State of Michigan
Exact Location:
Michigan is located north of the states of Ohio and Indiana, and between the states of Ohio and Wisconsin on the North Country Trail. Latitude 41°40' to 47°30' north, and Longitude 82°26' to 90°30' west.
state of Michigan satellite image
State of Michigan, and the approximate route of the North Country Trail (Google satellite image with trail overlay)

Michigan consists of two peninsulas and has over 3000 miles of Great Lakes coastline. The Ojibwe word for "great water" or "land surrounded by water" was Michigama. Thus the name, Michigan.

It also has the most miles of any of the eight North Country Trail states, with almost 1200. The most off-road miles are also found in Michigan.

Trail Overview:

welcome to Michigan sign at the Ohio Michigan border on the North Country Trail
The handmade sign that welcomes hikers to Michigan (photo by jhy)
The North Country Trail enters Michigan from Ohio on Territorial Road at County Road 25. The sign is posted where a hiker turns north from Territorial onto Tuttle Road. It leaves the state, passing into Wisconsin, north of Ironwood, 1159 miles later.

The variety of landscapes and trail types in Michigan runs the gamut from paved rail-trails to designated wilderness in the Upper Peninsula. Many miles in southeast Michigan are currently on roads. However, progressing north, there are State Game Areas, State and National Forests, Wilderness Areas, State Parks, small towns and several larger communities. Trail Towns include Kalkaska, Petoskey, St. Ignace, Marquette...


The general region of Michigan was inhabited by Native Americans of the Hopewell culture, until around the 13th Century AD. From this arose more familiar tribes such as the Ojibwe, Odawa, Potowatomi, Mascouten & Miami. Estern tribes of the Iroquois began to push these people westward.

The first known European to explore the peninsula was Étienne Brűlé, around 1620. The French first controlled the area, and Fort Michilimackinac became strategic, as it controlled the straight between Lakes Huron and Michigan. Following the Revolutionary War, the United States gained possession and the area was known as part of the Northwest Territory.

Ohio became a state in 1802, and in 1835 Ohio was given the "Toledo Strip," formerly part of the Michigan Territory (and otherwise known as The Great Black Swamp), and Michigan was given the western Upper Peninsula. Two years later, Michigan became a state.

Capital: Lansing
Nickname: The Wolverine State
Motto: "If you seek a pleasant Peninsula, look around you."
Tree: White Pine
Bird: Robin
Flower: Apple blossom

state flag of michigan
flag of the State of Michigan (public domain)


The base rock of Michigan is a Precambrian sedimentary bowl centered near Gladwin. The rim of this bowl breaks the surface in the western Upper Peninsula, where it is known as Pictured Rocks. The entire state was covered by glaciers of the Wisconsin Ice Age, and most current hills are eroded remnants of a large end moraine.

personal experience and various public records

Main Index     MI Lower Peninsula Index     MI Upper Peninsula Index

The North Country National Scenic Trail is 4600 miles long, spanning eight states. For more information, visit the North Country Trail Association