The Bay de Noc-Grand Island Trail takes walkers on a 40-mile journey from the north shore of Lake Michigan to Lake Superior. This family fur-iendly path is mostly level and consists of sand, which is much more comfortable on the paws than asphalt. The trail is open for use year-round, but it is best enjoyed in the fall when the trees are the most colorful.
Although lengthy, the path is rated easy in difficulty, and there are seven different trailheads where walkers can access the trail, which allows doggy duos to tailor their walks to their abilities and time constraints. Each of the seven trailheads offers visitor parking, campsites with grills, water access, and restrooms. The first four trailheads are spaced evenly across the trail, with one averaging every 20 miles, the last three lie more closely together, with each roughly 5 to 10 miles apart.
The trail follows the approximate route taken by the Native American Chippewa tribe to transport supplies from Lake Michigan to Lake Superior. Hikers will follow the beautiful Whitefish River for most of their journey, winding through vibrant forests of pine and aspen trees that shade the southern portion of the trail. As you continue on your way, you will see the pine forest give way to maple and paper birch trees as the landscape transitions into rolling hills, typical of the glacial terrain.
This route is pawpular with horseback riders -- if you encounter one, announce your presence and move to the side of the trail. You will need to bring your own poo bags, water, collapsible bowl, and a leash for your journey. You will cross over several streams during your trek -- consider bringing a towel to dry off those dirty paws before venturing home. Remember to leave nothing behind and take nothing but pictures! You and your pooch will have so much fun bonding in the great outdoors on this historic trail!