Thursday, May 24, 2018

Up North - Wilderness State Park in May

Tuesday, May 8,  Mike found a cabin to rent up north, way up north from where we live. We booked it for May 10 through May 13.  The forecast was for rain and even some sleet.  We thought if the weather was too rainy we could just relax at the cabin. 

As it turned out the weather up north was perfect but back home it turned cold and rainy.  The cabin we rented was great, well supplied, clean, and quiet.

May 10 - 13 2018   Ruggs Pond near Kalkaska Michigan was our first stop.

                Just down the road was The Seven Bridges.

The view from the cabin was of Big Stone Bay, Lake Michigan and even the Mackinac Bridge.

We got settled in the cabin then took off to Waugoshance Point which is part of Wilderness State Park.  "Wilderness State Park offers visitors a variety of year-round recreational activities within its over 10,000 acres including 26 miles of beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline, numerous trails, six rustic cabins, three rustic bunkhouses and over 250 modern campsites."
    We walked north to Lake Michigan.  We heard so many frogs!

        That is SNOW under those trees!  Snow in May.

         Mike found Bird's Eye Primrose blooming! 

     These are Butterwort leaves, next month they will develop a deep purple flower.

     Next we walked southwest from the parking area, towards Sturgeon Bay.

We also checked up on the Ram's Head Lady Slipper.  Marie and I saw this orchid blooming last June, this time just the dried pods.

   This is the Ram's Head Lady Slipper blooming last year.

Our hike the first day was about 7 miles, including the Red Pine Trail, past Nebo cabin, South Boundary Trail, Swampline Trail, and around Goose Lake.

             Trailing Arbutus

                            Dwarf Lake Iris, this will bloom next month.
                                 Nebo Cabin
         We rested at this shelter both days and the bird (in the photo below) had a nest in the shelter.

 This Pitcher Plant was growing along one of the very wet trails...

     A wonderful hike, with no bugs and cool temperatures.

We sat at the boat launch and watched a freighter heading under the Mackinac Bridge.

On the second day we hiked to O'Neal Lake in the southern part of Wilderness.
We decided to head south on the East Boundary Trail to start.  And again nice weather, no sign of rain, yet back home in Grand Haven it was raining for three days!

Things were fine until we came to this part of the trail.  Even though I had my boots, I didn't want to try this swampy trail.  So we turned back, which added almost two miles to our hike. 


 Another stream crossing, the bridge was in three pieces, but we made it.

                O'Neal Lake

      Time to head back to the car.

 Striped Maple


Our hike was 9 miles (5.5 hours), because of our detour and some side trails we explored.  It was a long walk but again just perfect weather.  I felt very lucky to be out in such a special place. 

Home the next day, we stopped at a place we found several years ago near M 55 and M 37 in Wexford County.  It is state forest property, and filled with spring wildflowers! 


It was a fun weekend get away! I hope you enjoyed the walks.


Allen Norcross said...

Amazing to see so many dwarf ginseng plants growing together. If I'm lucky I might see 5 or 6.
And those trilliums are fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Seven miles and nine miles of walking! You need a new partner at home, I can't walk that far. Wonderful vistas. Cool trails. Striped Maple, almost in bud break! I wouldn't mind seeing that Ram's Head Lady-slipper again. There are a lot of trails I haven't been on yet. What a terrific trip. Thanks for the post! M :)

Plants Amaze Me said...

Allen, yes the wildflowers at this small place we found cover the ground with every sort of spring wildflower. And trillium are also covering the ground.

Wilderness State Park is 270 miles north of where we live. The spring flowers were about 10 days behind the usual bloom time this year because of a cool spring. Then things went fast, blooming started and we had rain with warm temps. So the wildflowers finally bloomed but some faded after the change of weather. Others don't seem to change as fast with the weather?

Chris :)

Mike Berst said...

You were up in our neck of the woods, and here we are down in southern Michigan this Spring! More yellow violets this year than I remember from past years for some reason.