in Chief Noonday Country
County northeast of Middleville (New):
The North Country Trail has been re-routed
between the Johnson Road trailhead and the Kent
County line at Wood School Road/Baker Avenue. It is now a
road-walk connector trail the whole way, following Johnson, Garbow, and
Solomon Roads and 108th Street.
● The Johnson Road
and the north end of the Solomon Road sections are seasonal dirt roads.
Garbow Road is a maintained dirt road. The rest of this connector trail
● This re-route eliminates the
off-road trail through the section of the Middleville State Game Area
and private land between Garbow Road and Parmalee Road, the road-walk on
Harris Creek Road, and the off-road trail on the 2-track along the
county line between Harris Creek Road and Solomon Road.
The change was necessary because of the snowmobile trail using the same
path and because of landowner restrictions relating to hunting on the
private land parcel, which taken together restricted use of the path to
about six months out of the year.
State Game Area:
The Trail in the south Barry State Game Area east of Norris Road and
south of Sager Trail has been substantially rerouted away from the DNR
equestrian trail. It now runs on a generally north-south course in
the south BSGA and on the private property of
Circle Pines Center between the equestrian trail and Mullin
Road. At Mullin Road the Trail joins a roadwalk connector trail
linking the Yankee Springs-BSGA area with the W. K. Kellogg Biological
Station in Kalamazoo County.
● This reroute is a hair under 1.5
miles long and replaces 2.5 miles of equestrian trail and roadwalk
connector trail. The reroute is the red track
Waypoints #2 and #11 on the map.
● The reroute will be of interest not only to
hikers seeking a really nice trail through the woods but particularly to
birders seeking access to a nesting area of Hooded Warblers. It
will probably also be useful to hunters, so all hikers using the reroute
in the fall should do so with caution and appropriately garbed in blaze
orange clothing and head gear.
Horses, motorized bikes and ATVs, and mountain bikes are not
allowed on this section between the equestrian trail and Mullin
Road. Also, hunting and carrying firearms (even unloaded) are not
permitted on Circle Pines Center property.
Thornapple Trail section of NCNST — Middleville:
● For the
month of November (November 1 to December 1) each year, the Paul Henry Thornapple Trail/NCNST
is closed between the gates south of the Mill Pond Condominiums in
Middleville (i.e., the south village limits of Middleville —
on the map) and west of McCann Road (waypoint #12) at Irving. This
is for the protection of hikers during hunting season.
● A suggested roadwalk alternative between McCann Road
and Middleville would be West Irving Road, which lies north of the Paul
Henry Thornapple Trail and intersects with East Main Street in Middleville.
The walking distance would be about 0.2 mile less than the PHTT itself. An even better route, once you're on the West Irving Road detour, would
be to follow Loop Road, which is more scenic and carries less
vehicle traffic, although it would add 1.0 mile to your walk.
National Cemetery section — wetlands area
line replacement: Since last year, Chief Noonday chapter has
been steadily replacing the plank puncheon line with a real boardwalk
across the wetlands. We've been working from east to west.
Project leaders estimate that we are somewhere around 3/4 done.
new puncheons are considerably easier and safer to walk on.
is a work in progress. Be aware that there are still a number of
the old planks in place, as well as spots here and there where old
puncheon planks have been removed in preparation for replacement with
new ones. Walk carefully — especially where planks are wet and
slippery. (Posted 9/27/2016)
Kellogg Biological Station — northern Kalamazoo County:
hunting is allowed on KBS properties during legal hunting seasons.
Hikers should exercise caution on the Trail through KBS, stay on the
Trail, wear blaze orange visible from 360°. (Posted 11/5/2013)
Emmett Township & the Ott
● Construction has been completed on the new Calhoun County
Trailway (CCT) between Emmett Street near Raymond Rd and
Historic Bridge Park. The Trailway also passes through
Kimball Pines County Park.
● The entire road and street walk connector trail of the
North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST) south of the Emmett
Street and Raymond Road intersection has been eliminated by rerouting
the NCNST onto the Trailway down to the Jameson Avenue parking area.
● In the Ott Biological Preserve, there are now two
principal hiking trails through the Preserve, both accessible from the
Jameson Avenue and Arlington Avenue parking areas:
● The Calhoun County Trailway
is routed across the northern portion of the Preserve, replacing the old
northern portion of the North Country Trail, comes down the east side of
the Preserve, then cuts diagonally across the southern half of the
preserve to intersect the NCNST just north of the Arlington Avenue
● The North Country National Scenic Trail now follows
an alternative route which served as the temporary detour during the
construction of the CCT in 2014. It now occupies the Consumers
Energy Trail and the Main Esker Trail in the west portion of the
Preserve and rejoins its original routing on the East Esker Trail south
to the Arlington Avenue parking area.
here for more information and the map.
Kimball Pines County Park:
● Construction of the new Calhoun County Trailway
(CCT) was completed in the fall of 2014, and the greater part of the
North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST) has been re-routed onto
● A limited portion of the original NCNST has been preserved
where it used to go through the tall pines and hardwoods which were
damaged or destroyed in the wind storm of May 2011.
here for more information and the map.
Winter Trail Safety:
We had reports of several injuries occuring on the North Country
Trail in Kalamazoo and Calhoun Counties due to icy conditions on the
trails last winter.
● Last winter
was generally mild, but recurring freeze/thaw cycles resulted in notably slippery walking on both off-road and paved trails.
This was probably the case in Barry County as well.
Please click here for a discussion of
safety measures that should be taken when walking outdoors in
winter conditions, especially in remote areas on the North Country
National Scenic Trail.
● Check the NCTA's
● There is also a
Wiki Trail Guide on the NCTA Web site. However, as of
early November 2013 this site is off-line until a major spam issue can
Please notify us any time you find
conditions on the Trail, especially in Chief Noonday's tri-county area,
which hikers will want to know about when planning their treks.
And let us know when problem areas have been resolved.
E-mail the Webmaster.