The Jordan River Pathway is an 18 mile hiking trail in the Jordan River Valley. The Pathway winds through the Mackinaw State Forest and along the Jordan River. A summer trip to this beautiful, scenic valley is well worth the effort. Fall colors are noteworthy in early October due to the hardwood forests throughout the valley. The hiking trails are moderate to rugged and marked with blue circles (not to be confused with the North Country Trail's blue rectangular blazes). However, not all sections are well marked and a detailed map can be helpful.
A popular backpacking destination, the full Pathway is a good two-day hike. The trail system is one big loop made up of a few smaller loops. Hikers can conveniently start and end at the same place if completing a smaller loop or the whole trail. Backpackers can stay at the Pinney Bridge State Campground, located near the trail's halfway point (dispersed camping is not allowed in the Jordan Valley).
The main trailhead is located at Deadman's Hill Overlook, which has a spectacular vista of the surrounding countryside and river floodplain. A second trailhead and another great vista is at the Landslide Overlook. Part of the trail is also shared with the North Country Trail (NCT). The NCT also provides a connection to the Warner Creek Pathway to the north.
For more trail information and maps of the Jordan River Pathway, please visit MichiganTrailMaps.com.