The trail extends from Frankfort to Mesick along the former Ann Arbor Railroad. Trail users can enjoy views of Betsie Bay, the Betsie River and its surrounding marshlands in Elberta, and Crystal Lake in Beulah. The communities along the trail offer restaurants, ice cream, camping and overnight accommodations.
The trail informally starts at the City of Frankfort's Lake Michigan Beach and passes through Cannon Park. It travels along the Betsie Bay(the only section to share the road)and passes through Frankfort's waterfront parks. From here to Mollineaux Road, the trail is paved for 6.7 miles. The section of trail between Frankfort and Beulah is the most frequently used section of trail due to its scenery and accesibility and is open to non-motorized use only. From Beulah south, the trail is more heavily wooded and remote. In addition to non-motorized use this section is open to snowmobiles December through March.
There are many places to access the trail and several established trailheads with parking.
- Frankfort Parking – From US-31, turn west on M-115. Continue onto Forest Ave. Turn left onto 5th St/Frankfurter St. Turn left onto Waterfront Dr. Parking lot is on the right.
- Elberta parking – From US-31, turn west on River Road. Turn left on M-22/Lake St. Parking lot is on the left.
- River Road Boating Access Site – From US-31, turn west onto River Road. Parking lot is on the right after 3.5 miles.
- Mollineaux Road Parking – From US-31, turn west onto M-115. Crystal Lake DNR Boat Access Site with trail parking in on the right after 2 miles.
- Beulah Trailhead & Visitor Center – From US-31, turn west onto Spring Valley Street towards downtown Beulah. Turn right onto Crystal Ave. The parking lot will be on the left.
- Thompsonville Parking– From US-31, turn east onto North County Line Road. After 6 miles, turn left onto South Pioneer Road/Weldon Road for 0.5 miles. Turn right onto Lindy Road for 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Front Street. Take the next left onto Thompson Avenue. Roadside parking is available along Thompson Avenue
Please Note: Restrooms are only available at Frankfort, River Road and Beulah parking areas.