Awesome 3 day loop

backpacking
8 days ago

This is a great trail that I've enjoyed in years past.

My wife and I are planning to hike this the second week of July. Can someone please tell me how busy the trail has been lately and if that would be expected to be a busy weekend? How are the bugs right now?

Very cool loop trail! I planned this for my first solo of the year and wanted to take my time by making it a 3 day hike. As others have said, the MRT is fairly busy. I started on a Monday and passed maybe 20 people in 10 miles. The waterfall was very cool! Spent the night in one of the larger sites around mile 10...I don't normally like to make my own site if there are empty ones around and I had to backtrack a little to find one that wasn't right on the trail. I would encourage people to try not to leave garbage anywhere...even in the fire pits. I had to get in a shouting match with one of the many raccoons that came into camp overnight that seemed pretty used to finding scraps there. The one I'm talking about was trying to jump down onto my hanging bag and wouldn't stop until it had fallen out of the tree twice and I yelled at it a few times in my long underwear and headlight (which might have been the real reason it ran terrified off into the night....).
The NCT was very nice but folks weren't lying when they said there's not a lick of water to find on it! There are some great campsites along the trail, the best of which seem to be on both sides of the few road crossings and along Eddington creek (there's a very nice one in there inside a stand of pines south of the creek that someone already had). The hike was definitely tougher than the MRT with somewhere around 200 feet of elevation gain and loss a few times hiking in and out of ravines. Nothing too bad though and all well worth the sore feet! I camped in a site upstream from the creek crossing and spent a great night listening to coyotes in the hills. I had to clean that campsite up a little and packed out the trash a few people left in the fire ring but nothing more than you tend to see in a well used campsite.
The last day was a quick detour down along the river and back to the campground. I planned on stopping at 8 miles each day...ended up pushing for about 10 miles each day instead. I started at Seaton Creek campground and went south on the MRT first.
When I come back this way, I'm definitely going to go the opposite way - you can hike both sides of the river in 2 days easily but if you're trying to take it easy or make it a 3 day run, splitting the NCT portion and then being able to stop at one of the numerous sites on the northern end of the MRT seems like a pretty solid plan. Overall, the trails are well marked and the campsites are maintained pretty well. Trash is always a problem on these kinds of trails that are easy to get to and easy to hike but I have to admit that both sides of the river are maintained very well and kept pretty clean. The trails are both well marked and easy to follow. There were the usual illegal campsites here and there but even those weren't really an eyesore and I didn't see anyone using them.
I've never used this app before so I completely screwed up the stats and tracking part. There's a chunk missing on my day 2 hike in the middle of the NCT and the waypoints aren't there. The detour I took on day 3 is at an oxbow bend in the river on the north end of the NCT side...it takes you down to the river where you can look up and see one of the first bluffs you see from the first day on the MRT side. I ran into a good sized herd of deer down there getting water so I'm glad I went! Total mileage including the hike in and out of Seaton Creek campground and the detour on day 3 made it somewhere around 25 miles of hiking.
Overall, this is a great hike and one I'll certainly come back to. Hope yall have fun out there and stay safe. Thanks for reading if you make it this far!

My wife, son and I all backpacked this trail the weekend of June 9-11. This is a great Trail for first timers. We planned on doing the whole loop in three days but due to a storm rolling in we ended up hiking out late on the second day (even after we had set up camp).

We started on the North Country Trail side which I'd recommend only because it's hillier and we had fresh energy. Additionally there are little to no water sources, so we started the hike with 3L of water each and a Nalgene.

If you've never done the trail I'd recommend the NCT side first and hike to Eddington Creek. There is a nice little campsite right by the creek. This is about 9 miles. Day two, hike to campsite 7a (for a beautiful river overlook) or campsite 8a (right beside the river). Day two is about 9 miles also (of course we ended up hiking out from 7a due to the storms). Day 3 is about 4 more miles. I forgot to mention that we parked at the Red Bridge parking lot. No charge for this lot although it not terribly big. First come first serve. The trailhead is easy to get to from there.

If you're a first time backpacker, this Trail is for you. I'm 41 and out of shape but a 35 pound pack and some good shoes, I was able to wear myself out by mile 9 each day. I thought we'd be super slow but including breaks for lunch and rest, we averaged about 1.7 miles per hour. We got to our mile markers well ahead of time!

Anyway, great first trip can't wait to go again. In fact I intend to see this Trail in the fall. The foliage must be spectacular. It's very dense.

Go see this Trail!

backpacking
14 days ago

Great trail

19 days ago

The marked campsites with awesome views and well kept trail made this an excellent experience. A little muddy at places, but either permanent or some man made eco-engineering to assist you. For the backpacker there are plenty of water sources.

backpacking
27 days ago

Hiked the trail Memorial Day Weekend. Beautiful

This trail is lower Michigan's Yellowstone it is truly a crown jewel , a great hiking destination .the only problem is the trash people leave behind new hikers please pack it out leave no trace .

This was my first backpacking trip.this was a three day trip and it was a good trip. there was good sights to see and good camping spots.