Bay de Noc - Grand Island Trail

Rapid River, Michigan 49878

Bay de Noc - Grand Island Trail

Bay de Noc - Grand Island Trail Professional Review and Guide

"A historic trail across the narrow waist of the Upper Peninsula, from Lake Michigan's north shore to Lake Superior.
The trail shadows the Whitefish River for nearly half the distance, offering great views of the river valley and the countryside to the west of it.

Hikers will encounter a large number of sandy county roads, so a good map is essential for navigating. Footing is generally good, but be prepared to deal with watery crossing points. Special attractions: Whitefish River valley views, glacial terrain, wildflowers; wildlife, stream fishing."

Bay de Noc - Grand Island Trail Reviews

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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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Trail Information

Rapid River
Nearby City
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Fall, when forest color is at its prime. Hunters use the area after September 15.
Munising Ranger District, Hiawatha National Forest, 906-387-2512
Local Contacts
USGS Forest Lake, Lake Stella, Poplar Lake, Baker Creek, and Rapid River quads. Forest Service map of the trail contains only major landmarks, roads, and waterways.
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018