Jordan River Pathway In Michigan

Here is everything you need to know about the Jordan River Pathway:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Michigan
  • Length: 18 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The Jordan River Pathway is a scenic hiking trail located in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The history of this pathway dates back to the early 20th century when it was initially used as a transportation route for logging operations in the region. The river itself, the Jordan River, played a crucial role in the timber industry during this time.

In the late 1800s, the area surrounding the Jordan River was heavily forested, attracting logging companies seeking to exploit the abundant timber resources. The river served as a convenient means of transporting logs downstream to sawmills and other processing facilities. Loggers would float the logs down the river, taking advantage of its swift current and navigable stretches. As a result, the Jordan River became a vital artery for the timber industry, facilitating the transportation of millions of board feet of lumber.

As the logging industry declined in the early 20th century, the Jordan River Pathway emerged as a recreational trail. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recognized the natural beauty and ecological significance of the area and designated it as a state forest pathway in the 1970s. The pathway was established to provide hikers and outdoor enthusiasts with an opportunity to explore the picturesque landscapes and diverse ecosystems along the Jordan River.

Today, the Jordan River Pathway is a popular destination for nature lovers, offering a 18-mile loop trail that winds through dense forests, crosses picturesque bridges, and follows the meandering course of the Jordan River. Hikers can witness remnants of the logging era, such as old logging roads and remnants of dams, while enjoying the tranquility and natural beauty of the area. The historical significance of the Jordan River Pathway serves as a reminder of the region’s rich logging heritage and the subsequent transformation of the landscape into a recreational haven.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Deadman’s Hill Trailhead: Located at the southern end of the Jordan River Pathway, this trailhead offers parking facilities and access to the trail.

2. Pinney Bridge Trailhead: Situated near the middle of the pathway, this access point provides parking and access to the trail.

3. Rogers Road Trailhead: Located towards the northern end of the Jordan River Pathway, this trailhead offers parking facilities and access to the trail.

4. Graves Crossing Trailhead: Situated near the middle of the pathway, this access point provides parking and access to the trail.

5. Landslide Trailhead: Located towards the northern end of the Jordan River Pathway, this trailhead offers parking facilities and access to the trail.

6. Deadman’s Hill Overlook: This scenic overlook is accessible from the pathway and provides stunning views of the surrounding area.

7. Pinney Bridge Campground: Situated near the middle of the pathway, this campground offers camping facilities and access to the trail.

8. Jordan River Valley Campground: Located towards the northern end of the Jordan River Pathway, this campground provides camping facilities and access to the trail.

9. Graves Crossing Campground: Situated near the middle of the pathway, this campground offers camping facilities and access to the trail.

10. Landslide Campground: Located towards the northern end of the Jordan River Pathway, this campground provides camping facilities and access to the trail.

Transportation Available

1. Jordan River Parkway Trailhead – Starting point of the Jordan River Pathway.
2. UTA Trax Red Line – Light rail service connecting various locations in Salt Lake City, including the Jordan River Parkway.
3. UTA Bus Route 35 – Bus service running along the Jordan River Parkway, providing access to nearby neighborhoods and attractions.
4. GreenBike – Bike-sharing program offering convenient transportation options for exploring the Jordan River Pathway.
5. Lyft – Ride-hailing service available for quick and convenient transportation to and from the Jordan River Pathway.
6. Lime – Electric scooter and bike-sharing service providing alternative transportation options for navigating the area around the Jordan River Pathway.
7. Yellow Cab – Traditional taxi service available for transportation needs in the vicinity of the Jordan River Pathway.
8. Enterprise Rent-A-Car – Car rental service offering vehicles for those seeking independent transportation along the Jordan River Pathway.


The amenities available at the Jordan River Pathway include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available at various points along the pathway, including at the trailhead and at designated camping areas.

2. Parking: There are parking lots available at the trailhead and other designated areas along the pathway for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: The Jordan River Pathway offers several designated camping sites along the trail. These sites typically have fire rings, picnic tables, and access to restroom facilities.

4. Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas along the pathway where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack. These areas often have picnic tables and benches.

5. Drinking Water: There are water sources available at some of the camping areas and trailheads. However, it is advisable to carry your own drinking water as well.

6. Trail Markers: The pathway is well-marked with trail signs and markers to help visitors navigate the trail easily.

7. Scenic Overlooks: There are several scenic overlooks along the Jordan River Pathway that offer beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.

8. Wildlife Viewing: The pathway provides opportunities for wildlife viewing, as it passes through diverse habitats. Visitors may spot various bird species, deer, and other wildlife along the trail.

9. Fishing: The Jordan River is known for its excellent fishing opportunities. Anglers can try their luck at catching trout, salmon, and other fish species in the river.

10. Interpretive Signage: There are interpretive signs along the pathway that provide information about the natural and cultural history of the area.

