Route: North Country Trail, Mackinaw City - Petoskey (MI)

Submitted by andersonp25 on Wed, 02/10/2021 - 10:19am
Michigan, US
54.55 mi
Vertical Gain
2,602 m

Mackinaw City - Petoskey.  Starting with a foot in Lake Huron by the Mackinac Bridge, and finishing at the Top of Michigan Trail Center in Petoskey (Packy Offield Trail Center.)  Follow the North Country Trail, mostly single track through Northern Michigan and gorgeous!  Or the reverse.

GPS Track


This looks like an awesome route! Based on the pictures, it looks like someone ran the route, but there is no submitted time. Did the person who submit the route neglect to submit their own time? Regardless, thanks for creating this route. Looks fun!

I found Paul's email address online & contacted him. Apparently he did run this route, but hasn't submitted it. It sounds like that was a mistake on his part. Here is what he told me:

"mostly single track and well-maintained.  The Waugaschance Marathon is on the NCT from Cross Village to Mackinac so half of it has been done...

I started under the Bridge and finished at the Trail Council HQ.  Here's a quick summary-

  • Moving Time - 10:00:30
  • Pace/mile -10:52/mi

Elapsed Time - 10:25:24"

(elapsed pace 11:19)

I found the link to his activity on strava too:

I followed up with an email asking him if he was supported. Based on the pictures (he doesn't have a pack on), I"m guessing he was supported, but who knows? I'll try to add his response here. I encouraged him to officially submit his FKT here too.

I got another follow-up from Paul Anderson. I noticed the route he ran (and posted here) deviates slightly from the current route on the NCT website posted here (see link below). The deviation is from NCT mile ~576.4-580.6 (which was mile # ~29.2-33.4 in Paul's strava activity). The new route looks like it replaces about 1.5 miles roads (dirt?) with 1.5 miles of trail. Both routes look to have about the same distance. Paul sent me a partial picture of the old NCT map he used, but I can't see a place to add attachments in this comment box.…

Here is what Paul said (important to note that his time is supported):

"Here’s the NCT map I used. The trail may have been re-routed(?). My wife drove support for me and met me every 5-10 miles so I just carried water and some back up fuel. It was great! I was the only one on the trail all day which was enjoyable but it would have been nice to see someone occasionally. I usually run alone so I was in my comfort zone."


I'm hoping to do this route this weekend as an unsupported 2 day (mostly) hike, but watching the weather.

PS. Regarding the deviation I mentioned above at mile 576.4 on the NCT, I looked at the satellite footage (and boots on the ground view) of the route on the NCT website and it doesn't make sense. It looks like it cuts through private property, there were no blue marks on trees and I didn't see a trail. I followed Paul's route and I recommend that for future users (unless the NCT organization makes their proposed route more clear). I hope to email them to ask. 

My running partner Andrew Broton and I will be setting out next weekend to attempt this route. We will be recording individual attempts, and will be supported.  We will be starting in Mackinaw City, heading towards Petoskey. We plan on following the current NCT maintained sections per the map files on their website. 

I will be attempting this route tomorrow, unsupported, and heading north bound.

User Picture
Profile picture for user andersonp25

I have submitted this several times in different formats, but no luck. Rob Peters' info on my run is correct. It was fun and a beautiful route!

User Picture
Profile picture for user stephenmessur

Going to be attempting this route Out N Back this weekend, likely starting on Saturday 5/27.