Sorry for missing a couple of days. I got lots of extra work hours Thursday and Friday night, and was just zonked out afterwards. Today I recovered and went exploring several trails in the Cadillac area. You'll be seeing more of my discoveries as the week goes on, I think. Today... just a sense of the trails I sampled.
At Mitchell State Park, there is a nature loop that is almost all through wetlands. There's a spur trail with observation platform that extends into the open center (filling with emergent plants). This was a different ecosystem than any of the other trails and had lots of diversity of plant life.
Next, I checked out two paved trails very near downtown Cadillac. The Keith McKellop Walkway is paved, and does not even allow bicycles. So walkers can stroll for a little more than a mile without needing to watch out for faster users. It's right beside Lake Cadillac. I just liked the gulls coming in for a landing. The day was really lovely. Just a little hazy, but it sort of gave the picture texture.
Heading north from that is another paved trail called the Clam River Greenway. This trail was a community effort to reclaim some nasty real estate where the river had become little more than a drainage ditch. It's not a large river, and not hugely attractive, but walking beside water from downtown out to the area sports complex was pleasant.
After these hikes I was seriously hungry, so I treated myself to a burger. Yum. Next I headed east from town to hike part of the Cadillac Pathway trail system. This is for hiking, cycling, and skiing in the winter. All natural surfaces. I hiked almost five miles of it. There's lots more. The ecoystem was our common dry, upland mixed hardwoods. Very pleasant, but mostly bracken, blueberry, wintergreen and partridge berry on the ground.
The day was winding down, but I really wanted to sample the MacKenzie Pathway, west of town. This is also a series of loops for hiking, cycling and skiing. This one is in the Manistee National Forest, while the previous one is part of the Pere Marquette State Forest. Interestingly enough this area was quite a bit wetter and richer than the Cadillac Pathway. This could be a good place to find wildflowers in the spring. I had just enough light left to do a quick mile in and then back out.
Total miles hiked for the day, about eleven. Not bad at all. All these trails are in Wexford County.
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