North Country Trail Hikers Chapter

About the Chapter:

The North Country Trail Hikers Chapter was the first chartered chapter of the North Country Trail Association and is located in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan with the City of Marquette, an official NCTA Trail Town and largest city in the UP, its base. For hikers heading west, Marquette is the last town they travel through for about 200 miles, making it a stopping point for resupply.

Craig Lake Step Repair

Three General Membership Meetings per year are held with a presentation of interest to our members. Other activities include the summer months’ third Sunday hikes, National Trails Day Hike, the Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk, the North Country Trails Day “Celebrate Walking in Marquette,” and the twice-a-year Softies Hike.

Typically through the hiking season, our Trail Crew and Trail Adopters, work twice a week to maintain the trail.

We welcome one and all to attend and participate in our Chapter activities. Use this link to join the NCTA and select the North Country Trail Hikers Chapter as your Chapter Affiliation. Use the links below to connect with us online and learn more about your upcoming events.

Connect:

Please contact us to find out about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities:

Chapter Facebook Page: Facebook.com/NCTHikers

E-mail: nct@northcountrytrail.org

News:  Seasonal Newsletters here.

Membership: Join the NCTA, select Join a Chapter, and select North Country Trail Hikers as your Chapter.

Maps:

Find this area of the Trail on our Retail Paper Maps MI-11 and MI-12

View this area of the Trail on our online interactive map here.

View and download a Trail Guide for this area of Trail with descriptions of each segment and links to maps.

Events:

Click on an event to see more details.

Trail Overview:

The North Country Trail Hikers Chapter begins on the east at Rock River Road in western Alger County, 0.6 mile south of the Rock River Bridge, travels all across Marquette County, the largest county in the State, and ends at the Long Lake Outlet 1.1 miles west of Craig Lake State Park in eastern Baraga County for a total distance of 120 miles.

Wetmore Landing East

Along the way, from east to west are some great attractions, some requiring the hiker to use a spur trail to access: Rock River Falls, Laughing Whitefish Falls, Lakenenland Junkyard Sculpture Park, Lake LaVasseur, the Lake Superior Shoreline, the City of Marquette, the Dead River Storage Basin, Hogback Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain, more Lake Superior shoreline at Wetmore Landing and Little Presque Isle Recreation areas, the Elliott Donnelley Wilderness, the Little Garlic Falls, unnamed falls on the Little Garlic River, unnamed falls on the Dead River, the McCormick Wilderness, and Craig Lake State Park, Michigan’s most remote State Park.

Much of our trail is remote and rugged so if you are searching for solitude head southeast of Mangum Road and hike east or head west of County Road 510 and hike west. If you prefer more traveled trail, then hike between those two locations.

Marquette Trail Town:

A historic city nestled on the shore of the world’s largest freshwater Lake Superior, Marquette, Michigan is a unique place. Located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the City of Marquette is pleased to be named a NCTA Trail Town, and the moniker is certainly appropriate. In addition to the North Country Trail, the City includes access points to the Iron Ore Heritage Trail, Noquemanon Trail Network, and the Hiawatha Water Trail as well as the City of Marquette’s Multi-use Pathway. Learn more about the Trail Town of Marquette here.

Area Links:

Suggested Hikes:

The North Country Trail Hikers have the Trail broken into 29 segments, most of which can be accessed on both ends via vehicles, albeit high clearance ones. You can view all segments in more detail here. Some of the favorite segments and/or spurs are:

Show Suggested Hikes

Segment 4: Rumely Road to Peter White Road with the spur to the Laughing Whitefish Falls. 4 miles on the NCT and 2.3 miles on the spur trail to the Falls. Two unnamed waterfalls are passed as you hike the spur. Gently rolling, moderate hike.

Segment 7: RR Grade 3 miles west of Sand River Road to Kawbawgam Pocket Park. 4 miles of gently rolling sand hills that follow Lake LaVasseur for approximately a mile. Lake LaVasseur has hosted an eagle’s nest in year’s past, always hosts a variety of waterfowl and wetlands plant species.

Segment 9 Welcome Center to Hawley Street. 6 miles of easy, flat walking all along the shore of Lake Superior and through downtown Marquette. Fully accessible trail on Marquette’s Multi-use Pathway.

Segment 15 Wetmore Landing to Little Presque Isle Point. 1.6 miles of beautiful Lake Superior shoreline, sometimes along the beach and at other places high above on cliffs overlooking the Lake. Two sets of steps lead to the cliff portion but otherwise relatively easy to moderate hiking.

Segment 16 Little Presque Isle Point to Echo Lake Road. 3 miles of sandy trail including a large portion through tall red pines along the Lake Superior shoreline. Eventually turns away from the shore and heads west through mixed hardwoods. Segments 15 and 16 together were featured in Ron Strickland’s The North Country Trail: The Best Walks, Hikes, and Backpacking Trips on America’s Longest National Scenic Trail.

Segment 24 East of McCormick to Peshekee River. 6.8 miles of rugged wilderness not for the faint of heart. As a national Wilderness, there are no blazes through the McCormick but if you enjoy remote, rugged landscapes, this is the Trail to hike. Unique flora can be found here so keep your eyes open for Rock Tripe, Lungwort Lichen and more. Rock Tripe and Lungwort Lichen are sensitive to air pollution so when found you know the air is healthy.