North Central State Trail

This trail is good for Hiking Biking Horseback Riding Snowmobiling

  • Length: 74.1 mi
  • Surface: Crushed Limestone
  • Terrain: , Flat
  • Organization: Michigan DNR
  • Snowmobile Website:

The 62-mile North Central State Trail (formerly the Gaylord to Mackinaw City Rail-Trail) offers a multi-use trail adventure into Michigan's north woods, with connections to well-established tourist towns at both ends. With its new crushed limestone surface and a reasonable mileage between towns, this trail will surely tempt touring cyclists to try a weekend trek to famous Mackinac Island and back. Northern Michigan scenery from hilly agricultural fields, quaint little towns, forests, lakes and rivers to native wildlife and wildflowers abounds. The southern terminus of the trail starts in Gaylord and the Otsego County Fairgrounds. The trail will take you north through Vanderbilt, Wolverine, Indian River, Topinabee, Cheboygan and, finally, Mackinaw City. There are many opportunities to enjoy amenities and scenery along the way, including public beaches, parking, restrooms, and restaurants. says, "The North Central State Trail is not only one of the newest recreational trails in Michigan but the longest improved rail-trail, stretching 61.9 miles from Gaylord to Mackinaw City. Although open to snowmobilers in the winter, the rest of the year the trail is for non-motorized activity, primarily cycling, hiking and running. The flat terrain makes for easy bicycling and the limestone surface is ideal for mountain bikes and hybrids. The two most scenic sections is the valley of the Sturgeon River and its tributaries reached north of Vandebilt and north of Topinabee where the trail hugs the west shore of Mullet Lake." Click here for trail maps!


Note: Not all sections of each trail are approved for every activity listed for the trail as a whole. Please click on individual trail sections to see approved activities for that section.

Map Legend

  • Trail Head
  • Historical Site
  • Beach
  • Natural Feature
  • Campground
  • Park
  • Cultural Interest
  • Scenic View
  • Educational Interest
  • Visitor Center
  • Emergency Care
  • Water Access
  • Fishing
  • Wildlife or Nature Viewing
  • Trail Friendly Business

Trail Photos


UV Index

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