North Country Trail Association

Peter Wolfe Chapter


M-64 in the Ottawa National Forest to Long Lake west of Craig Lake State Park

We like to think of the Peter Wolfe Chapter as one of the most remote sections of trail in the entire NCT. So if you want to experience solitude while on a beautiful hike, and view and walk along the highest cliff in the state of Michigan, this is the Chapter to visit. Check out the Chapter Maps and Guidance section below for detailed trail guides. We have monthly hikes year-round to showcase our trail. We always welcome the public to join us to explore this awesome trail. The hikes are posted to our Facebook page, emailed to members and hikers. We are always looking for help to maintain the Trail – taking the time to throw some branches off the Trail while you hike, helping on a special project, mowing or brush-hogging along the Trail, or joining a group of volunteers as they maintain the Trail. It’s all fun! Our annual General Membership meeting with a featured speaker is open to the public and takes place each spring to kick off our season. Please come join us on any or all of our fun activities!

Trail Alert for Ontonagon County: Downstream from the Victoria Dam, the river crossing can become impassable at times due to water released from the reservoir. The dam releases water until June 11 for fish migration. Dam also releases water when there has been significant rain in the day(s) before. You can try to call the dam operators office (906-886-2637) and leave a message for a return call asking if water is being released from the dam. Their answer is rain dependent, so they will not know many days ahead of time. Or visit and scroll down to Ontonagon River > Victoria > Total Flow. If the Total Flow is greater than 650 cfs, they will be releasing water from the dam. The highwater bypass follows Victoria Dam Road and US-45 on this route. This route is only 3 miles longer than staying on the trail, and takes you into Rockland where there is dining, supplies, a post office (limited hours), and lodging.

Presentation at the 2023 PWC Annual Meeting by Bill Van Korsky about Native American Marked Trail Trees

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Chapter Trail Section

View the Chapter brochure

The Peter Wolfe Chapter (PWC) has over 120 miles of mostly forested North Country National Scenic Trail stretching from M-64 in the west to Long Lake, which is west of Craig Lake State Park, passing through Ontonagon, Houghton, and Baraga Counties. The PWC has about 85 miles of Trail on the Ottawa National Forest (ONF), about 12 miles on state land, and the remainder in private holdings. We are proud to have built three enclosed shelters for our hikers. This is remote country so be prepared!

There are only a few small towns with supplies several miles off the PWC Trail section that have a café, post office, lodging, etc. Starting from the west, those include: White Pine on M-64 is 4.7 miles north of the NCNST; Bergland on M-64 is seven miles south of the NCNST; Ontonagon on M-38 is about 15 miles north of the NCNST (both from the Norwich Road crossing and the road crossing northeast of Old Victoria) and has a hospital; Bruce Crossing on US-45 is eight miles south of the NCNST from the O Kun de Kun Falls trailhead; Rockland on US-45 is four miles northeast of the NCNST shelter at Old Victoria (and just three miles northeast of where the Trail crosses Victoria Dam Road); Watton on M-28 is four miles south of the NCNST from the Tibbets Falls trailhead; L'Anse on US-41 is 9 miles north of the NCNST Canyon Falls trailhead or the Herman-Nestoria road, and passes by the Baraga County hospital on US-41.

In the western half of our section, you will encounter a number of breathtaking bluff overlooks in the Trap Hills, including the highest bluff in Michigan, where you see nothing but undisturbed forests and soaring birds, as far as the eye can see! (And imagine being there in the fall with the full color!) Continuing eastbound, you will pass through a restored mining village, Victoria, where you will see the ruins of an era gone by on the eastern edge of the Trap Hills and find the NCT Shelter just NE of the restored Old Victoria Historical Buildings. You will then cross the West Branch of the Ontonagon River, below the Victoria dam (unless the dam is releasing water in the spring). Next will be crossing two huge suspension bridges, first over the mighty Baltimore near O Kun de Kun Falls, then the Middle Branch of the Ontonagon River. Next will be a short spur to the Bob Lake Campground in the Ottawa National Forest, then on to the magnificent Silver Mountain area where a short climbing spur will take you to the top of a nearly 360-degree view of beautiful forests and birds of the sky. Then hike along the eastern edge of the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness. You can take a short steep spur into the gorge to experience a Wilderness Area as intended! (As if you were not already in one of the most remote sections of the entire NCNST.) After hiking thru nearly 85 miles of the Ottawa National Forest on the NCT, you will then enter state lands with a more sandy expanse with rare swales, the Tibbets Falls with a NCNST shelter on the Sturgeon River, followed by Big Lake State Forest Campground area near where there is a waterfowl sanctuary teeming with birds of many kinds. Then walk upstream along the Sturgeon River and encounter the Grand Canyon of the UP, including Canyon Falls, and continue for another 5 miles of riverside walk before turning north away from the river. You will hike thru the forest then hike some very remote roads where it is exciting to watch for moose tracks. You will enter a beautiful forest in Summit where our third screened-in NCT shelter is located! The far east end of our chapter has a short natural surface road walk to the junction of the Peter Wolfe Chapter and the Marquette Area Chapter at Long Lake, just west of Craig Lake State Park.
(In the fall of 2023, the PWC removed the entire walk on the busy US-41 highway! So enjoy these remote scenic roads where you might see more moose tracks than any vehicles.)

Connect and Get Involved

Join the Chapter
Consider a donation to the Chapter. (In the comments section, you can indicate it's for the Peter Wolfe Chapter.)


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.

Chapter Maps and Guidance

View our section of the Trail on the interactive online map
Trail guide: M-64 in Trap Hills to Old Victoria Complex (Chapter segments 1-15)
Trail guide: Old Victoria Complex to Forest Highway 16 (Chapter segments 16-32)
Trail guide: Forest Highway 16 to Tibbets Falls Trailhead (Chapter segments 33-46)
Trail guide: Tibbets Falls Trailhead to Canyon Falls Trailhead (Chapter segments 47-58)
Trail guide: Canyon Falls Trailhead to Long Lake, PWC Eastern Terminus (Chapter segments 59+)
Chapter brochure
GPS Coordinates on PWC

Additional Local Resources

Michigan DNR, Baraga County
Ottawa National Forest
Ottawa National Forest Kenton District
Ottawa National Forest Ontonagon District
Ottawa National Forest Bergland District
Baraga County Visitors
Houghton County Visitors
Ontonagon County Visitors
Trail Angels of the NCNST Facebook