More info http://www.co.ottawa.mi.us/ParksVI/Parks/portsheldon.htm
The first thing I noticed when we parked were all the larch (tamarack) trees. Larch are conifers in the genus Larix. Unlike other conifers, larch lose their leaves during autumn and winter.
Let me back up, we first stopped at the Hemlock Crossing Nature Education Center. It is just a few miles north of these open space areas, there is a nice gift/book shop here and helpful park employees. Especially Kristen Hintz, Park Naturalist, she was very patient with us while we spent an hour and a half, rummaging through the books. She took, in stride, Marie's squeals of delight as Marie discovered one book after the next. I, of course, never squeal.
We finally left the park employees, with maps in our hands, and answers to our questions. OK back to PSNA.
There are trails here but they are unmarked, we knew this ahead of time so we did research. We had visited this place a few years back but just briefly, we really dug in this time. Here is what we saw...
Snow Flea or Springtail - They are very tiny so the picture below just shows they are insects and not pepper on the snow.
One of the many small creeks we crossed.
We sat out in the woods and had a snack, I just laid back and took a picture straight up, with the trees and blue sky, I could have stayed here a long time.
We made it south to Ten Hagen Creek, then went west looking for 160th Avenue.
This part wasn't easy, but it was fun, as we went west the woods got darker and wetter. The area was thick with hemlocks and wet, muddy areas. We don't like to turn around and back track. So we bravely sloshed on.
Finally, we saw 160th and walked north to the parking area, then drove the short distance to the south part of Port Sheldon Natural Area.
Ten Hagen Creek