Photos by the North Country Trail Association

The North Country Trail through the Manistee National Forest

It’s the longest hiking trail in the United States, stretching over seven states from New York to North Dakota. It’s the 4,600 mile North Country Trail. Created in 1980, the trail has 1,000 miles running through Michigan. The Spirit of the Woods Conservation Club is responsible for maintaining the 78-mile section of the North Country National Scenic Trail which passes through the Huron-Manistee National Forest.  This chapter regularly holds hikes and work sessions to maintain the trail.

As the trail exits Ohio and enters southeastern Michigan, it veers toward the western side of the state. Entering the Manistee National Forest between Big Rapids and New Era, it continues its northerly path west of Baldwin, east of Manistee and south of Traverse City. It continues up past Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Mackinaw City and traverses the entire Upper Peninsula before crossing into Wisconsin.

More than a thousand miles can be explored on this massive trail. | North Country Trail Association

The North Country Trail is primarily for hikers, where you can experience the beauty of the Manistee National Forest. Here you’re surrounded by pine hardwood trees and are treated to great views along the Manistee River Trail. Spring, summer, and fall are when hikers and bikers populate the trail. During the winter, you’ll find cold weather sports enthusiasts who use the trail for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

For more information on the North Country Trail, please contact:

North Country Trail Association, Headquarters and Trail Shop

229 E. Main St., Lowell, MI 49331

(616) 897-5987 | (866) 445-3628 (toll free)

More West Michigan Activities & Attractions

Silver Lake State Park

The Silver Lake State Park is 3,000 acres and is situated between Silver Lake and Lake Michigan, offering boating, fishing, swimming, & ORV.

M-22 Scenic Drive

Take one of the most scenic drives in the nation as you travel across M-22 in Manistee County. A long winding road of adventure awaits!

Biking in West Michigan

Much of West Michigan is bicycle-friendly, and you’ll find many nice paths on which to ride. It’s great exercise with great scenery to enjoy.

The Pentwater River

The Pentwater River provides opportunities to experience a paddle sport for the first time or take on a challenge for those more experienced.

Manistee’s Riverwalk

The Manistee Riverwalk follows the Manistee River from Jones Street, under the US-31 bridge, behind downtown, and ends at First Street beach.