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.

Back at the parking lot there was a short connector trail that moved past the west sides of the Visitor Center and a Cabin and this gave access to the Sedge Meadow Boardwalk Loop. The Boardwalk loop was absolutely the highlight. It has several overlooks where you would come to a wooden deck with 4-5 steps up and then some wonderful views over marshy grasses. There was also a separate boardwalk breaking off to head out to the dock. This is absolutely worth it. The views were delightful out there with the grasses and the views to Torch Lake. Finch Creek was also running high and up to the edges of some of the boardwalks.

The Sedge Meadow Boardwalk Loop blends into the Fern Boardwalk Loop which I took to junction #12 and then back to the parking. All of the trails were in great condition and made for a fun easy workout/hike/run. I can see this being an area where locals would love to come regularly to get outside.

I have a track and waypoints from the hike all contained in the embedded Google Map. Check it out and use at your own risk.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts