Looking for an awesome multi-day trail adventure? Travel "up north" to the top of Michigan's Lower Peninsula where you will discover a growing network of more than 288 miles of multi-use trails. The Top of Michigan Trails Network was built on the remnants of a railway system that once hauled freight to be ferried across the Straits of Mackinaw while bringing travelers to some of Michigan's most popular tourist destinations. This expansive trail network rambles along scenic stretches of state forest, rolling farmland, rivers,
inland lakes, and the shorelines of Lake Huron and Little Traverse Bay.
Overseeing the development and care of this trail network is the Top of Michigan Trails Council. The council was founded in 1995 as an offshoot of the Little Traverse Land Conservancy when the need arose for a separate group to advocate and facilitate construction of multi-purpose trails in northern Michigan. The council is known for its huge rail trails: the North Eastern State Trail from Alpena to Cheboygan,
the North Central State Trail from Gaylord to Mackinaw City, the new North Western State Trail from Petoskey to Mackinaw City, and the Little Traverse Wheelway from Charle-voix to Harbor Springs.
The final phase of the North Western State Trail was finally completed in 2015, and now ready for you to enjoy. The seven-mile section from M-119 near Petoskey was paved with asphalt to the village of Alanson. The 23-mile section from Alanson to Mackinaw City was surfaced with finely screened and compacted limestone and asphalt pavement through the village of Pellston.
The first 5.1 miles of the Burt Lake Trail was completed in 2012 from the Maple Bay Campground along the west shore of Burt Lake. The first phase of the 3.5-mile Charlevoix Lake To Lake Trail was also completed last year, connecting Lake Charlevoix to Fisherman's Island State Park on Lake Michigan. Construction should begin this summer or next on the first 3.2 miles of the Boyne City to Charlevoix Trail with a new paved path connecting Boyne City to Young State Park.