The Trail That Splits the Mitten

GAYLORD, Mich. — It’s supposed to be the hikers and bikers who get lost. They seek out the beautiful parks and routes among Michigan’s most isolated and picturesque locations, and they completely immerse themselves, temporarily leaving the grid.

The North Central State Trail near Topinabee, Mich.

It’s not supposed to be the trail itself that gets lost, but with the vast number of paths from which to choose, sometimes that’s exactly what happens.

This fall, we urge you not to overlook the North Central State Trail, which runs a path north from Gaylord and makes its final stop in Mackinaw City, effectively splitting the tip of the Mitten State in half.

Formerly a railroad corridor, the North Central State Trail runs 61 miles through some of northern Michigan’s most stunning landscapes, which include the thickly-wooded area of Wolverine and along the shores of Mullett Lake.

The trail saw its last major overhaul in 2007 when the Michigan Department of Transportation helped fund a multi-million-dollar project to resurface the path with crushed limestone. There are sections of the trail that incorporate rolling hills, but the majority remains mostly flat.

There may not be a better time of year to enjoy Michigan’s outdoors than in the fall. For interested hikers and bikers, the state provides a map of the route.



  1. Thank you for this great post. Now that we live in the area and are avid runners and bikers, this is going to be a new place for us to hit up. I was planning to head to Gaylord next week anyway!


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