This segment begins on the south side of Mangum Road 0.20 miles west of the intersection of Mangum Rd and Sand River Rd. Walk 100 ft east on Mangum Rd then turn into the woods, heading north. Hike the trail for 0.5 miles at which point you will come out onto Sand River Road. Take Sand River Road north for 0.7 mile before heading west back into the woods on the trail. Continue on the trail for 0.68 miles. You will come out at the boat ramp for the Jeske Wildlife Flooding area. The trail picks up to the north into the woods for another 0.34 miles before emerging out onto Railroad Lane. Turn west, following the road across the Sand River Bridge. The trail follows the unimproved road to the west for 2.43 miles, ending at the west end of this segment just south of M-28. As you pass through, consider taking a turn towards Lakenenland Metal Sculpture Park just to the north (follow the signs and spur trail), http://lakenenland.com. The park is free and a nice attraction to enjoy. Except for the road connectors, this is a certified segment of NCT.
Vehicle access for Segment #7 is available from M-28 as follows:
0.7 miles. As Sand River Rd turns south, Railroad Lane goes straight west. Follow Railroad Lane for 0.5 miles where the NCT entry into the woods is on the south side of the road. There’s space to park a couple of vehicles near the bridge that crosses the Sand River on Railroad Lane. The NCT west follows this unimproved road from here to the next access point to the west.
1.1 miles. Turn west onto a gravel driveway just south of a small bridge. There is a gray mailbox by the roadside. This seasonal drive leads into the DNR Jeske Wildlife Flooding boat ramp/parking area. Drive about 0.2 mile to the parking area, staying to the left at the Y. The trail going southeast is beside what was once a boat ramp approach. A blue NCT blaze on a post is easy to spot near the water. The NCT going northwest begins a short distance away from the post to the north.
Note: There is no parking area at any of the following access points so pull your vehicle off the road as far as possible.
8.65 miles east of the intersection of M-28 and US-41 in Harvey there is a seasonal drive to the south. (Note: Watch closely for this drive. Coming from the west on M-28 you will first see a drive marked “Owl” followed by one marked “D”. The next drive is the one you want. From the east, it is about 1.1 miles west of “Lakenenland” and “Shot Point”.) Depending upon the season, you can drive about 500 feet into this drive and park. The trail follows the old unimproved road to the east, not the old railroad grade, a snowmobile trail.
About 9.5 miles east of the intersection of M-28 and US-41 in Harvey is Lakenenland, a metal sculpture park, http://lakenenland.com. Feel free to park here and access the trail from the back of the park through a trail Tom Lakenen has built. And, while you are there, take the time to stroll through the sculpture park. It is all FREE for your enjoyment.
Note: The Jeske Wildlife Flooding has in recent years been drained almost completely. Much of this segment is a wet, buggy area. The middle segment, especially, has swampy stretches. That segment would best be traveled in fall or winter. If hiking it in spring or summer, one should be prepared with bug dope and bug-proof clothing or netting. A variety of ferns grow exuberantly in this segment. Bear sign is encountered, and sandhill cranes have been heard. The more northerly part is higher, with mixed 2nd-growth forest and shrubs, and the southerly part is old forest, with balsam, hemlock and yellow birch.
There is major beaver dam flooding on the west end. Signs have been posted that reroute hikers to the RR grade that is just north of the trail. Take the RR grade for approximately 1/2 mile to miss the beaver dammed area. Note that during the snow season, the RR grade is a snowmobile trail. If the beaver area is frozen over, hikers can stay on the trail during winter months rather than take the reroute to the RR grade.
Download printable full page map as well as directions as a pdf file.