Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Manistee River Trail Loop

Seaton Creek Camp Connector Trail to the North Country Trail to the Connector Trail to the Manistee River Trail
Trailhead Elevation: 871 ft.
Distance: 21.16 mi.
Elevation Gain: 2159 ft.
Start Time: 7:51am
End Time: 12:59am

Trip Report:
I first heard of the Manistee River Trail when I saw a list of the Michigan Triple Crown of FKT Trails. They included the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail, the Pictured Rocks Lakeshore Trail and the MRT. I was quite frankly surprised I hadn't come across it sooner. It was clearly a classic Michigan Trail and so I wanted a chance to enjoy it. A conference up in Bellaire put me in the perfect range to give this a go.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Glacial Hills Pathway

West Valley Route plus extra loop from 12 to 25, Pine Tree Route
Trailhead Elevation: 652 ft.
Distance: 5.27 mi.
Elevation Gain: 354 ft.
Start Time: 3:02pm
End Time: 4:45pm

Trip Report:
In researching trails in northwest Michigan I happened to stumble across the Glacial Hills Pathway as an enticing option. Then good fortune would bring me to Bellaire for a pastor's conference putting the GHP on the menu for afternoon free time.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Grass River Natural Area

Grass River Natural Area

Chippewa Loop, Nipissing Loop, Algonquin Loop, Sedge Meadow Boardwalk Loop, Fern Boardwalk Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 594 ft.
Distance: 3.18 mi. 
Elevation Gain: 33 ft.
Start Time: 3:30pm
End Time: 4:21pm

Trip Report:
The Grass River Natural Area is a fantastic set of trails easily accessible from Bellaire and Traverse City Michigan. I found it while in Bellaire for a conference. It is open to the public and offers a number of easy to follow trails. The signage is plentiful and every junction is numbered. I set out looping south along the Chippewa and Nipissing loops. This crosses the Rail Trail and then heads south into the Algonquin Loop. I followed the east side of the loops back north to the original parking. For the most part each of these three loops was in the forest with no views. Being October the colors were starting to turn and the trail itself was a bed of leaves already.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Marl Lake Trails (South Higgins Lake State Park)

Marl Lake Trail Loop B (Red)
Trailhead Elevation: 1,155 ft.
Distance: 2.76 mi.
Elevation Gain: 27 ft.
Start Time: 5:52pm
End Time: 6:35pm

Trip Report:
The Marl Lake Trails are three loops that hug the west and south sides of Marl Lake which is just south of Higgins Lake. They are easily accessible from I-75 and not too far south of Grayling. I was travelling up north for a conference in Bellaire and hoping to find a new hiking location along the way. This hit the spot perfectly. I figure it was a less than 15 minute detour off the interstate to hit the easy trailhead.

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