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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Trail Club Hike - Marilla to Suspension Bridge


NCT south of Marilla Trailhead

Ten people and four dogs hiked today on the North Country Trail. Here are the highlights. Sorry the pictures are so gray and brown, but that's what it looks like here yet. Sigh! Picture above shows us just leaving Marilla Trailhead where the terrain is quite flat. Our trail club, the Spirit of the Woods Chapter of the North Country Trail Association, hikes once a month and we also maintain 80 miles of trail.

view of the Hodenpyl Dam Pond from the North Country Trail

Soon the trail is following a bench on a bluff high above the Manistee River. Sometimes it's nice to hike when the leaves are off the trees because you have better views than you get through the foliage. This wonderful body of water is Hodenpyl Dam Pond just upstream from this site. Recent trail building by the trail club (NCTA Chapter) just north of ours has made new NCT along its shore.

view of the Manistee River with hikersAs we leave the view of the pond behind there are glimpses of the river in the valley below. Here, some of our hikers enjoy the view.

Eddington Bridge on the North Country Trail We continued on the NCT till we reached the bridge over Eddington Creek, one of our favorite places on our section of trail. Last fall a work crew spent 14 hours making repairs to the bridge supports after bad flooding in the summer severely damaged the bridge.

horseshoe bend in the Manistee River

After reaching Eddington Bridge, we turned around and took a different fork, following an old railroad bed. Here the Manistee River makes a great horseshoe bend, similar to (although a bit less spectacular than the one on the Genesee River in New York). The water is flowing left to right.

Consumers Energy Suspension Bridge over the Manistee River

This was our final destination for the day. This is the second largest suspension bridge in Michigan. Of course the biggest is the Mackinac Bridge that connects the two peninsulas! This is a foot trail bridge, but it's pretty impressive. It was built cooperatively by the Manistee National Forest and Consumers Energy. It carries foot traffic across the Manistee River from the North Country Trail to the Manistee River Trail, a popular weekend backpacking loop.

The morning was pretty chilly- we all started with jackets and gloves. But by the time we were finished it was near 50 degrees, and sunny. It was a great day! Sometimes we have quite a few hikers like today, and other times not so many. But we always have a great time.

Hike Planning Report
Hiked 3.25 miles with 35 pounds.

Continued working on our custom trail guide. Finished 9 days.

See Letchworth and Gibsonville
See Snowshoe Outing with SPW


Rick (Ratty) said...

I really love bridges. A bridge like this is one of the best kinds. I'll stand on a bridge, for what seems like hours, just to watch everything below.

betchai said...

i love that horseshoe bend picture, interestingly enough, i also featured a horseshoe bend in my post today :).

hiking carrying 35 pounds, wow, i don't think i ever had carried that much weight as we only usually go for day hiking. i so admire you.

Julia said...

You must be glad to be out doing such fun hikes with a group of people who share your interest! I drag the kids along for our hikes and they like it alot. But I am often short of adult conversation.

I feel a tad guilty since our trees have all leafed out and we are half way through spring!

I am sure you will post future picks with fully clothed trees soon! :)

WiseAcre said...

I see you still have snow. I'm guessing it's in the higher elevations like here.

You could say those pics were from around my area and most people wouldn't notice the difference. That is except for the bridges. We have to jump.

Joe Todd said...

Thanks for the post. It's a little warmer in Ohio..

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Ratty- We don't have very many bridges like this on our section. But we have a long boardwalk that is lovely. Maybe I'll show that sometime, and we are getting ready to build another one.

Betchai- Bends like that just sort of take my breath away when I come on them at this angle. They seem so unlikely, yet there they are!

Julia- Ha! Halfway through spring in April. WOw. Just keep taking those kids to the woods.

WiseAcre- The "higher elevations" is sort of an illusion. Where we still have snow is in the deeper, shaded woods. Yeah, the ADK folks pride themselves on no trail maintenance.

Hi Joe- Nice hike pix on your blog. No flowers up here yet. But we have warmer temps coming this week.

Lin said...

Those are great photos, Sharky!! Do you think it will EVER warm up??

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Hi Lin- Thanks! I'm thinking that buds should be swelling here soon, but today's post shows not much is happening yet. Of course either last year or the year before I went skiing on April 15! Maybe I'm just anxious.