The Shingle Mill Pathway links up with the High Country Pathway, an 80-mile route that snakes east through state land in four counties, passing through a wilderness of rolling hills and several creeks feeding the Black River. A side trail leads to Shoepac Lake and the Sinkholes Pathway, where the land is pitted with dry sinkholes and sinkhole lakes, formed when underground limestone caves collapsed.
Elk may be the main attraction at Pigeon River, but beavers bring visitors to the Big Bear Lake Nature Pathway, 17 miles east of Gaylord. Part of the Mackinaw State Forest trail, the pathway’s two loops total just over two miles and lead through a variety of landscape and habitats home to deer, porcupine, woodcock, waterfowl, and beaver.
he shorter, 0.8-mile Beaver Lodge Loop circles a pond with an active beaver colony. The longer Eagles Roost Trail carves a wide, two-mile loop that threads its way through upland hardwoods and through a dense stand of aspen and an open area carpeted with wildflowers in the summer. Both trails begin and end at a large state forest campground on the north shore of Big Bear Lake.
by Laura Martone from Moon Michigan, 3rd Edition, © Avalon Travel