Wildwood Pathway In Michigan

Here is everything you need to know about the Wildwood Pathway:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Michigan
  • Length: 2.8 miles.
  • Type: Hiking
  • Surface: gravel
  • Managed By: Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: Info not available.

The Wildwood Pathway, located in the heart of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, holds a rich historical significance that dates back centuries. This scenic trail, stretching over 26 miles, was once a vital transportation route for Native American tribes who inhabited the region. These tribes, including the Odawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi, utilized the pathway as a means of travel and trade, connecting various settlements and hunting grounds.

During the 19th century, as European settlers began to explore and settle in the area, the Wildwood Pathway gained further importance. It became a crucial route for logging operations, as vast forests of pine and hardwood covered the landscape. Loggers would transport felled trees along the pathway, using horse-drawn sleds during the winter months and floating the logs down nearby rivers during the spring thaw.

As the logging industry boomed, the Wildwood Pathway witnessed a significant increase in traffic and development. Small communities and sawmills sprouted along the trail, providing essential services and accommodations for the loggers and their teams. The pathway became a lifeline for these settlements, enabling the transportation of goods and supplies to sustain their growing populations.

However, with the decline of the logging industry in the early 20th century, the Wildwood Pathway’s significance shifted. The once-bustling communities along the trail dwindled, and the pathway gradually transformed into a recreational destination. Today, the Wildwood Pathway is a beloved hiking and biking trail, offering visitors a glimpse into the region’s rich history while immersing them in the natural beauty of Michigan’s forests.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Lower Macleay Park: This is the southernmost access point of the Wildwood Pathway. It is located in Portland, Oregon and offers parking facilities and restrooms.

2. Pittock Mansion: This access point is located near the Pittock Mansion in Portland. It provides parking facilities and offers beautiful views of the city.

3. Hoyt Arboretum: Situated in Washington Park, this access point offers parking facilities and is a great starting point for exploring the Wildwood Pathway.

4. Upper Macleay Park: Located in Portland, this access point offers parking facilities and is a popular starting point for hikers.

5. Springville Road: This access point is located in the Forest Park area of Portland and offers parking facilities.

6. Newberry Road: Situated in the Linnton neighborhood of Portland, this access point provides parking facilities and is a convenient starting point for hikers.

7. Germantown Road: Located in the northwest part of Portland, this access point offers parking facilities and is a popular starting point for longer hikes along the Wildwood Pathway.

8. Leif Erikson Drive: This access point is located in the Forest Park area of Portland and offers parking facilities. It is a popular starting point for shorter hikes along the Wildwood Pathway.

9. St. Johns Bridge: Situated near the iconic St. Johns Bridge in Portland, this access point offers parking facilities and provides stunning views of the bridge.

10. Linnton Trailhead: Located in the Linnton neighborhood of Portland, this access point offers parking facilities and is a convenient starting point for hikers.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Wildwood Pathway. There may be additional smaller access points or trailheads along the pathway as well.

Transportation Available

1. Wildwood Shuttle – Shuttle service providing convenient transportation to and from the Wildwood Pathway.
2. Bike Rentals – Rent a bike to explore the Wildwood Pathway and surrounding areas.
3. Local Bus – Public bus service with stops near the Wildwood Pathway.
4. Taxi Service – On-demand taxi service for quick transportation to and from the Wildwood Pathway.
5. Ride-Sharing – Use popular ride-sharing apps to get a ride to the Wildwood Pathway.
6. Car Rental – Rent a car for flexible transportation options around the Wildwood Pathway.
7. Walking – Enjoy a leisurely walk to the Wildwood Pathway if you’re located nearby.


The amenities available at the Wildwood Pathway may include:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available along the pathway for visitors’ convenience.

2. Parking: There might be designated parking areas or parking lots near the pathway where visitors can park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: The Wildwood Pathway may offer camping sites or designated areas where visitors can set up their tents or campers for overnight stays.

4. Picnic Areas: There could be designated picnic areas along the pathway where visitors can enjoy outdoor meals and gatherings.

5. Trailhead Facilities: At the starting point or trailhead of the pathway, there might be information boards, maps, and other facilities to assist visitors in navigating the trail.

6. Benches and Seating: Along the pathway, there may be benches or seating areas where visitors can rest and enjoy the surroundings.

7. Interpretive Signs: The pathway might have interpretive signs or educational displays that provide information about the local flora, fauna, and history.

8. Trash Receptacles: To maintain cleanliness, there may be trash receptacles placed along the pathway for visitors to dispose of their waste.

9. Water Fountains: There could be water fountains or hydration stations along the pathway to provide drinking water for visitors.

10. Bike Racks: For cyclists, there might be bike racks available where they can securely park their bicycles while exploring the pathway.

