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Haywire Grade Trail

2020 was the 50th anniversary of the designation of the Haywire Grade Trail as the first rail-trail in Michigan. It was opened in 1970. In preparation for the trail's 50th anniversary in 2020, improvements to the trail are underway, including the addition of mile markers and new signage. 11 new interpretive kiosks are also being installed at various weigh points along the trail. it was part of the Manistique & Northwestern Railroad that was completed in 1898. The purpose of the railroad was to haul white pine timber from logging camps to lumber mills in Manistique.

trailThe trail runs from M-94 south of Shingleton to the Water Intake Plant in Manistique on a surface of gravel, dirt and sand; about 33 miles. It also includes ballast from the old rail bed upon which it runs, making travel difficult for bikes and horses in some spots. It follows the former Manistique and Lake Superior Railroad. The multi-use pathway is primarily used by ATV riders in summer and snowmobilers in winter. The trail is also open to mountain biking, hiking and horse riding.

The trail crosses miles of 2nd growth forest with great distances with nothing but forests and plains. A couple of towns are still in existence from the old days, Stueben for instance, where there is a small store to get supplies.