2012 02 06 A Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy preserve, Wau-ke-na William Erby Smith Preserve is where we landed.
We took exit 34 from U.S. 196/ U.S. 31, drove south on Lakeshore Drive past Pier Cove Park, continued south past West Side Park, finally turning west on 121st Avenue. There is a Ganges Township road end access point here to Lake Michigan. Plummerville Creek is on the south side of this road.
121st Avenue Road end
Plummerville Creek- private land
I have mentioned before the book, "Michigan's West Coast Explore the Shore Guide" by Brian Hutchins, it has directions to many "out of the way" road ends that are legal to access.
We have been here before, we didn't get out of the car. Along this 121st Avenue is a small sign, "State Wildlife Sanctuary" what's that about?
On down the road we went, crossing over Plummerville Creek, then past the Plummerville cemetery, over one more road and we have arrived at Wau-ke-na, north.
We parked in a grassy lot at 9:33am, it was cloudy, gray, and 34 degrees. This was a day the forecasters kept saying sunny, blue sky - it is almost better when they say gray sky and clouds because they seem to get it wrong more than right.
Anyway off we go on a new adventure. We had some maps that we got online, some help to know what was here and where we could go. A grassy two-track was leading us off around big fir trees and through fields.
Map, North tract Wau-ke-na
We also saw signs with the name this way.
Rules to follow, please
Soon we reached the bluff above Lake Michigan, there was a bench and a stiff wind.
Bench on the bluff
Looking south over the bluff we could see water flowing across the beach. That's where we want to go! But how, we couldn't go down the bluff.
We went south, following the trails - we came to a cut in the bluff so down we go, and there was another sign for Wau-ke-na. The water flowing across the beach seemed to just appear out of nowhere and there were rocks, lots of rocks.
Maybe not a creek but a seep?
After checking out the rocks we turned south and walked on the beach until we came to another creek! It was cold and windy, but not unbearable, and definitely better than 90 degrees.
Second creek on the beach