Shingle Mill Pathway


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Shingle Mill Pathway Facts

States: Michigan
Counties: Otsego
Length: 12 miles
Trail end points: E. Sturgeon Valley Rd. (Pigeon Bridge Campground) and Grass Lake Road and other points
Trail surfaces: Dirt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016216
Trail activities: Fishing, Mountain Biking, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Shingle Mill Pathway Description

The Shingle Mill Pathway is a series of trail loops for hikers, cross-country skiers and mountain bikers. Horses and snowmobiles are not permitted on the Shingle Mill Pathway.

All the loops begin at Pigeon Bridge Campground on Sturgeon Valley Road, 11 miles east of Vanderbilt. The pathways include five segments, each varying in length from 0.75 mile up to 12 miles. The longest loops cross the Pigeon River, venturing north to Grass Lake and beyond. The longer loops have steep hills.

Though most of the Shingle Mill Pathway is not along a former railroad bed, a small segment (0.3 mile) uses a railroad right-of-way.

Parking and Trail Access

Access the Shingle Mill Pathway from the Pigeon Bridge Campground, located on E. Sturgeon Valley Road. From Vanderbilt, head east on E. Sturgeon Valley Road for about 11 miles. You will enter the Pigeon River Country State Forest Area. The campground will be on your left (before Twin Lakes Road).

Shingle Mill Pathway Reviews

I have been trying to get back into backpacking after a two year hiatus but also something to fight the city blues from being stuck in the concrete jungle. Pigeon River County State Forest did both quite nicely.

Beautiful plants with trees, plenty of distance from any cities or towns, well trod path, great support facilities (water pumps,campsites, etc), friendly people, a truly picturesque stream running through, excellent options on length, good signage.

Two minor complaints. 1) The trail could use a bit more love. There was on section in particular that was pretty over grown with the grasses. I did not have much trouble following the trail but it was almost completely overshadowed by the growth in places. There were also several substantial trees across the path that could do with clearing. 2) Better differentiation between the trails markers would make things much easier. All trails have the same blue triangle that indicates and ski/hiking path but there is more than one trail in the park. Nothing careful map work and a little orienteering can't overcome, but it would be much simpler if at least some sort of color coding was put in place.

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