Saturday, January 8, 2022

2022 January 7 - Two walks on a snowy day at Hofma Preserve and Stearns Creek Park

Wednesday January 5, 2022, Ottawa County Michigan and surrounding areas were under a Winter Storm Warning.  The morning was clear, in the afternoon the snow started falling and kept coming for the next two days.  There were breaks in the snowstorm and the sun would peek out at times.  I'm not sure what the total snowfall amount for our area was but last night at Stearns Creek Park the snow was more than 18 inches deep on the trail.

Yesterday I was lucky to go on two walks.  One in the morning at Hofma Preserve with my daughter and one in the evening with Mike at Stearns Creek Park.

First Hofma Preserve.  I really like walking here.  It has so many different features like the float bridge that takes you over Pottawattomie Bayou to Hofma Park, the overlook tower, and the addition of an old tree farm.  There are miles of trails and so many interesting places.

If you look closely, you can see the float bridge in the picture above.

We named this the Barred Owl trail, we have seen the owl here twice.  We actually saw it fly off yesterday while we were near the swampy area.  Sometimes you might hear its "Who cooks for you, who cooks for you all" call. 

Stearns Creek Park walk was in the evening, it took over an hour to walk two miles through the deep snow.  When we got back to the car it was getting dark so not many pictures.  The snow was up past my knees (18 inches +) and on some trails, no one had walked on them since the fresh batch of snow.

No tracks on the trail.  It is difficult to tell but believe me it was a lot of work walking through this beautiful snow.  Also, very peaceful.

It was a good day to be outside. The temperature was around 20 degrees F. and very little wind.   I hope you enjoyed the walks.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Silver Creek Pathway, or maybe Ludington State Park?

It was an unusual Monday in mid-December for a couple reasons.  It was sunny and fairly warm, near 50 degrees, no snow on the ground, And Mike wanted to take a day off to go for a hike.  He decided we should go to Silver Creek Pathway north of Luther in Michigan.  This is about a two-hour drive from home.

We have hiked this trail many times but never in winter.  The Silver Creek Pathway is located in the Pere Marquette Forest along the Pine River near Luther Michigan, the trail consists of one 4-mile loop that extends between two State Forest Campground, Silver Creek Campground and Lincoln Bridge Campground, giving you picturesque views of both sides of the Pine River.

Since there was no snow, I wore my tennis shoes of course.  That is what I wear of most of the time if I’m hiking in Michigan or in Big Bend National Park Texas or just going to the grocery store. It was a beautiful sunny day, and we were enjoying the two-hour drive north to the trail.

As we go farther north there was snow alongside the road. Maybe it was just from being plowed, the snow piles were in the shade.  As we turned off the main road there was snow in the fields like in this picture below.

Then the roads started looking like this!

We made it to the campground entrance where the trailhead is located. It wasn’t plowed and it was covered in several inches of snow. 

So, change in plans.  We decided on Ludington State Park for our walk.  It is right at Lake Michigan, and it is about 57 miles west of Silver Creek Pathway.  The roads cleared up and there was no more snow to be seen.  We stopped at the Dublin General store in Wellston along the way.

We made it to Ludington State Park and had a great walk.  First a walk on the Lost Lake Trail.

This is Hamlin Lake


Yes, that is ice on the water.

If you look closely, you can see one of the bridges we were on.

After the Lost Lake trail, which is about 2.5 miles, we talked about heading home and stopping off to eat somewhere.  We went over to the dam, between Hamlin Lake and the Big Sable River. We decided it was too nice of a day to sit in a restaurant and so took another walk along the river.

A great day and a fun adventure in mid-December!