Laura Hoisington, Environmental Specialist at Wolverine, reviews the Cadillac Pathway.
Summer in Northern Michigan means amazing weather and time to get outside. I like to walk and hike a lot. Even though I live within walking distance of a few trails in Lake City, I like to explore new trails. Being relatively new to the area, I had not tried the Cadillac Pathway trail so a few weeks ago I set out on a new adventure. The trailhead to the Cadillac Pathway is on the corner of Boon Road and Seeley Road, though I hear there is also parking on 13th Street. There is a pit toilet at the trailhead on Seeley Road and access to Clam River but not at 13th Street. It has a few benefits many of the trails near me do not have.
The trail is only open to people by foot, bike, or skis. While there are some sections of the trail that intersect or parallel two tracks, there are no ATVs, snowmobiles, or cars on the trail. The trail is quite narrow, mostly single track trails that are frequently only a couple feet wide. In an area that is known for its snowmobile and off-roading trails, it is nice to have a place where you do not have to worry too much about turning a deeply wooded corner to a surprise.
I do not bike a lot, but it does seem to mostly be used by cyclists in the summer. However, I have only seen two people on the actual trail in the three times I have hiked there, and I was on the trail for hours. One time it was a jogger and the other a cyclist. There are frequently people down by the Clam River, but not as many on the trails. Most of the time you are alone. Because there are not many human companions, there are plenty of deer, squirrels, birds, and chipmunks to share the trail with.
Having recently had a health scare, sometimes being alone in the woods with sketchy cell service makes me nervous. It is not so much of a problem on this trail because you are never too far from someone’s house or a main road. The trail crosses Seeley Road and weaves back and forth near Boon and near the Career Tech Center where there are even more trails. Also, I get decent cell service along the trail and use an app to track my distances.
The trail is well maintained, I think in part by volunteers who cross country ski, and there is a website that gives trail conditions in the winter time. It also is very well marked with blue markers on the trees and plenty of numbered posts with maps at intersections. The website claims there are 11.3 miles but there are also 6 loops, so you make many different distances.