Maggie and I went to a really special place today, and I took a BUNCH of pictures. Too many for one day! So today, I'll just tell you about Nordhouse Dunes. For starters, just getting there is peaceful. The road you drive in on is 6.5 miles long, with only a few short deadend roads to private cottages off it. You can see that it's just right to put you in the right mood for a quiet place.
Nordhouse Dunes is the Lower Peninsula's only designated Wilderness. That means that it's managed by the U.S. Forest Service, and that there are some specific rules about how it's managed. There is no timber harvesting or mineral extraction allowed. In fact, no power tools can be used there, and no wheeled vehicles are allowed (that includes bikes, canoe dollies, etc). The area consists mostly of dunes, both forested and open.
Most of the trails are in the woods, but a couple are over open dunes, and I took one today.
On the entire west side is Lake Michigan. Once you hike about a mile west from the parking lot, you can follow dunes and ridges for miles with the big Lake always in view. If you are thinking that you've heard the words "Nordhouse" and "Lake" together before, you are right. There's a small inland lake on the east side of the Wilderness. I went by there twice this spring. I'll link to those posts at the end.
If you head down to the beach, it's... well... Lake Michigan! Miles of white sand. You can see the city of Manistee in the distance in this one.
Even Maggie pretended to like the water for a few minutes. Well, she wanted a drink, so she had to at least get her feet wet!
OK, I can't leave without a little, itty-bitty, smidgen of magic. We are finally seeing a tiny bit of color in the trees. I don't think it's going to be a great color year, but that means I'll just have to look harder for the special treats!
Supposed to turn cold and rain through the weekend. I'm so glad that Maggie and I took a good walk today!
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