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..


Anonymous said...

Wilderness State Park next spring! I want to see Dwarf Lake Iris and Butterwort and Striped Maple and Red Anemone and Limestone Calamint and Michigan Monkeyflower and Bird's-eye Primrose and Houghton's Goldenrod. Have to make more than one trip to see them blooming through the year. Thanks for the photo tour. M :)

Plants Amaze Me said...

Yes, it sounds like we should make at least four visits to Wilderness next year. You do realize this is not a day trip! I sure would like to see the Butterwort blooming!

And Dwarf Lake Iris and Red Anemone and Limestone Calamint and Michigan Monkeyflower and Bird's-eye Primrose!!

Anonymous said...

I was looking for places to find butterwort, and lo and behold I find your blog! I'm up on Mackinac island for 2 weeks, but I may try and swing by wilderness state park on my way back home to Traverse City. My drive up this past weekend was incredible though, what colors! I love this part of the state.

I saw my first pitcher plants last weekend, and my god were they beautiful. The colors those leaves can achieve is incredible! Reds, greens, oranges....

Plants Amaze Me said...

Yes this was the first time I have seen Butterwort other than in soon as I saw the leaves I knew what it was, I would like to see it blooming. The fall colors were just getting going last weekend so I think you probably hit it just right, especially if you get some sunshine!

The pitcher plants were very cool, great color. Good luck, have fun!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a fun trip! Beautiful photos!

kayak1 said...

Beautiful, Thank-You...

Plants Amaze Me said...

Glad you liked it Tony! It was fun.