Please refer to the North Country Trail map MI-02 north segment to see the placement of these trailheads. The ones for Yankee Springs and the Barry State Game Area are specifically labeled. The others are not labeled, but are easily found on the map.
At Barry State Game Area (south section)
McKibben Road parking area
* McKibben Road: There is a good parking area on McKibben Road, which is a dirt road accessed from Norris Road (a main road in this part of Barry County), which is south of M-179 (Chief Noonday Road). From Norris, take Mullen Road (dirt, but in good condition) to reach McKibben. The trail south of this trailhead is no longer to be used as part of the North Country Trail, so the reason to use it is to walk the road connector (~15.7 miles) to the trailhead at the Kellogg Biological Station in Kalamazoo County.
Barry State Game Area Norris Road parking - SANDY!
* Norris Road: There are two trailhead/parking areas on Norris Road. The one on the east side is in the Barry State Game Area. The driveway is very sandy and could cause problems, so I recommend the one on the other side of Norris Road in Yankee Springs.
Two other trailheads used previously, Mullen Road and Keller Road, and no longer suitable to use.
At Yankee Springs Recreation Area
There are four trailhead/parking areas at Yankee Springs well-located for the NCT. Three are located on good roads, but the fourth is not. All of these are located south of M-179 (Chief Noonday Road).
Yankee Springs Rec Area Norris Road parking - GOOD!
* Norris Road: This trailhead/parking area is on the west side of Norris Road. The driveway is better and there is a NCT kiosk here. From here, there is better access into the Barry State Game Area. Also, this is the only good parking area right on the NCT.
Gun Lake Road parking area
* Gun Lake Road: This trailhead has a large parking area for Yankee Springs. To access the NCT, you have to hike the Hall Lake Trail (a loop) in either direction (and for neither way is it far).
Chief Noonday trailhead sign on M-179
* Chief Noonday Road: The Chief Noonday trailhead is right on M-179 (south side) and is the easiest access from US-131. To access the NCT, you have to hike the Chief Noonday Trail, though again it's not too far.
Chief Noonday parking area
Bassett Lake Road parking area
* Bassett Lake Road: This trailhead/parking area is almost inaccessible to regular vehicles. I would suggest that only 4WD vehicles attempt to climb the hill up to the parking area from M-179. The parking area, however, is nice (though small) - and it is right on the NCT.
At Barry State Game Area (north section)
There are four trailhead/parking areas in this section of the Barry State Game Area well-located for the NCT, which passes right through each one. All of these are located on M-179 (Chief Noonday Road), or between M-179 and M-37 (Middleville Road).
M-179 parking area/trailhead
* Chief Noonday Road: The M-179 trailhead/parking area is on the north side of the street, a couple of miles east of the trailhead for Yankee Springs.
Looking from the trail at the Yankee Springs Road trailhead/parking area
* Yankee Springs Road: This trailhead has a large parking area on the west side of the street.
Bowens Mill Road trailhead/parking area
* Bowens Mill Road: This trailhead has a small parking area on the north side of the street.
Peets Road trailhead/parking area
* Peets Road: This trailhead has a small parking area on the west side of the street.
At Paul Henry Thornapple Trail
There are two trailhead/parking areas, one at each end, for where the NCT runs concurrently with this paved, multi-use trail. One is at the east end off McCann Road, and the other is at the west end at Stage Coach Park in the village of Middleville.
At Middleville State Game Area
There are six trailhead/parking areas for the Middleville State Game Area useful for hiking the NCT. All are indicated on the map for the game area, except for the Crane Road trailhead.
* Crane Road: There is a small parking area (1-2 cars) for the trailhead near the east end of Crane Road, north of Middleville. This is at the western edge of the Middleville State Game Area.
* Robertson Road: There are two trailheads on this road, at each end of the short road connector. The south trailhead has a large parking area; the north has space for only 1-2 cars. Robertson Road is dirt, but in good condition for cars.
* Johnson Road: There is a small parking area (1-2 cars) across the road from the trailhead. Johnson Road is also dirt, in good condition.
* Johnson Trail: Johnson Trail (not shown on road maps) is the northern extension of Johnson Road, and there is a large parking area at the end of it. This road can be driven by cars, but a 4WD with good clearance would be best.
* Harris Creek Road: There is a parking area on the east side of this road, between Parmalee Road and 108th Street SE.
* Intersection of 108th Street SE/Vedder Road with Coldwater Avenue SE/Solomon Road: Parking area indicated on map.
There is also adequate shoulder to park at the intersection of 108th Street SE and Harris Creek Road/Morse Lake Avenue SE.
Notes and Revisions
Suggestions and submissions welcome!
Thanks to Trailnerd for the update on the trail relocated south of the McKibben Road trailhead.
22 May 2011: page created
23 May 2011: picture added
27 May 2011: pictures added
01 Jun 2011: pictures added; typos fixed
09 Jun 2011: pictures added; editing
24 Jun 2011: pictures added; Overview added
01 Jul 2011: pictures added; editing
10 Jul 2011: editing; added more complete info for Middleville State Game Area