The 32-mile North Western State Trail is now completed and ready for your enjoyment. It was built on the former Grand Rapids and Indiana line of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The 23-mile stretch from Alanson to Mackinaw City was surfaced in 2015 with finely screened and compacted limestone and a new bridge was built over the Maple River south of Pellston.
The first 7.5 miles of the North Western State Trail from M-119 to Alanson was completed in 2012. This thoroughly scenic paved asphalt trail travels along the edge of Mud and Round lakes through the villages of Conway and aden. Between Conway and aden, the trail passes by the Michigan Fisheries Visitors Center where you can also take in views of Crooked Lake.
We recommend beginning your journey at Spring Lake Park, just north of M-31 on M-119. The first 5.5 miles follows the course of the abandoned railway, traveling through tunnels of trees and a series of wetlands. The next 1.5 miles, north of aden, runs parallel to M-31 to the Village of Alanson. Where the paved path ends at Powers Road, tum left then right, and proceed north on Milton Road. Then tum right at Chicago Street where the screened limestone path begins and continues north. In downtown Alanson you will find lodging and several stores and places to eat or relax.
From Alanson to Mackinaw City, the trail races north through a mix of open grasslands, dense forest, serene natural areas and along the edge of Pellston Regional Airport. Keep an eye open for wildlife along your journey. The village of Pellston offers lodging, stores, restaurants and a museum at the former railroad depot. In Mackinaw City, the trail is paved for two miles from the Mackinaw City Trailhead south to the city limits.