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Monday, October 8, 2012

Nordhouse Loop- a Quick Tour

 
I took a hike at Nordhouse Dunes this afternoon. I'm leading a hike there Saturday, and I needed to check the route. I may not mind wandering with less than a perfect sense of where I am, but that's not a good plan for leading a group. The big problem is that a whole section of trail disappeared under a blowdown in 2008, and I still haven't figured out the exact way to get around that.

My loop was about six miles, so I didn't take Maggie with me. I don't think she'll be taking any more hikes that long.

I followed the Ridge Trail north, which comes very quickly to Nordhouse Lake. Surprise, surprise, it was completely dry. Not enough rain over the summer to keep this shallow lake wet. I knew it dries up sometimes, but I hadn't ever seen it like this. Kind of sad; I was hoping to see some ducks.

Nordhouse Lake- dry

I continued north, actually just beyond the Nordhouse border, into the Lake Michigan Recreation Area, and took a trail which crosses west, toward Lake Michigan. At the edge of the lake dune bluff, the trail turns south. There are glimpses of the big lake through the trees. It was blue-green today.

Lake Michigan at Nordhouse Dunes
Continuing south, now, the trail continues along the bluff. This view is inland into the valley that is no longer passable after the blowdown. It looks very appealing down there, but mixed in with the trees that are standing is a total mess of matchsticked trunks. Because this is a designated wilderness (the only one in Michigan's lower peninsula), no power tools are allowed, and there is limited "management." The Forest Service decided not to reopen that trail, even though it had been an old road.

Nordhouse central valley

Most of my best pictures are closeups of autumn treasures. Here are a couple: oak leaves-

oak leaves

And some dried up turkey tail polypore fungus.

turkey tail polypore

It felt good to get out after a rainy weekend.

See Nordhouse- Today the Facts
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6 comments:

John Yonkers said...

Great pics! I am planning a winter camping trip there in December!

rainfield61 said...

A simple but enjoyable trip.

Secondary Roads said...

I enjoyed the hike with you today. Dry signs here too. The neighbor's pond has dried up like your lake.

Ann said...

an enjoyable hike and I didn't even get tired :) That is sad that the lake was completely dry

Lin said...

Lovely! I like getting outdoors this time of year. It's just magical, all the colors, the smells, the cool, crisp air!! Ahhhhhh. :)

Sharkbytes said...

John- Nordhouse is very private in winter! (and very windy- take lots of layers)

rainfield- you would love it!

Chuck- I hadn't realized just how shallow it is.

Ann- see- hiking isn't always tiring!

Lin- My favorite is the cool air with warm sun.

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