We just completed this hike in August. It was our first backpacking trip and we had an amazing time! It was my husband and I and our 2 children ages 11 and 13. We did it in 4 days, 3 nights. Our garmin watches clocked it at 48 miles, but that included the distance to and from our campsites, side trails, trips to "toilets" etc. It is claimed to be 42 miles, I believe. I feel it was a great choice for a first backpacking trip because aside from the beautiful views, the sites all have ample bear locker storage, there is plenty of water available (just bring a filter), and pit toilets at most campsite areas. Also, the areas of the trail that are scenic points and accessible by parking lots and drive-in campgrounds gave opportunities for getting rid of trash and bathrooms! We went from Grand Sable Visitor Center to Munising Falls Visitor Center, and used Altran to shuttle us. We had no problems and we felt glad we went westward. The entire trail was beautiful and scenic, but the last half was really the best. I can't recommend this trail enough.