This is a question that Meints new 5 volume Michigan Railroad Atlas is good for(and his other books too!).
He shows the North Branch(to Raymond) leaving at Mount Forest then winding itself to the north and west before ending in the vicinity of Bowmanville and Wildwood roads. This is the northwest corner of the current Grim Township. I think it safe to say this branch was built for lumbering.
As for tracing the route... The USGS historical topos have the Mount Forest end showing the abandoned grade. At the other end, the final miles were what is now the Sterling Truck Trail. In between good luck.
Per Meints Michigan Railroad Lines, completed to Raymond circa 1885 and removed circa 1910. A couple miles close to Mount Forest built 1880 and removed 1933.
There were several short spurs off the Gladwin Branch. I suspect those were for sand mining.
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