Saturday, November 12, 2016

October in Michigan

October 2016 was a beautiful month for fall colors in Michigan.  We went many places in Michigan, so I just put a few images together for this post.
 This is an American Beech right here in my woods.

Marie and I made a visit to several parks in Kent County, one of them was Ada Township Park.  This is the only place I have found Fringed Gentian and Bottled Gentian growing in the same place.

Also at Ada Township Park...


On one of our weekly trips, my sister Marie and I stopped at a place new to us, Hyser Marsh Wildlife Observation Area.  This is in Kent County, Michigan.

Then a hike around Pickerel Lake Park...

 Another sister, Sugar, took me on a biking adventure on the M 231 highway - bike trail.  We (hopefully) rescued this turtle that was very near the two lane highway.   We moved him to a muddy area under the bridge.

M 231 Bridge over the Grand River

Same sister, different bike ride... to Hofma Preserve in Ottawa County, Michigan.

Marie and I visited an unnamed bog one day in Muskegon County...

Mike and I were up north celebrating our 39th wedding anniversary.  We were able to stop by Ludington State Park while (my sister) Sugar and her husband, Rick, were camping there.  We all went for a walk around the islands on a pretty day.

Driving around northern lower Michigan, we saw some beautiful colors.  Sometimes with those big gray clouds and the sun shining on the trees.  I'm not sure where we were when I took these images but it was probably Manistee County or Mason County.

Of course we had to hike on the Manistee River Trail, as is our tradition in October.  It was a dark, cloudy day but no rain and it was quite warm.

We had a little walk a Magoon Creek Park just south of Manistee.

Now it is November 12 and we are still having nice weather.  Even the last two weeks the leaves have been bright and colorful, so a nice autumn I would say.

    Maybe the next post there will be snow? 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Wilderness State Park, Ocqueoc Falls, Seagull Point Park, Mackinac Island

We took a four day trip to the northern part of Michigan's  lower peninsula.  We made Mackinaw City our base for the weekend, staying at the American Boutique Inn.


We hiked at Wilderness State Park, a place we haven't been to before.  We drove west to Waugoshance Point and hiked west for ~3/4 of a mile. It was an open area and very wet.  There were so many shallow ponds we had to turn back to the car.  We then headed south, towards Goose Bay.  We made it about a half mile and turned around because it was wet and we didn't have boots. 
We saw blooming...many Fringed Gentian, some Indian Paintbrush, several Houghton Goldenrod. We saw two research people marking the Houghton Goldenrod. We also saw basal leaves of Butterwort, and Pitcher Plant.

Wilderness State Park is a 10,512 acre Michigan state park.   It is located in Emmet County. 
We hiked through the woods too, going around Goose Pond and up Mt. Nebo.  Very nice walk. Well marked trails, perfect weather. 

We drove around to the southwest corner of the park near Sturgeon Bay.  There is another trailhead located here and quick access to Lake Michigan.

The next day we drove south on M 23 along Lake Huron, through Cheboygan to Roger City and found Seagull Point Park.  This was a very beautiful place.
" The City’s largest park, Seagull Point consists of 43 acres and a mile of Lake Huron shoreline. A perfect place to view a sunset, the park features a 1.5-mile bark-surface trail system allowing nature enthusiasts the perfect means to view the unique dune formations, vegetation, and wildlife. Picnic tables, grills, a fire pit, and portable toilet facilities are available in the summer, and an access ramp makes the beach area accessible to most users."

We also stopped at the Ocqueoc Falls Bicentennial Pathway.  We viewed the falls then took a hike on the pathway.  "The highlight of this location is Ocqueoc Falls, which is the largest waterfall in the Lower Peninsula. In addition, there is access to the Ocqueoc Falls Bicentennial Pathway, which includes loop lengths from six miles to three miles; the trail is suitable for hiking, cross country skiing, and mountain biking."

On the way back to Mackinaw City we stopped in Cheboygan for dinner at the Great Lakes Grill.  I would definitely suggest eating here if you're near Cheboygan.

Our last day was spent on Mackinac Island.  Our ferry ride to the island took us under the Mackinac Bridge! 

Then on to Mackinac Island with our bikes.  We started with a ride around the perimeter of the island, a little more than 7 miles.  We saw Arch Rock from below...
And from above...

We did some hiking on the island, walking the Tranquil Bluff Trail, to Eagle Point Cave, then back on the Swamp Trail to Porter Hank's Trail.  We watched a Pileated Woodpecker for awhile along one of the more remote trails.

That night there were fireworks in Mackinaw City.  The Bridge was lit up and the clouds came in.

On the way home to Grand Haven we saw more color in the leaves and a nice sunset.

This trip was October 6th through the 9th, last weekend.  I would guess the fall colors are even better this week.  I hope you can get out to enjoy them..