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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Nordhouse- Today the Facts, Tomorrow the Magic

Nordhouse Road

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 Trail

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.
Nordhouse Dunes

Most of the trails are in the woods, but a couple are over open dunes, and I took one today.
Lake Michigan

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.
Nordhouse Road

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.
dog in water

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!
fall leaves

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!

See The Secret Pond and an Amazing Turtle
See Bird Days


John | English Wilderness said...

It looks like a fantastic place to camp. Is camping allowed?

rainfield61 said...

Go swimming, Maggie!!

The Oceanside Animals said...

At least it's fresh water!

Loretta said...

beautiful....we need to go there the next time I come north!

Ann said...

What a perfect day. I agree that road you took to get there set the stage well. By the looks of most of the trees here we aren't going to be seeing too much in the way of color either. Some already look half bare and the leaves left are still green

spinninglovelydays said...

What a gorgeous place! Eagerly waiting for tomorrow's post. :)

jeanlivingsimple said...

I never knew there were sand dunes in Michigan! Very peaceful area and the beach looks wonderful.

Sharkbytes said...

John- it's one of the most wonderful places to camp because Dispersed Camping is allowed. That means that you don't have to be in specified campsites, but can camp anywhere except right on the beach, or within 1/4 mile of roads.

rainfield- I've told her that so often, but she doesn't listen to me!

Dennis- that's what we have here... freshwater seas.

Loretta- we can do that! Are you up for a 4-6 mile hike?

Ann- that's what is happening here. Most are getting dry and old looking with no color.

Ivy- It's a favorite of so many people that they are starting to talk quotas and permits. I try to go spring or fall when it's not so busy.

Jean- Wow! the entire west coast of the state is white sand... very popular with the tourists.

RNSANE said...

What a breathtakingly beautiful place. It would be so nice to camp in a spot with views like that. I would think this would be a nice time of year for that - with cooler temperatures, changing leaves and it isn't even that far from civilization.