Today I hiked about 8 miles through one of my favorite local places, the Bowman Semi-Primitive Area. It's within the Manistee National Forest, and includes 3 miles of the North Country Trail. Because it's so special, it's protected from motorized use. You can not even drive to the lake, which keeps it pretty nice.
I did a loop of the NCT and then the Bowman Trails. This is Bowman Lake. It's gorgeous in any season. It's a glacial kettle hole lake- formed when a block of ice calved off the retreating glacier. It has no inlet or outlet, but has remained a lake because it is spring fed.
There are several other kettle holes in the area, but they are dry most of the year. The second largest one did have some frozen standing water today. Notice the dark brown vegetation in the bottom. That is leatherleaf- a wetland shrub which indicates that it's wet close to the surface year round.
One of the things I love about this area is that it has just enough topography to be really interesting. It's full of glacial kames. These are little pointy hills deposited by water dripping out the bottom of the glacier. Just like letting wet sand run out of your hand to make a little pointed pile, but on a much larger scale.
It's hard to tell this shot is looking downhill when the previous one was looking up to a hilltop, but the trail here wanders beside and over these rolling humps.
You might think there would be a lot of glacially deposited rocks, called erratics. There are some, but most aren't very big. This is about the biggest I've seen there.
Here is the other type of geologic feature. This is a bowl-shaped depression, rounded rather than V-shaped as the kettles are. No leatherleaf growing in the bottom. That indicates that it's probably a blow-out, a place where wind picked up the loose sand and just sculpted a bowl.
One thing I thought was really interesting because I hadn't noticed it before. With no leaves, you can see for a long way through the trees. That blue ridge in the far distance is the ridge beyond the floodplain of the Pere Marquette River, on the other side.
And a few pretties- some kind of polypore fungus. I liked the yellow and creamy bands.
It finally got a degree over 40! The sun showed up at the end of the day. Always welcome.
And a lovely reflection at the edge of Bowman Lake.
Hike 100 Challenge for 2020 is at 53 miles.
In other news: I wrote a news article in the morning and did laundry.
56th St to 40th St on the North Country Trail, Lake County, MI, and then return via the Bowman Lake Trail, Leatherleaf Loop and Bowman ski trail. Total about 8 miles total
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