- T= Trailhead
- P= Parking
- R= Restrooms
- A= Amenities
Gaylord to Vanderbilt (TPRA)
The designated trailhead in Gaylord is located about one mile north of downtown on Fairview Road (sometimes called Five Lakes Road) at the soccer complex. Take Old US 27 to Fairview and turn left to the trailhead. Parking at the south side of Fairview at the Soccer Complex or County Fairgrounds. The 7.6-mile trail to Vanderbilt passes through a mixture of farmland and forests with some nice country views. In-town Gaylord also boasts some nice bicycle and hiking trails in Aspen Park on the southeast side of the city.
Photo: Goats enjoy their turn on the trail.
Vanderbilt to Wolverine (PRA)
There is plenty of parking as well as restrooms in local businesses where the trail crosses Main Street and in a small park across Old US 27 on the north end of town. Planning has begun to improve the amenities along the trail near the old depot. Even though this 10.9-mile segment follows I-75 closely, it has a remote feeling and is quite scenic.Travel in this segment can easily be made into a “loop” ride from either village because of the convenient paralleling local roads.
Photo: First Users mug for the camera in Vanderbilt.
Wolverine to Indian River (PRA)
Lumberjack Park along the swift and twisting Sturgeon River has parking and restrooms and there are other amenities up the hill in town to the west. The trail follows the river part of the way and crosses it twice on the 9.6-mile route to Indian River. You can swim safely in the river but watch for canoes and tubers as they run the river to Burt Lake. Stop behind the Chamber of Commerce building on US 27 at the north edge of downtown Indian River where you will find parking and full amenities on Indian River's main street.
Photo: Behind the Chamber of Commerce building in Indian River during construction.
Indian River to Topinabee (TPRA)
This scenic 5.6-mile stretch features the “spreads” of the Indian River as it enters Mullett Lake to the north of town, then suddenly bursts out onto the lake a mile or so below Topinabee. There is parking (and the only public swimming beach on the west side) at Village Park in town along with many amenities.
Photo: Mullet Lake from the trail
Topinabee to Cheboygan (PRA)
More than half of this 11.9-mile segment runs along Mullett Lake’s beautiful west side with many unobstructed views. North of Lake Grove Road, the trail leaves the lake and shoots nearly in a straight line to Cheboygan. This section is mostly forest in the south that gives way to pleasant farm scenery near the city. The trailhead, under construction in the fall of 2007, is located at the junction of Western Avenue (N-S) and Lincoln Ave (E-W) to the southwest of the downtown area. This is also an intermediate trailhead for the Alpena to Mackinaw City Trail that runs into the city at the same point. The City of Cheboygan is working on plans to build a proper trailhead at this site. At this time the site is large enough for a few cars for parking, but trail users are advised to follow the trail north into town and then east on city streets into the downtown area where there are plenty of amenities.
Near the mouth of the Cheboygan you will find the dock for the ferry to Bois Blanc Island where you can find good biking on lightly traveled roads Photo 1: View of Mullet Lake from the trail at Mullet Creek.
Cheboygan to Mackinaw City (TPRA)
Running entirely along the west side of US 23, this 16.3-mile segment features some pleasing views of Lake Huron through the trees and across the highway.Mill Creek State Park can be an interesting family destination from either end of this segment. A consortium of interested parties is planning to construct a shelter and kiosk at the trailhead that is currently just a parking lot for cars and bicycles. It’s off the Straits Highway (Nicolet Street) on the driveway to the Mackinaw Crossings parking lot.
Mackinaw City has long been the gateway to Mackinac Island and the Upper Peninsula, but is now a fabulous destination resort in its own right with many top attractions for the entire family. It does not lack for amenities. Don’t fail to visit historic Fort Michilimackinac at the bridge. For bicyclists and long distance hikers, from the DNR Trailhead you can also turn south onto the trail to Petoskey on the Petoskey to Mackinaw City Trail. The DNR Trailhead is also the northernmost point in lower Michigan of the North Country Trail and the terminus of the Midland to Mackinac hiking trail.