Route: Dam-to-Dam (North Country Trail, MI)

Michigan, US
130 mi
Vertical Gain
10,000 ft

"Dam to Dam" refers to the section of the North Country Trail from Croton Dam near Newaygo, MI to Hodenpyl Dam near Mesick, MI. It runs from South to North through the Manistee National Forest.  At the North end one has the option of staying on the North Country Trail on the West side of the Manistee River or crossing over to the Manistee River Trail on the East side of the river.  The Manistee River Trail adds a little distance and has more impressive views of the river.  Depending on which side of the river one takes and the exact finish point at the North end the route is roughly 130 miles.

GPS Track


Allison Kallo and I will be hiking this north(or really west, NCT-wise) bound beginning this Saturday April, 3, with the intention of besting the unsupported time.

Given the 'rona situation in central MI + spring break, we're postponing this for now. Thanks 'rona.

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Heading out to take a crack at the Unsupported FKT on July 7, 2021. I'm going to attempt a fastpack effort using the Ultimate Direction FastPack 30L weighing in just over 20 pounds at the start. I'll be wearing the Altra Lone Peak 4.5 that already have about 325 miles on them. I'm encouraged knowing my pack will be lighter as I eat its contents. This will be my first long-distance hike and my first FKT attempt.

In reply to by CMUJonBoy04

Way to give it a go @CMUJonBoy04 ! I hope you had a great time even if you DNF's. Did you graduate from CMU in 2004? I graduated from there in 2005. This looks like a great route & I hope to do it myself.

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Profile picture for user Ali J Najdi

Planning on going for the unsupported FKT on June 13th. I will be going southbound (or eastbound on the NCT) starting at Hodenpyl and ending at Croton, staying on the NCT the whole time and not taking the Manistee River Trail at the start.

DNF. Changed plans and went northbound instead. Started at Croton Dam headed towards Hodenpyl at 5:30 AM on 6/13. Made it 50 miles on day 1 before setting up camp for the night after hiking through a rough thunderstorm for the last 5 hours of the day. On day 2 I broke camp and started around 6:00 AM feeling optimistic about finishing. Most of the trail was overgrown with ferns and weeds hanging over the edges, meaning that even though it didn't storm on day 2, the overgrowth remained wet from the night before and dumped a consistent supply of water onto my feet the entire day, not allowing them to dry out at all, eventually leading to some pretty debilitating blisters and what seemed to be the onset of trench foot. I've never had issues hiking in the rain or even getting my trail runners/socks wet when fording a river or stream since my feet always dry out after some time continuing to hike, the conditions of the trail however meant that my feet would never have the opportunity to actually dry out. Towards the middle of day 2 the heat had soared to 95 degrees as a 3 day heat wave began in the area and with trail and weather conditions not seeming to get any better for the forseeable future I decided to call it around the 80 mile mark of the effort.

Attempting the Unsupported FKT with a start date of June 27th or 28th.

Unofficial results: started 9:50 am on June 27th, 2022 and finished at 11:00 pm on June 29th, 2022. Total unofficial time is approx 2 days and 13 hours.