cold waters of the beautiful White River. Alleyton is long gone but the Flowing Wells Park, and a few foundations, an interpretive kiosk, fountains and wells remain. The locals bring their water containers to fill with the pure water from these ever flowing artesian wells. In the Flowing Wells Park you will also notice a kayak launch and a wooden snowmobile bridge over the White River.

Paddle sports lovers can begin their kayak trip upstream at the launch in Raceway Park. This small pocket park is located about two blocks East of M 37 and below White Cloud Pond dam. The White River is a small river that has a big personality and includes some quick turns and feisty rapids. The rocky runs and low hanging limbs that are best taken by experienced paddlers in maneuverable kayaks. Kayaks are also a great way to access some of the River’s excellent brown trout habitat.

Experienced fly fishermen have coaxed 20 plus inch wild brown trout from their woody condos on this stretch of the White River. The trip down past the Campgrounds to the Flowing Wells Park take out is usually an hour and half to two and half hours, all depending on flow and sightseeing. The take out is just past the snowmobile bridge and barking dog.

You always have a seasonal choice of activities include, hiking, camping, kayaking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and trail running. Once here the challenge will be choosing from a variety of available outdoor activities.

White Cloud is also a 15 minute drive north of the nearby town of Newaygo, which also offers more options for dining and supplies for hikers and recreation lovers.

Additional Resources:

City of White Cloud
West Michigan Chapter of the NCTA
NCTA’s Birch Grove Schoolhouse
Newaygo County Tourism

Sally’s What’ta Pizza

White Cloud Park and Campground (link to make reservations)
The Shack Bed and Breakfast
Miller’s Resort

Supplies & Shopping
Houseman’s Foods
The 37 north (Newaygo)
Rosenberg True Value Hardware
Muskegon River Fly Shop (Newaygo)
Jerkies Jerky Factory (Newaygo)
Gala Gourmet (Newaygo)
Nelson’s Farm Market (Grant, MI)

Independent Bank
Gerber Federal Credit Union (Newaygo)
Wisner Rents Canoes (Newaygo)