ON the TRAIL
Manistee & Luther Railroad
The North Country Trail has three crossings of former Manistee & Luther RR track. Lake County- The trail follows part of an old rail berm through a bottomland hardwood swamp just north of 8 Mile Road. Mason County- North Country Trail crosses Koenig Rd (FR 5331 or Dead Horse Marsh Road) which was a rail bed. Manistee County- North Country Trail crosses main line where 9-Mile Bridge Road comes into Skocelas Road.
The Manistee & Luther RR was conceived by R.G. Peters, one of the first men to use trains to extract timber in Michigan. It was his most successful railroad, in operation from 1886-1914. The main line never went to either Manistee or Luther, originating instead in Eastlake (just east of Manistee) and ending in Hoxeyville. However, a second line probably did extend to Luther.
The North Country trail crosses Koenig Rd (FR 5331/ Dead Horse Marsh Rd) a half mile after entering Mason County. This road follows the route of a connecting track between the main line and the southern leg of the M&L RR.
The northernmost crossing of the M&L RR is at the intersection of Skocelas Road and 9-Mile Bridge Rd (now a seasonal 2-track). 9-Mile Bridge Road follows the original rail berm of the main line.
The M&L was a hastily laid, narrow-guage line, reputedly suffering many accidents as a result.
Michigan East & West Railway
Lake Country Railroad
Pere Marquette Railway
Manistee County Historical Society
Railroad Routes of Northwestern Lower Michigan
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|The North Country National Scenic Trail is 4800 miles long, spanning eight states. For more information, visit the North Country Trail Association|