Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hiking on Michigan's "Pinky"

If one looks at a map of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, it can look a bit like someones right hand, palm forward, facing you.  A thumb on the lower right; the index, middle, and ring fingers lumped together; and the little finger.  Last week, on Wednesday, I got up early and took a five mile hike near the "fingernail" of that "pinky," hiking the Mud Lake Trail in Leelanau State Park (purple arrow in the map below).  It was a blast, and it was also my fifth new place to hike this year towards my goal of 10.

This hike was very pretty, mostly in a northern hardwood and spruce forest reminiscent of Maine.  There were also some great view of Lake Michigan, and some partial views of Mud Lake.  I saw a few chipmunks and a jet-black squirrel, and heard an annoyed red squirrel sounding his displeasure.

Here are some photos, starting with a map of my route (starting and ending at the purple circle on the bottom of the map, and moving clockwise - with two side excursions for views of Lake Michigan).

 You can see from the elevation profile that this is a pretty easy hike, with some ups and downs but nothing extreme.  The total elevation gain is only about 600 feet, spread out over five miles.
 From the dark forest of northern trees, take a view more steps, and ...
 ... you are rewarded with expansive views of Cathead Bay on Lake Michigan.
 Here is a panoramic view from this same point.  Click the image for a better view.
 I love walking in the northern forests.  It is a nice change from the mid-Atlantic's also beautiful - but in a different way - forests
 For one thing, we don't have white birch to speak of in Virginia.  It is one of my favorite trees.


  1. Hi Art, Very beautiful! I have never been to that area of the country, would be wonderful to see!


  2. Hi Anne. It is beautiful there. I hope you get to see, and hike in, the Great Lakes region some day. I hope to do many more hikes to come up that way, but it will take some doing. Art