The Mackenzie Trail is a popular and heavily hiked 10-mile loop trail with different levels of difficulty depending on which trail sections you choose. Although the trail is a bit over 10 miles long, you can choose to follow a different junction and make it shorter or longer, easier or more difficult, depending on your skill, energy, and mood. The trail starts at the Caberfae skiing area in Cadillac, Michigan where there is a sign that follows their golf course path to trail marker number 21.
With names like Bubble Gum, Lollipop, Bullet, No One, and Smiling Irishmen, these trails are unique and hard to forget. Your four-legged fur babies are welcome to join you, but make sure they are leashed at all times. Along the first mile on the easy trails, you will follow along with the edge of the Johnson Creek in the Manistee National Forest. Along many of these sections of the Mackenzie Trail, you and Fido will cross over many small streams and creeks such as Peterson Creek. Thanks to the jack pine trees that blanket the area, you will not have to worry about getting a sunburn.
During the winter, the Mackenzie Trail doubles as a ski and snowshoe trail so be aware of others using the trail that may be going faster than you. The colorful foliage and flora in the forest and grasslands will surprise you as you see huge, vivid flowers paired with silvery groundcover throughout many of the paths. If you are looking for some critters to take pictures of, you should be able to spot at least a few rabbits, squirrels, and even some deer along the way if you are quiet.
The Mackenzie Trail is well-marked and moderately maintained, although you may see some downed trees or overgrowth in some areas. The network of loops can be confusing if you do not follow the trail markings and maps along the path. The path also has several benches placed strategically along the trail for you to take a break or two. Bring water for you and Fido because there is no drinking water available. Also, be sure to pack some cleanup baggies to pick up after your little buddy while you are there. Enjoy your time along this scenic woofderland!