Carl T. Johnson/Mitchell State Park

Why it’s great for the first time hiker…

3.5 miles of hard pack natural surface trail with scenic overlooks and information stations about the natural plant life of the area. A great relaxing hike with an educational component for the entire family.

Why it’s great for the first time XC skier…

3.5 miles of trails transform into a great XC skiing track for beginners learning the sport.  The Carl T. has skis and snowshoes availble for those who do not have their own.


Best segment(s) for a 2 hours or less hike

The entire segment can be completed (out and back) in under 2 hours.

Trail Description

Accessed from the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center, the Mitchell State Park Heritage Trail offers 3.5 miles of nature trails on wood chip paths with bridges and boardwalks featuring abundant wildlife, and interpretive signage.

Group tours and guided hikes are available along the 2.6 mile loop of woodland and Heritage Marsh. The nature trail is a study area that provides an ideal environment for a variety of plants and wildlife to thrive. The area is home to a wide variety of songbirds, birds of prey such as barred owls, red-tailed hawks, the occasional bald eagle, as well as deer, beavers, and muskrats.

Difficulty: Beginner


Trail Amenities/Quick Look:

  • Natural/Hard Pack Surface
  • Groomed XC ski trails in the winter
  • Snowshoeing during winter months
  • Benches along the Route
  • Non-Motorized Only
  • Information Stations
  • Restrooms
  • Fishing Pier
  • Group Tours Available

Trailhead Locations

Trailhead - Carl T. Johnson/Mitchell State Park

Unplug. Explore. Michigan's Great Outdoors.

The Michigan's Great Outdoors collaborative consists of five Northern Michigan counties all working together to promote tourism in the region.  With so many hiking, biking, winter sports, and ORV trails in the region that dynamically connect these counties, this site is devoted to educate the first-time visitor to the region looking to explore the great outdoors for the first time.  We welcome you to browse this site and explore all this region has to offer.