Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Penosha Trail (Brighton)

Penosha Trail:
Brighton State Recreation Area
Trailhead Elevation: 921 ft.
Distance: 4.8 mi. (my GPS)
Elevation Gain: 834 ft. (my GPS)
Start Time: 6:01pm
End Time: 6:49pm

Trip Report:

As I drove home from my Conference at Boyne in northern Michigan I was looking for another opportunity to explore Michigan's trails and get in a good trail-run. After some good research I found that the Brighton area would be perfect and conveniently close to US23. I settled on running the 5-mile Penosha Trail with the possibility of also running the Kahchin Trail. The trailhead area was easy to find at the Bishop Lake parking lot. This trail was similarly marked to other Michigan state park trails I've hiked/run with well signed trail junctions. I liked here that the Penosha Trail was bike free with other trails here at Brighton Rec for them.  

I did run into a few other walkers/hikers/runners at the trailhead and even along the trail. For the most part it was all pretty easy to follow. There was one section that went along a road with some houses but the entrance/exit areas were well marked for one who keeps their eyes open. Along the eastern stretch of the trail as it heads south I ran into one unmarked junction in the woods where I had to make a guess as to which route to take. I went right. Not sure if both trail segments ended up back together (it's possible?) but it seems I chose correctly.

There were a handful of ups and downs along the way and as I neared the end I started to feel it in my legs. This was day 3 of trail-running and I was pushing past 20 miles so I had nearly caught my fill of good miles. I ran this trail about 45 minutes before sunset so as I neared the finish things were beginning to get dark. This sealed my decision to stop after the Penosha and not return to run the Kahchin Trail which really would have repeated a portion of what I had just done. 

To also make things interesting, I had been listening to the Cubs/Cardinals game 4 of the NLDS in which the Cubs had just taken the lead as I neared the end of my run. I decided I need to watch the last inning or two. I hit the car and got moving over to the Buffalo Wild Wings on the edge of Green Oak Twp along US23 to watch the Cubs eventually beat the Cardinals and clinch the NLDS.

I have a track and waypoints from the hike all contained in a KML file that you are welcome to download and use (at your own risk). 

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