Morning on the North Country Trail

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Hacking Site Camping Trip, February 2017-25, photo by Nathan Miller

Nathan took this photo in the Ottawa National Forest’s Trap Hills along the North Country Trail in winter.The Trail winds 4600 miles through 7 states in America’s northern heartland. It is our longest National Scenic Trail, stretching from New York to North Dakota. Michigan holds more of the North Country Trail than any other state:

Entering Michigan from Ohio the first completed segment of NCT is within the Lost Nation State Game Area near Pittsford.  The route then threads through a mix of forest and farm country and is a mix of road walks and completed segments. Off-road trail exists in Fort Custer National Cemetery (near Battle Creek), Yankee Springs State Recreation Area (near Hastings) Middleville and Barry State Game Areas.  In Lowell, hikers can walk down East Main Street and stop in at North Country Trail headquarters to purchase some official trail gear.  Heading north from Lowell, hikers will travel through two more areas with built trail before arriving at the southern boundary of the Manistee National Forest. These include the Lowell State Game Area/Fallasburg County park segment just outside of the city of Lowell and the Rogue River Game Area near Rockford.

Hikers get their first glimpse of the Northwoods in the Manistee National Forest.  Within Manistee National Forest, enjoy sandy soils that support a pine-hardwood forest and great hiking along the Manistee River Trail, which forms a great loop hike opportunity.  The NCT leaves the Manistee National Forest near the Hodenpyl Dam Pond which features a fabulous new (2009) trail along the Hodenpyl Dam Pond and Manistee River.  Continuing south of Traverse City to Kalkaska the NCT is routed through state forest land (the Pere Maruette SF) which offer a number of year round recreation opportunities.  The next jewel along the NCT is the Jordan River Pathway, which offers a scenic loop hike near Alba.  From here the trail heads towards Petoskey through the Mackinac State Forest.  North of Petoskey wonderful hiking opportunities exist in Wilderness State Park, where the trail follows the Lake Michigan shoreline. As one leaves Wilderness State Park and heads towards Mackinaw City the lights of Mackinac Bridge become visible.

…The U.P.’s prime scenery includes large lakes, old growth forests, rugged hills and the Lake Superior shoreline, all set amid some of the most remote, uninhabited country found on the North Country Trail.  From St. Ignace the trail heads through the eastern unit of the Hiawatha National Forest towards Tahquamenon Falls State Park (home to the second largest waterfall in the eastern United States).  Continuing west, the trail passes through Muskallonge Lake State Park and Lake Superior State Forest towards Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Within Pictured Rocks, enjoy the 43-mile Lakeshore Trail along the Lake Superior shore, one of the greatest hits of the entire North Country Trail.  West of Pictured Rocks the trail enters the western unit of the Hiawatha National Forest passing through public and private lands before reaching Marquette.  West of Marquette the trail passes through Presque Isle City Park, McCormick tract Wilderness, Craig Lake State Park, Copper Country State Forest, Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness and cuts through historic copper mining sites near Old Victoria.  Once entering the Ottawa National Forest segments run along the Black River canyon, towards the wild country of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. The NCT leaves Michigan’s Upper Peninsula near the community of Ironwood.

Read on for more at the North Country Trail website, including maps!

View Nathan’s photo bigger and see more in his North Country Trail Camping Trip, February 2017 slideshow.

Confluence of Montreal River and Lake Superior

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Confluence of Montreal River and Lake Superior, photo by Kirt E. Carter

Waterfalls of the Keweenaw has a nice feature on the Montreal River and Montreal Falls that says in part:

Located right at the mouth of the Montreal River as it tumbles into Lake Superior, Montreal Falls is a rugged, beautiful cascade over blocky volcanic rocks. The views over the lake are incredible: to the west you can see Bare Bluff and Mt Bohemia rising along the lake shore, to the southwest the distant side of Bete Gris Bay, and to the south (on a clear day) the Huron Mountains ripple up above the lake. The drop sits at the last easily accessible southern spot on the tip of the Keweenaw, with Fish Cove, Keystone Bay, and Keweenaw Point a tough drive/hike beyond.

Some flat ground for camping sits on the shore of the waterfall, complete with a few fire rings and a convenient beach for kayakers, and during summer weekends a few tents can be found near the falls. A narrow trail leads up along the river towards Upper Montreal Falls, more traveled by fishermen than anyone else, and an even fainter path can be found leading further east to Fish Cove.

Read on more maps & more!

View Kirt’s photo bigger, see more in his slideshow, and see more work on his website.

Saxon Falls on the Montreal River

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Saxon Falls on the Montreal River, photo by Marty Hogan

GoWaterfalling’s page on Saxon Falls says (in part):

Saxon Falls is located on the Montreal River just a few miles upstream of Superior Falls, about 10 miles west of Ironwood. The Montreal River forms part of the border between Michigan and Wisconsin so the falls is technically in both states. It can be visited from either side, but both require a bit of work.

Like Superior Falls there is a dam and power plant here and the water is diverted. Unlike Superior Falls there is no visitor friendly viewing area for the falls. The falls are large and complicated. I visited the Wisconsin side where trees obscure most views of the falls. There are more drops than the one pictured. This is the upper drop. The lower drop is best seen from the Michigan side.

Read on for visiting tips!

View Marty’s photo background bigilicious and see more in his 2016 October Photo Trip slideshow. Seriously, do it – some awesome photos there!

Good morning from Bond Falls

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Good morning from Bond Falls….Burrrrr, photo by Joe Garza

View Joe’s photo bigger and see more at JMG Photography on Facebook.

More Bond Falls on Michigan in Pictures.

Lower Silver Falls

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Lower Silver Falls, photo by Tom Mortenson

GoWaterfalling’s page on Lower Silver Falls says:

Lower Silver Falls is located in Michigan’s Baraga county on the Silver River. The Silver River has many drops, and they are lumped together into the Lower, Middle and Upper Falls. The Lower Falls are not particularly impressive but they are very easy to visit.

The falls consists of two chutes where the river is constricted to a narrow channel. The second is the larger of the two, and the river drops about 15 feet in a thirty foot stretch while taking a turn.

Head over to GoWaterfalling to read about their big brother upstream, the Upper Silver River Falls!

View Tom’s photo from early October background big and see more in his Upper Michigan slideshow.

The Road Goes On

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The Road Goes On, photo by Ann Fisher

Not. Giving. Up. On. Fall.

View Ann’s photo background big and see more in her 2016 U.P. slideshow.

Lots more fall wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Manganese Falls on the Keweenaw Peninsula

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Manganese Falls, photo by John Gagnon

GoWaterfalling’s page for Manganese Falls says in part:

Manganese Falls is a steep cascade falling into a narrow gorge. The gorge is so narrow that it is actually hard to see the falls. There is a well marked overlook for the falls, but trees mostly obscure the falls. The overlook is perched on top of a sheer cliff, so do not even think about climbing over the fences for a better view.

It is easy to get to the top of the falls and you can look down the gorge. Even better views of parts of the falls can be had from the far side of the gorge. A large stretch of the main drop is visible. Getting a shot of the base of the falls would be very difficult. First there is a large pool at the base of the falls surrounded by steep walls, with apparently no dry places to stand. Second getting down there would be very difficult and dangerous.

Manganese Falls is located along Manganese Road just south of Copper Harbor. The road is paved, but steep in places. The falls are less than a mile from town.

Read on for more including some visiting tips and alternative viewing ideas.

View John’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his Rivers/streams slideshow.

More waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures