The Cheboygan area is blessed with one of the finest multi-purpose trail systems in the United States. Michigan has a larger rails-to-trails system than any other state in the Union, and Cheboygan County has more of those trails than any other county in Michigan.
The highly acclaimed North Central State Trail and the newly finished North Eastern State Trail (Mackinaw City to Alpena) are more and more the destinations of choice when it comes to groomed trails for cyclists and hikers alike. And the trails intersect right in Cheboygan.
A newly completed trailhead in Cheboygan makes getting on and off the trails a walk in the park with plenty of free parking, a picnic shelter, and restrooms.
Nearby restaurants, motels, shopping, and entertainment will make for an enjoyable evening after you get off the trails and are ready to relax.
Be sure to ask us about all the trails in the Cheboygan area at the Chamber office or contact the Top of Michigan Trails Council at www.trailscouncil.org It’s a great resource for all things trails in this neck of the woods.
The North Central State Trail
This beautiful 61 mile trail, newly resurfaced with crushed limestone in the fall of 2007, has become one of the premier cycling trails in the Midwest. It’s flat terrain makes for easy bicycling through an area of great and diverse natural beauty. Most users’ highlights will include the valley of the Sturgeon River and its tributaries and the section north of Topinabee along the west side of Mullet Lake. Besides the terminal towns of Gaylord and Mackinaw City, Vanderbilt, Wolverine, Indian River, Topinabee, and Cheboygan also offer plenty of amenities. The improvement to the old rail corridor was made possible by a nearly $2 million dollar federal trail enhancement grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation in 2005 and the cooperation and contributions from governments and individuals along the way.
In 2008 the trail was named as one of the top five autumn destinations in the nation by Rails to Trails Conservancy.
The North Eastern State Trail
The resurfacing of the North Eastern State Trail (NEST) was completed in the fall of 2011. The NEST has a 10’ wide packed crushed limestone surface with two foot shoulders, similar to what was used on the North Central State Trail (NCST) that runs from Gaylord to Mackinaw City. Included in the surfacing are new safety signs, access control and mile marker posts. The trail is open for all non-motorized use year round and snowmobiles from December 1 through March 31.
The resurfacing project was a true collaboration between two state departments, local government and a non- profit organization. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) who owns and manages the trail has been working with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) who completed the engineering for the project and is responsible for project oversight. The Top of Michigan Trails Council (TOMTC) helped create the funding package for the trail project including 60% through a Federal Transportation Grant, 20% from MDOT, 15% from the DNR via the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant and 5% from local units of government.
Black Mountain Forest Recreation Area
People who enjoy recreation in a forest setting should find something to their liking in the Black Mountain Recreation Area. From the traditional pursuits of hunting and fishing, to camping, skiing, hiking, horseback riding and snowmobiling, outdoor recreationists will find their pleasure here.
The Black Mountain Recreation Area offers a vast network of marked trails for hiking, ATV excursions, horseback riding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. With over 30 miles available for hiking, 60 miles for off road vehicles, and 80 groomed miles for snowmobiling, the area is ideal for any type of outdoor adventure. Parking and trail access at Black Mountain are conveniently located.
For more information on the Black Mountain Forest Recreation Area, see the links below: