North Country Trail Association

Ni-Miikanaake Chapter

Section

Wisconsin/Michigan state line to M-64 in the Ottawa National Forest

The Ni-Miikanaake Chapter of the NCTA encompasses a diverse group of individuals, all interested in developing this part of the Trail. Much of our section runs through the Ottawa National Forest and Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. We work with both agencies – U.S. Forest Service and Michigan DNR – to administer, construct and repair the Trail. Our members have strong backgrounds in outdoors activities ranging from camping to GPS. We welcome anyone with an interest. Learn about our Chapter, check out maps of the area and connect with us to get involved in local hikes, events, and trail projects.

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Chapter Trail Section

The Ni-Miikanaake (which means “I make a trail” in Ojibwa) Chapter is the westernmost in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Chapter is responsible for 75 miles of NCT. At the western end, the segment crosses to Wisconsin. The eastern end is at Michigan Hwy M-64. The neighboring Chapters are the (Wisconsin) Heritage Chapter to the west, and the (Michigan) Peter Wolfe Chapter to the east. Our segment from the Wisconsin border goes east to M-64 and passes through the Gogebic County Forest, the Ottawa National Forest, the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park (the “Porkies”), and private property. The area consists of mostly mature forest with diverse flora and fauna, a mixed terrain of old logging roads, narrow paths and elevation changes. Areas of particular beauty are Black River Harbor and the Presque Isle River area of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. The Trail offers four seasons of recreational opportunity, each with its own special flavor. To thru-hike our segment, start at Copper Peak and continue east. Our section of the NCT is about 55 miles.

The westernmost 29 miles of the Trail in the NMK Chapter segment are a roadwalk. The NCTA has long-term plans to develop the Trail in this area. The remaining parts of the Trail are in the Ottawa National Forest and the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park (Porkies), with a small part on private land. The NMK segment is in Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties. Most of this segment is classified as primitive, and is in a remote area. Almost all of it is out of cell phone range. In summer, the main concerns are mosquitoes, ticks and the occasional bear. There are beautiful beaches on Lake Superior at Black River Harbor (BRH) and the mouth of the Presque Isle in the Porkies. The main roads crossed, outside of the roadwalk, are Black River Road (Gogebic County 513), Presque Isle Parkway (Gogebic County 519), South Boundary Road, and M-64 (forms the eastern boundary of our segment.) To get to a store or town from these crossings is at least a 10-15 mile walk. (This write-up is accurate as of December 2019. There will likely be reroutes in the future.)

Connect and Get Involved

Donate and join the Chapter
nmk@northcountrytrail.org
Facebook

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.

Common Abbreviations: Ottawa National Forest (ONF); Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, "Porkies," (PMWSP); South Boundary Road, in the Porkies (SBR); County Road (CR); Black River Harbor (BRH); pedestrian bridge (pbr); pedestrian suspension bridge (psbr)

Suggested Hikes

Black River Harbor Area: 0.5 to 2 miles. This part of the Trail goes north, or downriver, along the Black River to the harbor then up the other river bank (to the south). There are views of the river and Lake Superior; big old-growth hemlocks and maples, waterfalls and a suspension bridge. There are several nearby parking areas and the hiker can take a long or short, easy or difficult hike. Take US-2 to Bessemer and turn north on Moore Street at the only stoplight in Bessemer. Follow the main road as Moore Street turns into Black River Drive. The harbor / trailhead / parking lot is at the end of Black River Drive, 15.5 miles from the stoplight. If hiking, from the parking lot, the west trail branch goes up a steep hill at the edge of the parking lot, to the west of the river. The east trail branch goes across the suspension bridge, and up the river bank on the other side. Both branches are well-marked.

Chapter Maps and Guidance

View our section of the Trail on the interactive online map

Additional Local Resources

Ottawa National Forest
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

Local Events.