For this year’s Michigander, riders will travel along the Little Traverse Wheelway and the North Central State Trail. To get you ready for this year’s tour, we have a preview of highlights you can expect to see on each trail. Today’s trail spotlight is the North Central State Trail.
The North Central State Trail (NCST) runs through several well-established tourist towns in northern Michigan: Gaylord, Indian River, and Mackinaw City. Totaling 62 miles from start to finish, this trail ventures through the other towns of Vanderbilt, Wolverine, Tobinabee and Cheboygan. The NCST was formerly the Gaylord to Mackinaw City Rail-Trail but has since been transformed into a crushed limestone multi-use trail loved by cyclists, runners and snowmobilers alike.
On Monday of the Michigander, the six and seven day riders will head to Gaylord and ride north on the NCST. We will pass through Indian River, which has plenty of restaurants, shops and terrific views of scenic Burt Lake. Leaving Indian River, the trail brings you to the shores of Mullett Lake stretching for 15 miles. Topinabee has a great public beach that is ideal for a cool swim on a hot summer’s day. Past the lake, the NCST takes you through rolling farmlands all the way to Cheboygan.
Heading northwest, the trail is lined with majestic pine, maple, and oak trees and glimpses of Lake Huron can be seen throughout. Historic Mill Creek State Park is found midway between this final leg of the route and offers historic education as well as a zip line adventure course. This section runs parallel to US 23 on a 14-mile stretch to attraction-packed Mackinaw City and ends with stunning views of the 5-mile long, suspension-style Mackinac Bridge, where we will stop for a few days before traveling south to our final destination of Harbor Springs.
The North Central State Trail was dedicated for public use in June of 2008 and serves the surrounding communities, as well as countless travelers, as a non-motorized transportation alternative and a resource for outdoor recreation. The Michigander is proud to have several days of the tour on the NCST and we hope you enjoy the ride!