Please note that amenities may vary depending on the specific section of the pathway and any recent updates or changes. It is always recommended to check with local authorities or visitor centers for the most up-to-date information before visiting.

Nearby Services

1. Jordan Valley Campground – Campground with RV and tent sites near the Jordan River Pathway.
2. Jordan Inn – Cozy inn offering comfortable accommodations near the trail.
3. Jordan River Motel – Budget-friendly motel located close to the Jordan River Pathway.
4. Jordan River Pathway Trailhead Campground – Primitive campground at the trailhead, perfect for hikers.
5. Jordan River Market – Convenient store offering snacks and supplies for hikers.
6. Jordan River State Forest Campground – Rustic campground within the state forest, ideal for nature lovers.
7. Jordan River Fish Hatchery – Facility providing emergency services and information for visitors.
8. Jordan River Township Fire Department – Local fire department offering emergency services in the area.
9. Jordan River Township Police Department – Police department providing emergency services and assistance.
10. Jordan Valley EMS – Emergency medical services available for any medical emergencies along the pathway.

Jordan River Pathway Difficulty Notes

The Jordan River Pathway offers a moderate level of difficulty for hikers. The trail spans approximately 18 miles and features a variety of terrains, including rolling hills, dense forests, and river crossings. While the path is well-marked and maintained, some sections may be rocky or muddy, requiring careful footing. Additionally, there are a few steep ascents and descents along the way, which can be challenging for less experienced hikers. However, with proper preparation and a reasonable level of fitness, the Jordan River Pathway provides a rewarding and enjoyable adventure for outdoor enthusiasts.

Features And Attractions

1. Scenic views:
– Jordan River Valley Overlook: Offers panoramic views of the Jordan River Valley and surrounding forests.
– Deadman’s Hill Overlook: Provides stunning vistas of the Jordan River and its winding path through the valley.
– Fisher’s Tower: A unique rock formation that offers a picturesque view of the river and surrounding landscape.
– Jordan River Gorge: A deep, narrow canyon with towering cliffs that create a dramatic and scenic backdrop.

2. Historical sites:
– Jordan River Bridge: A historic bridge that spans the river and offers a glimpse into the area’s transportation history.
– Graves Crossing: A historic river crossing point used by early settlers and Native American tribes.
– Jordan River Log Slide: A remnant of the logging industry, where logs were slid down into the river for transportation.

3. Natural landmarks:
– Jordan River: The main attraction of the pathway, the river itself is a beautiful natural landmark, known for its clear waters and diverse wildlife.
– Jordan River State Forest: A vast forested area along the river, offering opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife spotting.
– Jordan River Valley: A picturesque valley with rolling hills, forests, and meadows, providing a serene and tranquil natural setting.
– Jordan River Pathway Trailhead: The starting point of the pathway, surrounded by lush vegetation and towering trees.

4. Other attractions:
– Jordan River Pathway Campground: A designated camping area along the pathway, providing a convenient place to rest and enjoy the natural surroundings.
– Jordan River Pathway Loop: A popular hiking trail that takes you through various scenic spots and natural landmarks along the pathway.
– Jordan River Pathway Waterfalls: Several small waterfalls can be found along the pathway, adding to the beauty and charm of the area.
– Jordan River Pathway Wildlife: The pathway is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, beavers, otters, and a wide range of bird species.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets are allowed on the Jordan River Pathway but must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Camping is only permitted in designated campsites along the pathway.
3. Campfires are only allowed in designated fire rings or grills.
4. Littering is strictly prohibited. Visitors must pack out all trash and leave no trace.
5. Hunting and fishing are allowed in accordance with state regulations.
6. Bicycles are allowed on the pathway but must yield to pedestrians.
7. Motorized vehicles, including ATVs and motorcycles, are not allowed on the pathway.
8. The pathway is open year-round, but certain sections may have seasonal restrictions due to weather conditions or maintenance work.

Seasonal Information

The Jordan River Pathway in Michigan offers a stunning outdoor experience for hikers and nature enthusiasts. The best times of the year to visit this beautiful trail are during the spring and fall seasons. In the spring, the pathway comes alive with vibrant wildflowers and lush greenery. The weather is generally mild, making it perfect for a leisurely hike or a picnic along the riverbanks. Fall, on the other hand, treats visitors to a breathtaking display of autumn colors as the leaves change to vibrant shades of red, orange, and gold. The crisp air and cooler temperatures make it an ideal time for a refreshing hike through the picturesque landscape.

It’s important to note that the Jordan River Pathway has seasonal closures during the winter months. Due to heavy snowfall and potentially hazardous conditions, the trail is closed from December 1st to April 1st. During this time, it is not accessible to hikers or any other recreational activities. However, the closure period allows for the preservation of the trail and ensures the safety of visitors. It also provides an opportunity for the local wildlife to thrive undisturbed.

