Our History

Beginning as a dream, Northern Pathways has evolved into a place where people begin a healing
journey, aided by the empathic energy of the horse. Run entirely by volunteers, programs have
evolved and people are served with the help of amazing community support and faith.

  • 2004 – It all begins, through services for students at risk for school failure.
  • 2007 – 501 (c) 3 nonprofit status received.
  • 2008 COWPOKES (Creative Outdoor Work & Play Opportunities for Kids and Equines) A United Way of Manistee County grant turned a passionate dream into a reality, starting this program originally known as Cowpokes To Careers. Providing assistance with social and emotional skills for Manistee Independent School District (ISD) students, COWPOKES continues as a favorite for all who attend.
  • 2010 – TRAILS (Trauma Recovery enAbling Independent Living Skills) Originally a collaboration with Centra Wellness’s Peer to Peer Support, this now-independent program serves adults struggling with PTSD and other emotional issues. Program participants learn to work with horses, demonstrating increased confidence, self-reliance, happiness, and physical wellness as a result.
  • 2014 – GALLOP (Girls Achieving Life-Long Opportunities with Purpose) Manistee Community Foundation provided the grant that facilitated the start of this program, which serves Manistee and Benzie students. In collaboration with Centra Wellness’s SafeNet program, students at risk of school failure visit the farm, where they work and play with horses, assist with chores, and develop healthy physical, emotional, and lifestyle skills.
  • 2015 – BRONCOS (Boys Reaching Out for New Challenges and Opportunities) With the success of GALLOP, Manistee Community Foundation awarded a start-up grant for a companion program for boys participating in Centra Wellness’s SafeNet program.
  • 2019 – HOOFPRINTS (Horses Offering Opportunities for Families, Providing Recreation, Interaction, New experiences, and Therapeutic Services) Created through the generous support of 100 Women Who Care, this program for families with children who are differently-abled provides its participants with activities that encourage balance, core strength, coordination, self-confidence, and social skills.
  • HARVEST – Our gardens provide all our participants access to healthy eating and lifestyle skills. Fresh vegetables, the opportunity to learn about growing and harvesting, and easy, delicious recipes are shared by everyone with an interest.