North Country Trail- Manistee River Section is a 19.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Harrietta, MI that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
This segment is definitely a challenging trek in snowshoes and deep powder, but it is enjoyable. For the most part, the views are not as rewarding as the Manistee River trail, and upper river road is frequented by snowmobiles in the winter. However, the sound of snowmobile engines was hardly noticeable, and I never heard any at night. I hiked the segment with a friend and my dog, however, if you don't have experience hiking with your dog, or it is not one of the northern breeds, I would leave him at home in the winter. Eddington creek is the only water source but if you bring extra fuel, you can melt snow. A few warnings, call ahead to the ranger station to get conditions. Snowshoes and/or crampons (or microspikes) would be a good idea in the winter months, especially after fresh snow. The trail has camping sites that are reasonable well protected, but we had 40-50 mph gusts and ~20 mph sustained winds. Nothing too extreme, but make sure you use a 4-season tent and know how to set stakes and snow anchors if you stay the night.
A very nice trail. I think it is more than 9.8 miles.From the Marilla Trail head to the Upper River Trail head, it is 9.8 miles. From the Upper River Trail Head to Dilling Rd is another 6 miles. The trail frequently follows the ridgeline. There are good views ot the Tippy Dam back waters on the southern end of the trail and nice views of the Hodenpyl Dam backwaters about 15 minutes from the Marilla trailhead. For long stretches, there are no water sources, so, fill you bottles at Edington Creek.
Not too bad of a trail. Lots of up and down throughout. Not a whole lot of view change, mostly hills and forest. It was nice overall.
I love this trail! One of my favorites in MI. We use it for training for trail running - nice hills and some technical footing (well, for MI). The scenery is beautiful and there is plenty of wildlife.