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Featured National Recreation Trails

A sampling of National Recreation Trails in the news or recently designated. The NRT program showcases the diversity of trails across America, from our cities and suburbs to the deserts, waterways, and high mountains.


National Recreation Trails... America's great trails!

Every kind of trail activity is represented in the listing of designated NRTs. Besides hiking and bicycling, the system includes water trails, motorized routes, snow tracks, greenways, and equestrian paths.

arrowSearch all of Michigan's designated National Recreation Trails in the Online NRT Database


map of Michigan

photo of log gazebo

Prairie Restoration Art Project along Paint Creek Trail

Agonikak Snowmobile Trail Open in summer to hikers and mountain bikers, the trail extends northward 10.5 miles from Land O' Lakes toward Watersmeet. In winter the route is open to snowmobilers on miles of groomed trails maintained by dedicated volunteers of local snowmobile clubs.


Lake Michigan National Water Trail - Chicago to New Buffalo Segment Running through three States, the 75-mile Chicago to New Buffalo Segment of the Lake Michigan Water Trail is part of a larger vision for a nationally designated water trail around the entirety of Lake Michigan. This segment covers Chicago’s lakefront in Illinois and the entire coast of Indiana to New Buffalo in Michigan, easily accessible to the more than six million people who live in the five counties adjacent to the trail. The trail takes paddlers on a journey past urban shorelines, natural and remote lakeshore landscapes, industry, and beach communities (designated 2011).


Musketawa Trail Providing a handicapped-accessible connection between Marne and Muskegon, Michigan, this 24.7-mile rail-trail and greenway allows a variety of trail users to enjoy a range of landscapes while biking, snowmobiling, horseback riding, or simply taking a stroll (designated 2008).


North Central State Trail - 62 miles of multi-use rail-trail connecting northern Michigan communities (designated 2012).


North Eastern State Trail (NEST) Natural resources are abundant along the 71-mile NEST, connecting Alpena to Cheboygan. The trail passes along lakes and ponds, crosses rivers and streams, and connects to Aloha State Park and thousands of acres of State forest lands. The NEST is part of the over 220-mile State rail-trail network in Michigan’s northern lower peninsula and is part of the State-designated snowmobile trail network. It is open to all non-motorized use throughout the year and to snowmobiles from December 1 to March 31 (designated 2013).


Paint Creek Trail — This 8.9-mile rail-trail, identified as the first rail-trail in Michigan, is an integral part of the extensive Oakland Trail Network and follows the Paint Creek as it flows through diverse natural habitats, offering nature lovers the opportunity to observe a variety of wildlife. The photo shows the Prairie Restoration Art Project celebrating the process of controlled burns and planting native vegetation along the Paint Creek Trail. This gazebo-style structure surrounds a copper Bur Oak sculpture (designated 2006).


trail noteWe frequently add NRT information, photos and maps to these pages. Send suggestions and information requests to American Trails. Research additional NRTs in the NRT database.

See how to update online trail information in the National Recreation Trails online database or send changes by e-mail to



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The on-line database has details on the currently designated National Recreation Trails. The NRT Program online is hosted by American Trails:


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Promote your trail through the National Recreation Trails Program


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