North Country Trail - Michigan

North Country Trail - Michigan

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 43.00000°N / 86°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Expedition
Sign the Climber's Log


Michigan has the largest amount of North Country Trail (NCT) mileage of any of the seven states that this National Scenic Trail passes through.

There are 14 sections:
MI-01 -- OH/MI State Line to Marshall (73.7 mi stated, 71.2 mi after 3 re-routings)
MI-02 -- Marshall to 76th Street (86.8 mi stated, with 3 re-routings)
MI-03 -- 76th Street to M-37 (89.0 mi stated, with 2 re-routings)
MI-04 -- M-37 to Freesoil Trailhead (82.2 mi)
MI-05 -- Freesoil Trailhead to Cedar Creek Road (86.4 mi)
MI-06 -- Cedar Creek Road to Charlevoix County (81.2 mi)
MI-07 -- Charlevoix County to the Mackinac Bridge (90.2 mi, with 1 re-routing)
MI-08 -- Mackinac Bridge to Whitefish Bay SB (85.7 mi)
MI-09 -- Curley Lewis Road to Grand Marais (85.9 mi)
MI-10 -- Grand Marais to Au Train Lake (60.8 mi)
MI-11 -- Au Train Lake to Little Garlic Falls (71.5 mi)
MI-12 -- Little Garlic Falls to Alberta (66.0 mi)
MI-13 -- Alberta to Cascade Falls (79.8 mi)
MI-14 -- Cascade Falls to Ironwood (79.4 mi)

The trail mileages may or may not be accurate, since there may be trail re-routings since the maps were printed.

A link to the full overview of Michigan from the North Country Trail Association is given below.

Descriptions on this page are made in the New York-to-North Dakota direction.

Getting There

There are various trailheads throughout the route of the trail in Michigan's southern and western Lower Peninsula, as well as the Upper Peninsula.

My intention is to provide more specific information on each of the 14 section pages. Currently, there are pages for MI-01, MI-02, and MI-03.

Route Description

The NCT enters Michigan from Ohio near the town of Waldron, Michigan. This location is in the south central part of lower Michigan. The trail proceeds generally north through the cities of Hillsdale and Albion, and then turns west to pass through Marshall and Battle Creek, and into Kalamazoo County.

In the village of Augusta, the NCT turns north. It passes to the east of Grand Rapids, crosses the Grand River in Lowell (site of NCTA headquarters), and continues north to enter the Manistee National Forest.

The NCT continues through the Mackinaw State Forest by the shores of Little Traverse Bay, and goes through Mackinaw City. The trail crosses the Mackinac Bridge to the Upper Peninsula, though it should be noted that the bridge cannot be walked at most times (only on Labor Day in the southbound direction).

The trail goes past Tahquamenon Falls to the shore of Lake Superior and then turns west to Wisconsin.

Essential Gear

Typical season-appropriate hiking/backpacking gear. There are some water crossings with wading required at this time (two in the Lost Nation State Game Area - section MI-01).

Sunblock and bug spray are often necessary.

Maps are also a good idea!

External Links

Description of trail and further links in the state of Michigan from the North Country Trail Association:

Full overview of Michigan from the North Country Trail Association:

Maps and other stuff:

Notes and Revisions

Submissions and suggestions to improve this page are welcome!

Revision history:
02 Apr 2010 - page created
03 Apr 2010 - editing
18 Apr 2010 - editing
22 Apr 2010 - editing
27 Apr 2010 - MI-03 added, description improved
31 May 2010 - MI-01 mileage corrected, External Links edited
21 Jun 2010 - editing
07 Jun 2011 - editing



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.