About the Chapter:
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 hikes vary as to location 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, trimming limbs grown out over the trail, or throwing small branches from the trail. 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 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!
Join our Chapter! Become a donor member of the NCTA then join the Harbor Springs Chapter.
Maps & Guides:
Downloadable PDF Maps – Michigan Maps 91-124
View this section of Trail on the online map here.
View and download our Trail Guide here, which includes 11 sections and GPS Coordinates.
View and download our Chapter Brochure (with map) here.
Click on an event to see more details.
View a PDF listing of all our events here.
The Harbor Springs Chapter maintains roughly 46 miles of the trail from Kipp Road in Petoskey to Mackinaw City. Kipp Road is north of Petoskey, off East Hathaway.The Harbor Springs Chapter maintains roughly 46 miles of the trail from Kipp Road in Petoskey to Mackinaw City. 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.
The trail goes through more than fourteen 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.
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.
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 provided plenty of amenities to make it a prime vacation destination in its own right. Learn more about the Trail Town of Mackinaw City here.
Sturgeon Bay Loop
Length: 5-6 miles
Why Hike this section: This section of the trail passes through forested sand dunes with many ridges and valleys. Then the loop returns to the starting point by walking the Lake Michigan beach.
Driving Directions: From Levering, on U.S. 31, take Levering Road west towards Cross Village, turn right (north) at Canby Road and travel three miles to Sturgeon Bay Trail, turn left (west) and travel approximately three 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
Length: Four miles
Why Hike this section: 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 right (south) and travel about two 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 two miles, arriving at French Farm Lake Dam. Hike the same trail back to the beginning point.