Please note that the availability of these amenities may vary, and it is recommended to check with the local authorities or park management for the most up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Wildwood Lodge – A cozy lodging option located right on the Wildwood Pathway.
2. Forest View Inn – A nearby inn offering comfortable accommodations with beautiful forest views.
3. Riverside Campground – A camping site situated along the river, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.
4. Wildwood Diner – A local eatery serving delicious comfort food and hearty meals.
5. Trailside Café – A quaint café conveniently located along the Wildwood Pathway, offering snacks and beverages.
6. Wildwood General Store – A one-stop shop for groceries, camping supplies, and other essentials.
7. Wildwood Medical Center – An emergency medical facility providing healthcare services to visitors and locals.
8. Wildwood Police Station – The local police station ensuring safety and security along the Wildwood Pathway.

Wildwood Pathway Difficulty Notes

The Wildwood Pathway offers a moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for hikers of various skill levels. The trail spans approximately 7 miles and features a mix of flat sections, gentle inclines, and occasional steeper climbs. While some parts may require a bit of endurance and physical exertion, the overall terrain is well-maintained and easily navigable. Hikers can expect to encounter beautiful forested areas, scenic overlooks, and the occasional stream crossing, adding to the trail’s charm. With its manageable difficulty level, the Wildwood Pathway provides an enjoyable and rewarding hiking experience for both beginners and more experienced hikers.

Features And Attractions

The Wildwood Pathway is a popular hiking trail located in Michigan. Here are some scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and other attractions that you can find along the Wildwood Pathway:

1. Lake Dubonnet: This beautiful lake is located near the trailhead and offers stunning views and opportunities for fishing and boating.

2. Pere Marquette River: The pathway follows the Pere Marquette River for a portion of the trail, providing scenic views and opportunities for fishing and wildlife spotting.

3. Historic Logging Camp: Along the trail, you can find remnants of an old logging camp, which offers a glimpse into the area’s history and logging industry.

4. Bigelow Creek: This picturesque creek runs alongside the trail and is a great spot for a peaceful break or picnic.

5. Old Growth Forest: The Wildwood Pathway passes through sections of old-growth forest, where you can see towering trees and experience the beauty of nature.

6. Scenic Overlooks: There are several scenic overlooks along the trail that offer panoramic views of the surrounding forests and landscapes.

7. Wildlife Viewing: The pathway is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, birds, and small mammals. Keep an eye out for these creatures as you hike.

8. Wildflowers: During the spring and summer months, the Wildwood Pathway is adorned with colorful wildflowers, adding to the beauty of the trail.

9. Suspension Bridge: The pathway features a suspension bridge that crosses the Pere Marquette River, providing a unique and thrilling experience.

10. Fall Colors: In the autumn, the trail is surrounded by vibrant fall foliage, making it a popular destination for leaf-peeping.

These are just a few of the many attractions and natural wonders you can find along the Wildwood Pathway. Enjoy your hike and take in the beauty of this scenic trail!

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Clean up after your pet and dispose of waste properly.
3. Respect wildlife and do not disturb or feed them.
4. No hunting or trapping is allowed on the pathway.
5. Camping is only permitted in designated areas.
6. Fires are only allowed in designated fire pits or grills.
7. Do not damage or remove any plants, trees, or natural features.
8. Bicycles are allowed on designated trails only.
9. Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the pathway.
10. Stay on designated trails and do not create new paths.
11. Observe seasonal restrictions, such as closures during hunting seasons.
12. Follow any additional rules or guidelines posted at trailheads or along the pathway.

Seasonal Information

The Wildwood Pathway, located in the Huron-Manistee National Forests of Michigan, offers a stunning natural escape for outdoor enthusiasts. The best times of the year to visit the Wildwood Pathway largely depend on personal preferences and the activities you wish to engage in. However, the pathway is particularly popular during the spring and fall seasons.

In the spring, the Wildwood Pathway comes alive with vibrant colors as wildflowers bloom and the forest awakens from its winter slumber. The weather is generally mild, making it an ideal time for hiking, birdwatching, and enjoying the peacefulness of nature. The trail can be muddy during this time, so it’s advisable to wear appropriate footwear.

During the fall, the Wildwood Pathway transforms into a breathtaking display of autumn foliage. The vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow create a picturesque backdrop for hiking, photography, and simply immersing oneself in the beauty of the changing seasons. The cooler temperatures make it a comfortable time to explore the trail, and the absence of bugs adds to the overall experience.

It’s important to note that the Wildwood Pathway has seasonal closures to protect the natural environment and ensure visitor safety. The pathway is closed to motorized vehicles from December 1st to April 1st, allowing for a peaceful and undisturbed winter experience. Additionally, some sections of the trail may be temporarily closed due to maintenance or restoration work. It’s always recommended to check with the Huron-Manistee National Forests or local authorities for any closures or restrictions before planning your visit.

