Jordan River Pathway
Jordan River Pathway is one of my favorite early season hikes and blue ribbon trout streams.
The Jordan River Pathway is an 18-mile backpacking loop in the northern part of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, about a six-hour drive from Chicago. The scenery is beautiful and varied, from high hills overlooking the river valley, to the cool shade of the valley itself, to sunny forest clearings left by logging companies almost 100 years ago. The trail is smooth and well-marked, but there are a fair amount of hills to climb and descend.
Friday night: car camp at Graves Crossing State Forest Campground. There are 10 tent sites, $15.00 per night, on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations. No vehicle permit required. A water pump and pit toilets are available at the campground.
Saturday: Park at the Deadman's Hill Scenic Overlook; there is no parking fee or car permit required. We'll hike half the loop (we'll decide which half later) to the Pinney Bridge State Forest Campground and set up camp for the night. There are 15 tent sites, $15.00 per night, on a first-come, first-served basis. Limit of 4 tents per site. No reservations. No vehicle permit required. A water pump and pit toilets are available at the campground.
Sunday: hike the dirt road along the river for short way out and back home.
Googlemaps your way to Mancelona, MI. After that, follow 66 North and use this map of the area to find Graves Crossing State Forest Campground, about 9 miles north of Mancelona; the gps coordinates are N[masked] W[masked]; for the trailhead: N[masked] W[masked]; for the Pinney Bridge Campground: N[masked] W[masked]