Sunday, February 3, 2013

Port Sheldon Natural Area in Ottawa County

January 14, 2013
Port Sheldon Natural Area is another Ottawa County property that we have thoroughly explored on the east side of 160th Avenue.  This trip we are heading west.

Port Sheldon Natural Area has 440 acres of gently rolling hills, woods, wildlife ponds, and Ten Hagen Creek.  You will find it in Port Sheldon Township, Ottawa County, Michigan along 160th Avenue between Port Sheldon Street and Van Buren Street.  There are two access points with parking and maps.

This is the new map at the kiosk, I marked a big red X where we went this trip.  Don't worry I only marked my photo not the county map.  It was a cold 22 degrees the day we went for this hike.

So we followed the north side of the loop trail.  The loop goes around the outside of this large open area.

The trail doesn't go to Ten Hagen Creek, so we cut off to look at the creek. 
 Ten Hagen Creek at Port Sheldon Natural Area
I had hand drawn a map of the area using Bing maps, so I knew the county property continued on the other side of Ten Hagen Creek. We found a log and crossed easily.  Well, one of us crossed easily.  :)
 This is our bridge, and the "grass" (or the woods in this case), was greener on the other side.

There are some hilly areas here.  Also lots of trails made by quads or previous owners.  We wandered until we came to boundary markers, then went back to the creek.   We just happen to come to the same fallen tree that we had crossed earlier.  The creek isn't huge but too deep for our boots.

There is a smaller creek to the south of the loop trail, we checked that out too.
  We followed the trail back towards the car, and the sun even came out for a while.

I know the pictures are a bit dull, and even telling where we went doesn't sound very exciting but it was fun.  We went somewhere that we had never been before, we got to cross a creek and "find" some beautiful woods on the other side. 

We left the park area and drove to where Ten Hagen Creek passes under Butternut Drive, this is west of where we had just been walking.  We came to Ten Hagen Creek and noticed some  Muscovy Ducks (Cairina moschata). This is a
large duck native to Mexico, Central and South America.
I think this group might be domesticated birds, but I don't
know that for sure. 

That's all for this trip.  Well, we stopped briefly at the Port Sheldon Township hall and park.  And we went to Habor Island in Grand Haven to see the Aurora, once the largest wooden steamer on the Great Lakes,  the shipwreck is revealed by low water levels.  Grand Haven Tribune link


Dave said...

Wonderful walk, winter walks are special i am finding out, seem peaceful. Its good to get that fresh air in us

Plants Amaze Me said...

You are so right Dave, winter walks are more peaceful. I almost like winter more than summer, it is nice to have the changing seasons.
Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

It looks like you had another very pleasant day in the woods. I knew that the lake was low, but I had no idea that it was that low!

New Hampshire Gardener said...

I like winter hiking because you can see so much of the land that can't be seen at other times-the bones of the forest. No ice on your creeks?

Plants Amaze Me said...

Yep a day in the woods is better than dessert, of course we did have a malt just before we went for this walk.
Yes the river is very low and there have been several boat wrecks showing up. This happened a few years ago in Muskegon Lake if I remember correctly.

Plants Amaze Me said...

Bones of the forest, another quote of yours? I like that, bones of the forest, you're right we do see much more in winter without the leaves.
This outing was mid January, there was some snow but not much ice. It was 22 degrees. The temps have been bouncing around, we even had a 60 degree day last week. All the snow was gone and we had thunderstorms! Now we have a good foot of snow and it has been around 10 degrees! But it is beautiful.
Thanks Allen for taking the time to comment.

New Hampshire Gardener said...

You're not the first to ask me where "Bones of the forest" comes from and the answer is, I don't really know. Either I read it, heard it, or came up with it myself. It's a good descriptor of winter woods. I'll have to Google it and see what I come up with-the author (if there is one) should get credit.

stratovolcano said...

Love the photos. The exposed skeleton of the boat on Harbor Isle, how cool. I know the feeling of crossing a bridge and finding a new place. Nice you have places like that so close to home.