When planning a visit to the Jordan River Pathway, it is advisable to check the trail’s official website or contact the local authorities for the most up-to-date information on closures, trail conditions, and any other relevant updates. This will help ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience while exploring this scenic pathway. Whether you choose to visit in the spring or fall, the Jordan River Pathway promises a memorable adventure amidst the natural beauty of Michigan’s wilderness.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces near the Jordan River Pathway entrance for easy access.
2. Paved Pathways: Smooth and level paved pathways throughout the trail for wheelchair users.
3. Accessible Restrooms: ADA-compliant restrooms with accessible stalls and facilities.
4. Wheelchair Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas with accessible tables and seating for wheelchair users.
5. Braille Signage: Braille signage along the pathway to provide information and directions for visually impaired individuals.
6. Handrails: Handrails installed along certain sections of the pathway to assist individuals with mobility challenges.
7. Accessible Fishing Platforms: Fishing platforms designed to accommodate wheelchair users, allowing them to enjoy fishing along the river.
8. Accessible Viewing Areas: Scenic viewpoints with accessible ramps or platforms for individuals with mobility limitations.
9. Service Animal Accommodations: The pathway allows service animals to accompany individuals with disabilities.
10. Accessible Trailhead Facilities: ADA-compliant facilities at the trailhead, including accessible parking, restrooms, and information boards.

Safety Information

When visiting the Jordan River Pathway in Jordan, it is essential to keep the following safety information in mind:

1. Weather Conditions: Check the weather forecast before heading out and be prepared for changing weather conditions. Jordan can experience extreme heat during summers and cold temperatures during winters. Dress appropriately and carry necessary gear like sunscreen, hats, and extra layers.

2. Trail Conditions: Be aware of the trail conditions and difficulty level before starting your hike. The Jordan River Pathway offers various terrains, including rocky sections, steep slopes, and river crossings. Wear sturdy footwear and be cautious while navigating uneven surfaces.

3. Hydration: Carry an adequate amount of water to stay hydrated throughout your hike. The Jordan River Pathway may not have easily accessible water sources, so it is crucial to bring enough water for the duration of your trip.

4. Wildlife Awareness: Jordan is home to diverse wildlife, including snakes, scorpions, and insects. Be cautious and avoid disturbing or provoking any animals you encounter. Keep a safe distance and do not attempt to touch or feed them.

5. Navigation: Familiarize yourself with the trail map and carry a compass or GPS device to ensure you stay on the designated path. It is easy to get disoriented in unfamiliar surroundings, so always be aware of your location.

6. Emergency Preparedness: Inform someone about your hiking plans, including your expected return time. Carry a fully charged mobile phone and emergency supplies like a first aid kit, whistle, flashlight, and extra food. In case of an emergency, stay calm and contact local authorities or emergency services.

7. Leave No Trace: Respect the environment and practice Leave No Trace principles. Pack out all your trash and dispose of it properly. Avoid damaging plants, trees, or any natural features along the pathway.

8. Group Safety: If hiking in a group, stay together and maintain communication. Do not leave anyone behind or wander off alone. Look out for each other’s well-being and assist if someone encounters difficulties.

9. River Safety: If crossing the Jordan River, assess the water depth and current before attempting to cross. Be cautious of slippery rocks and swift currents. If unsure, consider finding an alternative route or waiting for assistance.

10. Respect Local Customs: Jordan has a rich cultural heritage, and it is important to respect local customs and traditions. Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites, and be mindful of local sensitivities.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when exploring any natural area. By being prepared, aware of your surroundings, and respecting the environment, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience on the Jordan River Pathway.

Conservation Notes

The Jordan River Pathway is a scenic hiking trail located in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. In terms of its conservation status, the pathway is considered to be well-preserved and protected. It is managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and falls under the jurisdiction of the state’s designated Natural Rivers Act.

The conservation efforts for the Jordan River Pathway primarily focus on maintaining the natural integrity of the surrounding ecosystem. The pathway traverses through a diverse range of habitats, including wetlands, forests, and riverbanks, which are home to a variety of plant and animal species. To ensure the preservation of these habitats, the DNR has implemented measures to prevent habitat degradation and minimize human impact on the area.

The Jordan River Pathway is designated as a non-motorized trail, which helps to reduce disturbances to wildlife and minimize erosion caused by off-road vehicles. Additionally, the DNR has established regulations to protect the water quality of the Jordan River, which runs alongside the pathway. These regulations aim to prevent pollution and maintain the river’s ecological health, benefiting both aquatic species and the surrounding riparian ecosystem.

Overall, the conservation status of the Jordan River Pathway is considered to be in good condition. The efforts made by the Michigan DNR and the implementation of regulations have contributed to the preservation of the natural environment along the trail. This ensures that visitors can continue to enjoy the beauty of the Jordan River Pathway while minimizing their impact on the delicate ecosystems it passes through.

Leave a Comment