View Full Version : Distance from Eastern terminus to Mackinac Bridge?

10-06-2015, 07:19
I am planning a future thru-hike of the North Country Trail, from East to West, and wanted to time it so that I would arrive at the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day. I've been running differing scenarios in my mind of the average distance I would be able to cover each day, but I cannot find out online the distance from the Eastern terminus to the Bridge. The best I could do was to use the distance tool on the NCT's GIS map, but there were sections I had to guess as they were not showing up on my computer.

Would anyone know this distance? Thank you!

10-06-2015, 16:45
Different route possibilities and a trail that is still a work in progress. No trail in places. Finalization of route and alternates will likely change hence no definitive comprehensive NCT Guidebook YET as I know of. Road walks with various road walking options too. There are various mapping options of YOUR proposed route, once you finalize YOUR EXACT route, that will compute general mileage estimates. *It's not an entirely follow the blazes, trail signage, and guidebook hike. It is also a LONG LONG Distance hike of over 4500 miles with, IMHO, for all reasonable purposes, a limited reliable hiking timeframe window.

10-06-2015, 19:47
Have you asked at the NCTA office? noprthcountrytrail.org
You might also contact Luke (Strider) Jordan, he completed the NCT in 2013. He is working on/for NCT thru the Park Service.

10-07-2015, 07:45
Thank you, Dogwood. Yes, that is pretty much the information I had gathered from online research. lol I am well aware of the distance and the winter conditions on the North Country. I grew up 20 minutes from the headquarters in Michigan and went to school in Houghton, MI. I probably won't do this hike for another couple of years or so, but am planning for it now (save up vacation wise, financially, and prep physically as well as with gear and some more experience). Thank you for your feedback!

10-07-2015, 07:46
Thanks, Slosteppin! I think I will reach out.

Odd Man Out
10-07-2015, 11:46
But it makes a good trivia question: What part of the National Scenic Trails system are you only allowed to hike one day a year?

BTW, they say you are supposed to walk from St. Ignace to Mackinaw City (W to E on the NCT). I don't know if they will let you walk it the other way. Otherwise you will have to do that section "backwards".

Another BTW, I met a NCT thru hiker sitting on main street of Grand Marais MI back in early August. Didn't get his name. We were hiking the NCT through PRNL to Sand Point (about 40 miles).

10-07-2015, 14:39
Thank you, Odd Man Out! I have known of thru hikers who have done the NCT from East to West, but hadn't questioned if it would be considered "official." That is another question I will have to pose to the headquarters.

As far as I can tell on the GIS map (and as much as my patience would allow), the distance to Big Mac from the Easter Terminal is somewhere between 1,600 and 1,700 miles. Let me know if that sounds correct or not?

10-07-2015, 23:27
Even if you mistime it and come up short, hitch or arrange a shuttle so you can walk the Mac. If you arrive early just jump on the courtesy phone and MDOT will transport you across for $5, so you can continue and then shuttle back to St. Ignace to walk the bridge. Keep this plan in mind and take the worry out of the game. At worse you hike it a little out of sequence, as you will automatically be hiking it W-E as far as the NCT is concerned. I have walked the Mac several times and it is a fun 5 miles, with an awesome view. The bus shuttles on Labor Day are cheap.

10-13-2015, 06:23
Strider's 2014 journals with daily mileages are here http://www.stridernct.com./Journals.html Should provide good info for a thru. He did go West to east, unforunately no accumulative mileage.

10-14-2015, 00:32
Hi Chickadee-Brea. This is Strider, NCT 2013. You will be happy to know as of September 2015, hiking the Mackinac Bridge is no longer required for a thru-hike. I brought the issue up to the committee who makes the decisions regarding thru-hike policies and urged them to change it. They voted in favor of the change. Don't worry about working it into a thru-hike, it's virtually impossible. Taking the $3 shuttle across is part of the trail experience. To answer your question, the distance from the eastern terminus to the Mackinac Bridge is about 2500 miles. If you have any questions about the trail, planning a thru-hike or anything else, feel free to send me an email. [email protected] I'm happy to help.