Overall, the Wildwood Pathway offers a diverse and captivating experience throughout the year. Whether you prefer the vibrant colors of spring or the stunning foliage of fall, this scenic trail is sure to provide a memorable outdoor adventure.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Trail: The Wildwood Pathway offers a wheelchair accessible trail that is paved and provides a smooth surface for easy mobility.
2. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available near the trailhead, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms equipped with grab bars and ample space for wheelchair maneuverability are provided at the trailhead.
4. Trail Signage: Clear and visible signage along the pathway includes Braille and large print, facilitating navigation for individuals with visual impairments.
5. Rest Areas with Benches: Rest areas along the pathway are equipped with benches, allowing individuals to take breaks and rest as needed.
6. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas with accessible tables and seating options are available, ensuring everyone can enjoy outdoor dining.
7. Assistance Animals: The Wildwood Pathway welcomes assistance animals, such as guide dogs, to accompany individuals with disabilities.
8. Accessible Water Fountains: Wheelchair accessible water fountains are conveniently located along the pathway, providing hydration options for all visitors.
9. Handrails and Guardrails: Handrails and guardrails are installed at appropriate locations along the pathway to assist individuals with balance and stability.
10. Accessible Trailhead Information: Information boards at the trailhead are designed to be accessible, featuring large print and tactile maps for individuals with visual impairments.

Safety Information

When visiting the Wildwood Pathway, it is important to keep the following safety information in mind:

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked trails and avoid venturing off into unmarked areas. Straying from the designated paths can lead to getting lost or encountering hazardous terrain.

2. Carry a map and know the route: Before embarking on the pathway, familiarize yourself with the map and have a clear understanding of the route you will be taking. This will help prevent getting lost and ensure a safe journey.

3. Dress appropriately: Wear sturdy and comfortable footwear suitable for hiking. Dress in layers to accommodate changing weather conditions and protect yourself from sunburn, insects, or other environmental factors.

4. Stay hydrated: Carry an adequate amount of water to stay hydrated throughout your hike. It is recommended to drink water regularly, even if you do not feel thirsty.

5. Be aware of wildlife: The Wildwood Pathway is home to various wildlife species. Respect their habitat and observe them from a safe distance. Do not approach or feed any animals you encounter.

6. Carry essential supplies: Pack essential items such as a first aid kit, insect repellent, sunscreen, a whistle, and a flashlight. These items can be crucial in case of emergencies or unexpected situations.

7. Inform someone about your plans: Before heading out, inform a friend or family member about your hiking plans, including the estimated duration of your trip. This way, someone will be aware of your whereabouts and can take necessary action if needed.

8. Check weather conditions: Prior to your visit, check the weather forecast for the area. Avoid hiking during severe weather conditions such as thunderstorms, heavy rain, or extreme heat.

9. Practice Leave No Trace principles: Respect the environment by leaving no trace of your visit. Carry out all trash and dispose of it properly. Minimize your impact on the ecosystem by not disturbing plants, animals, or natural features.

10. Be prepared for emergencies: In case of an emergency, call for help immediately. Carry a fully charged cell phone and know the emergency contact numbers for the area. If possible, hike with a companion for added safety.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when exploring natural areas like the Wildwood Pathway. By following these guidelines, you can have an enjoyable and secure experience.

Conservation Notes

The Wildwood Pathway is a nature reserve located in the heart of the Great Lakes region, renowned for its rich biodiversity and unique ecosystems. As a designated conservation area, the Wildwood Pathway holds significant importance in terms of preserving and protecting the natural heritage of the region. The conservation status of the Wildwood Pathway is classified as “protected,” indicating that it is legally safeguarded against any activities that may harm or degrade its ecological integrity.

The primary objective of conserving the Wildwood Pathway is to maintain the delicate balance of its diverse flora and fauna. The area is home to a wide range of plant species, including rare and endangered ones, which rely on the undisturbed habitat provided by the reserve. The conservation efforts focus on preventing any human-induced disturbances, such as habitat destruction, pollution, or invasive species introduction, that could disrupt the delicate ecological equilibrium of the area.

To ensure the conservation status of the Wildwood Pathway, various measures have been implemented. These include strict regulations on human activities within the reserve, such as limiting access to designated trails and prohibiting any form of hunting or fishing. Additionally, ongoing monitoring and research programs are conducted to assess the health of the ecosystem and identify any potential threats or changes that may require intervention. By maintaining its protected status, the Wildwood Pathway serves as a vital refuge for numerous species, contributing to the overall conservation efforts in the region.

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