Best Pine Marten Run Trail Horseback Riding

The 5th most popular equestrian trail in Michigan.

  Munising, Michigan, US


  April 2, 2018

Northwest of Manistique in the Upper Peninsula, the Pine Marten Run Trail is a 26 mile horseback riding system passing around lakes and over gently rolling hills through the Ironjaw Semi-Primitive Area.

It is located about 30 miles northwest of Manistique or 17 miles south of Munising in Schoolcraft County. Park at Iron Jaw Lake off FS2728 (which can be reached rom SR440).

Accessible from County Roads 440 ad 437, and Forest Road 2258, Pine Marten Run is composed of five loop trails with inter-connecting spurs. The trails pass through a wide variety of vegetative communities as they meander past lakes and streams, gently rolling hills, bogs and wildlife openings.

Parking areas suitable for vehicles with horse trailers are available at each trailhead. And Adirondack shelters, with fire rings, have been constructed at Rim Lake, Rumble lake and along the Indian River. Water and toilet facilities are available at the C.R. 440 trailhead, while the others only have toilet facilities.

Camping is permitted throughout the area, however, permits are required for camping on Swan Lake, Triangle Lake, Ironjaw Lake and Lake Nineteen. These permits may be obtained at the office of the District Ranger at Manistique, Munising, or Rapid River.


Rumble Lake - 4.3 miles long with access from FR 2258 just south of the Indian River bridge. This segment crosses through Mike White Sharptail Grouse Management Area as it traverses rolling hills of beech, birch and maple and loops around Dinner and Sprinkler Lake. Approximately one mile of this loop is

open to motorized vehicles, so users should exercise caution.

Swan Lake - 3.8 miles long with access from FR 2258 just north of the intersection with County road 440. This segment circles Swan Lake which is a popular permit camping lake. The terrain in this area is fairly level and is composed of pine plantations interspersed with hardwoods and hemlocks. Portions of this loop are also open to motorized vehicles.

Ironjaw Lake - 4.6 miles long and located in the center of the Ironjaw Area. This segment can be accessed from all the other loops except Triangle Lake. It can also be reached via FR 2733, which is the access road to the permit campsites on Ironjaw and Lake Nineteen. This loop provides scenic vistas of Verdant and Ironjaw Lakes.

Spud Lake - 6.4 miles long this loop can be accessed just north of CR 440 where it intersects with FR 2728. Traversing the central portion of the Ironjaw Semi-Primitive Area, it circles Spud Lake at the north end. This loop presents a wide variety of vegetative types, topography, plant communities and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Triangle Lake - 7.2 miles long with access from FR 437 just south of the Indian River bridge. This is the longest segment in the system. Traversing cedar swamps and hardwood ridges, approximately one mile of this segment parallels the Indian River and active beaver communities before it forks. The south fork leads to the Triangle Lake permit camping sites. The north fork leads to the interior of the Ironjaw Semi-Primitive Area and eventually completes the loop around Triangle Lake.

To reach the northern trailhead from the intersection of SR 28 and SR 94 in Shingleton, go south on SR 94 for 12 miles. Turn right on CR 437 and go 3.2 miles. Follow CR 437 as it veers left. Go about 0.3 miles to the trailhead on the right.

Overall, Pine Marten Run Trail is the 5th most popular horse trail of all 12 horseback rides in Michigan. Several of the better horse trails are nearby Pine Marten Run Trail including Bay de Noc/Grand Island Trail and Oakwood Horse Trail.

Local Contacts:  HNF (906) 341-5666; Michigan Tourism (800) 543-2937.

Best Season:  May - Oct.

Average Difficulty:  Easy

Luxury Loding:  Pinewood Lodge, Au Train (906) 892-8300

Reference Source:  click here

GPS:  46.1837, -86.4908

Date Published:  12/25/2015

Date Updated:  4/2/2018

ID:  14883

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