“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is the earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.”
—Henry David Thoreau, Walden
One of Thoreau’s most beautiful thoughts in my mind, and we are certainly blessed in Michigan to have the eyes of the earth upon us here as they are in few other places.
Sandy says that at the top of the photo are West & East Grand Traverse Bay and then Elk Lake and Lake Skegemog. You can get your bearings and have a little fun exploring the lakes from above in this 3d view from Google Earth.
More aerial photography on Michigan in Pictures.
Words escape ME on the beauty of the video that Shawn of Lake Superior Photo shared. The ice caves on Grand Island near Munising didn’t happen this year, a very unfortunate thing for everyone in Michigan who makes their livelihood from winter recreation. However, thanks to the magic of the video below, we can travel back to 2015.
You can view Shawn’s photo from winter of 2015 bigger on Facebook and purchase the photo right here. I can’t stress enough that you should follow Shawn and Lake Superior Photo on Facebook. Please do it.
Now here’s that video. Be sure to turn your volume up and watch in HD – there’s a “boom” from the ice sheet at 4 seconds that’s incredible!
PS: Here’s a shot of the fog signal covered in ice that I featured from David on Michigan in Pictures last February. Quite a change!
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.
Sweet shot of Michigan’s most photographed lighthouse, the Point Betsie Light just north of Frankfort. Kristina writes:
Ordinarily, someone trying to take a photo from this angle would be pounded mercilessly into the break wall by crashing waves. Lake Michigan granted me an unusually calm window in which to see Point Betsie from a new perspective.
Wilkinson Visual writes that this photo shows David Hixenbaugh scrapping up dairyland on a blustery day out on the lakeshore. Great climbing, very unique features formed by the wind making for an exciting top out!
The annual Michigan Ice Fest runs today through Sunday (Feb 15-19, 2017) in Munising. It’s an annual celebration of the sport of ice climbing that brings together some of the world’s best climbers and experts for climbing exhibitions, seminars, guided climbs, get togethers and much more! Click the link above for all the details.
Here’s climbing video from the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore by David (@alpine_elevation on Instagram):
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Here's a little video I took of our HMR climb a couple weeks ago on Saturday. It was such a good day with @coltenintheoutdoors and @eolsenphoto! Yes I'm wearing my #blackdiamond stance belay parka haha! It was a bit chilly.. I feel so lucky to experience these things. Winter in the UP is amazing! I'm so stoked for #michiganicefest. #iceclimbing #michiganice #HMR #coldandiloveit #climb #up #puremichigan