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  • Writer's pictureKurt J. Kolka

Hartwick Pines offers trails through nature, history by foot, bicycle

Updated: May 2, 2020

GRAYLING TOWNSHIP – Many people know about Old Growth trail through Hartwick Pines State Park which takes visitors through the 200-300 year-old white pine forest, to the logging museums, to the chapel and picnic area.

But that is far from everything Grayling’s popular state park has to offer its visitors. Hartwick Pines is also home to two foot trails through less-travelled parts of the park and also multiple biking paths.

The two trails for hikers only are the Mertz Grade Trail and the AuSable River Trail. The Mertz Grade is two miles long and the easier of the two paths.

The AuSable River Trail crosses the East Branch of the AuSable River twice. A little bit of climbing is involved and a few wet spots must be must be crossed by hikers. It is three miles long and takes about two hours to hike.

Three interconnecting trails can be used for bicycling.

Aspen Trail is three miles.

Deer Run Trail is 5 miles long.

Weary Legs Trail is 7.5 miles.

Also, there is now a pathway leading from the north end of Grayling to

the state park. It is available to both hikers and cyclists. The path is

located across Old 27 from Elmwood Cemetery, near Matt LaFontain


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