by Mike Modrzynski (Falcon Guides)
© Mike Modrzynski/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
This is a fairly easy trail crossing from Lake Michigan to Lake Superior at one of the UP's narrower sections. This trail is fairly easy to follow but it can be a little soggy at times. There is a lot of thick forests (primarily hardwoods with sections of Hemlock, cedar, etc..)in this region so views are often limited. Although this trail is long it is possible to finish it in 3 days of moderate hiking. I find it fascinating how the terrain subtly changes as one crosses from the Lake Michigan watershed to the Lake Superior watershed. There are a few decent fishing opportunities along the way and a few decent side hikes as well. On the Southern end of the trail consider a trip to the UP's banana belt in the Garden Pennisula. On the Northern end Grand Island and pictured rocks are great places to hike. The satandard "watch out for Black Bears and Mosquitoes" warning applies here. I think most locals agree the mosquitoes are much more dangerous!
This was one of the best backpacking trips I have ever done.
I did the walk during spring. Not a bad time at all to be in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula woods. The whitetail deer were very active after migrating back from their winter shelters in the cedar swamps. They were everywhere and it was great to see so many of them.
The trail was wet, but I found the creeks to be a welcome source of drinking water…after running the water through my filtration system.
My camps were at Bill’s Creek, Haymeadow Creek, and Middle Trailhead. The distance between Middle Trailhead and Ackerman Lake at the northern trailhead was 19 miles. Long day but not difficult.
Car spotting is easy for this trail using County Road 509.........
Call the Munising Ranger District, Hiawatha National Forest, 906-387-2512 for information on the trail and other opportunities on Lake Superior.
Call the Rapid River Ranger District, Hiawatha National Forest, 906-474-6442 for information on the trail and other opportunities on northern Lake Michigan.
As a special note: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore begins near Munising, offering 43 miles of linear trail along some truly breathtaking vistas. Pictured Rocks Trail is part of the famed North Country Trail and is one of the biggest attractions along it’s entire length.
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