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Friday, March 19, 2010

Two Lighthouses and a Trail


Big Sable LighthouseSince today was the last warm and dry day we are supposed to have for a while, I just had to go for a good hike. I decided to do the Lighthouse Trail at the Ludington State Park.

It's not my favorite trail. It's very cold in the spring and fall because of the wind, and very hot in the summer as you cross open dunes. The loose sand is hard to walk in. Nevertheless, Maggie and I had a great time, and I updated this trail section on Get Off The Couch. It runs from the Big Sable Lighthouse, east and then southeast across the park to end at the Lost Lake Trail on Hamlin Lake. Then you have to take other trails to get back to your car. Of course the lighthouse is very nice.


gray squirrel

We saw a few critters too! Just some whitetail deer and a gray squirrel, but it was nice to know that the wildlife is moving around in the nice weather. (OK, I also saw gulls, geese, and a pair of swans.)


This view comes after you climb over some of the dunes on the trail and look back to the west. It's very typical of the open areas in the park.

valley regrowing with pines

This picture has a long story. Prior to May 1998 the valley you can see here was filled with full-grown trees. We had a storm with devastating straight-line winds. Every tree in that valley was flattened. It looked like Mount St. Helens without the ash. As a result, the trail through it was closed for years. Only two years later the white pines you can see down there had started to grow. A few years after that the park put in the steps which now lead down to the valley floor, cleared a lot of trees and hardened that section of trail. It must have been a huge job! But now you can walk that way again.

Ludington Lighthouse

Finally, on the way home, I stopped at "First Curve" and got a decent picture of the Ludington Lighthouse. You wouldn't think that this is so difficult, but the light on the lake, or choppy water, or haze often make it really hard to get enough contrast for the small light to show up well. I like this shot a lot!

Hope you enjoyed the hike!

See Ludington Beach in January
See What Maggie Saw


The Oceanside Animals said...

That looks like a great hike. I remember a while back we had a microburst in the Adirondacks that knocked down trees like that and closed many miles of trail.

Michelle L. Devon said...

I always love your pictures! Gray Squirrel is cutey!

rainfield61 said...

So nice to have these critters accompanied you on your hiking.

Ann said...

A beautiful spot. I love the lighthouse picture. I have yet to find anywhere around here where I can walk and find the wildlife activity that you saw here.

Joanne Olivieri said...

Those white tailed deer are beautiful. I came across one up in Marin county on a hike one day and it was so exciting, of course I had forgotten my camera that day. These are all very striking shots. Love the lighthouse as well.

Duxbury Ramblers said...

Those White Tail deer do have a look of our Roe Deer, love the walk, as you say it is hard going on sand, but the different animals and flowers make it worth while.

Sharkbytes said...

Dennis- It seems to me that there have been more of them in recent years than I ever remember from the past.

Michy- Thanks for the comment! I try hard to get good pictures.

rainfield- yes... I thought it was a really quiet hike, but later realized that I had seen quite a few things.

Ann- there must be somewhere for you to find critters!

Jo- The deer do seem to be posing. They stood still for quite a while.

Duxbury- There are some really rare plants out there. But I'll be off hiking when they bloom this year. Maybe I can show them to you some time.

Duxbury Ramblers said...

Plants are my weakness - I love to look at them, they are the answer to all our health problems (well that is according to my grandma long since with the angels)she had me looking for for all alsorts as a child and I thank her for that, I look forward to seeing them.

Carol (Duxbury)

Julia said...

The tree flattening makes one appreciate nature and its potential.

The lighthouse picture is cool too.

And deer are always cute with their startled look...They must go to acting school to get that expression every time. :)

Rick (Ratty) said...

You may not like this trail the best, but you sure did get some good pictures.

Sharkbytes said...

Carol- Thanks so much for telling me your name! I thought you must have one, but never could find it on your blog. I'll try to find a few special plants, just for "us!"

Julia- Acting school! Ha! You made me laugh.

Ratty- Yes... compared with today where I like the trail a lot, but the pictures are rather monochrome and boring. I sure can't fault the scenery on the Lighthouse Trail!