Huge news! The 32-mile North Western State Trail is now completed and ready for your enjoyment. On August 25, 2015, crews finished spreading and compacting 23-miles of finely screened limestone surface from Alanson to Mackinaw City. The project also included bridge improvements and asphalt pavement through the village of Pellston.
The first seven 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 Oden. Between Conway and Oden, 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 Oden, follows along the edge of M-31 to the Village of Alanson. Where the paved path ends at Powers Road, turn left then right, and proceed north on Milton Road. Then turn 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. Trail developers are currently working with the Village of Alanson to create a permanent path through the village.
From Alanson to Mackinaw City, the trail races north through a mix of open grasslands, dense forest and serene natural areas. 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.