North Country Trail Association

Harbor Springs Chapter

Section

South end of the Mackinac Bridge to Kipp Road, east of Harbor Springs

The Harbor Springs Chapter organizes hikes throughout the year, with most of them occurring during the spring, summer and fall. Some planned hikes are the same each year, such as a Mother’s Day hike and a hike to coincide with the lady slipper bloom. Other hike locations vary to show off different parts of the Trail. A necessary part of the Chapter’s activities is maintenance of the Trail. This usually consists of clearing downed trees but can be as simple as just checking the Trail for obstructions such as overhanging limbs or fallen branches. The Chapter also mows part of the Trail to keep ferns, grass and bushes from overgrowing the Trail. Work days are set up as needed, usually to repair or construct boardwalk over wet areas. The Chapter holds four membership meetings per year in April, June, August and October, to plan activities and compare notes with what’s happening on various other parts of the Trail. Two of the meetings include food. We would love to have you join us for one or any of our monthly events. Contact us to learn more!

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Chapter Trail Section

The Harbor Springs Chapter maintains roughly 46 miles of the Trail from Mackinaw City to Kipp Road in Petoskey. The northern end of this trail section is Mackinaw City, a bustling tourist town in summer, but with very few amenities in winter. The trailhead in Mackinaw City connects the North Country Trail, the Northwestern State Trail, and the North Central State Trail. The Trail goes through more than 14 miles of Wilderness State Park, in many cases using existing park trails. Five miles of those trails go through the forested sand dunes of Sturgeon Bay, shore parallel dunes which form a dune ridge swale complex. Hikers are expected to follow park rules while hiking within Wilderness State Park. Kipp Road is north of Petoskey, off East Hathaway. This part of the Trail passes through a variety of forests, including hardwoods, pine plantations and a cedar swamp. It crosses two dams and several streams. Some of the trail terrain is flat, but does include some high hills and deep valleys making for rigorous hiking.

Trail Town: Mackinaw City

The Village of Mackinaw City is a resort community located on the shores of the Straits of Mackinac at the tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. It serves as a gateway community for recreation lovers traveling north and south, and provides plenty of amenities to make it a prime vacation destination in its own right.

Connect and Get Involved

Donate and join the Chapter
hrb@northcountrytrail.org
Facebook
Hike to the Bridge 2020

Resources

Use the Report Trail Condition form to alert NCTA and the Chapter to poor trail conditions. Visit the Trail Alerts page while planning your adventure.

Suggested Hikes

Sturgeon Bay Loop: 5 to 6 miles. This section of the Trail passes through forested sand dunes with many ridges and valleys. The loop returns to the starting point by walking the Lake Michigan beach. Driving Directions: From Levering, on US-31, take Levering Road west towards Cross Village, turn right (north) at Canby Road and travel 3 miles to Sturgeon Bay Trail, turn left (west) and travel approximately 3 miles to Trailhead 7. Hiking Directions: Begin at Trailhead 7 on Sturgeon Bay Trail. After arriving at Lakeview Road, go left to the beach and follow the beach back to the storm signal tower, then follow Lake Shore Drive to Sturgeon Bay Trail and back to the beginning.

French Farm Lake: 4 miles. The Trail follows the shoreline of French Farm Lake with ducks often visible or loons calling in the distance. Driving Directions: From Mackinaw City, take Central Avenue west to Headlands Road, turn left (south) and travel about 2 miles to the intersection of Trails End Road and French Farm Lake Road. Follow French Farm Lake Road to its end, a boat launch area. Hiking Directions: Follow the blazed trail along the lake for 2 miles, arriving at French Farm Lake Dam. Hike the same trail back to the beginning point.
French Farm Lake: 4 miles. The Trail follows the shoreline of French Farm Lake with ducks often visible or loons calling in the distance. From Mackinaw City, take Central Avenue west to Headlands Road, turn right (south) and travel about 2 miles to the intersection of Trails End Road and French Farm Lake Road. Follow French Farm Lake Road to its end, a boat launch area. If hiking, follow the blazed trail along the lake for 2 miles, arriving at French Farm Lake Dam. Hike the same trail back to the beginning point.

Chapter Maps and Guidance

View our section of the Trail on the interactive online map
Chapter trail guide (11 sections and GPS coordinates)
Chapter brochure

Additional Local Resources

Dark Sky Park (within Headlands Park)
Headlands Park
Mackinac Bridge Authority
Sturgeon Bay Dunes
Top of Michigan Trails Council
Wilderness State Park

Local Events.