Except as otherwise noted, all contents of this Web site are Copyright Chief Noonday Chapter, the North Country Trail Association.


NCNST Trail Alerts in Chief Noonday Country

Barry County:

Barry County northeast of Middleville (New):
●   Reroute:  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 is paved. 
●   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.  (Posted 9/27/2016)

Barry State Game Area:
●   Reroute:  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 between 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.
●   Restrictions:  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. 
(Posted 9/23/2015)

Paul Henry 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 —  waypoint #4 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.  (Posted 11/6/2013)

Kalamazoo County:

Fort Custer National Cemetery section — wetlands area (New):
●   Puncheon 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.
●   The new puncheons are considerably easier and safer to walk on.
●   It 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)

W. K. Kellogg Biological Station — northern Kalamazoo County:
●    Limited 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)  

Calhoun County:

Emmett Township & the Ott Biological Preserve:
●   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 parking area.
●   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.

●   Click here for more information and the map.   (Posted 4/12/2015)

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 the Trailway.
●   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.
●   Click here for more information and the map.   (Posted 4/12/2015)

All Counties:

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 w
inter 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.  (Updated 9/27/2016)


●   Check the NCTA's Trail Alerts page.
●   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 be resolved.

Keep in touch!

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.


Last modified: Tuesday, September 27, 2016
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