Actually, I never posted about hike #1, because I was still doing accounts of the Ohio hike. Anyway, this is the second in a series of 13 hikes through the summer and fall. Those who participate in every one will have hiked all 120 miles of the North Country Trail in the Manistee National Forest when we finish.
Today there were 10 of us. Here's the requisite group photo. It's really just an easy way to document who came.
The morning was rainy, but according the radar the storms had passed over, and sure enough we got sun and blue sky! Perfect hiking temperatures too, in the low 60s. A few people had signed up but then didn't show. They sure missed a great day.
I doubt that the Forest Service planned for this barrier to be a bench, but it made a great place for a rest stop.
We covered 11 miles of trail and only about a half mile was roadwalk. Here's the crossing of the White River. The last time I hiked this piece it really was raining. Everything was gray and the people were covered with ponchos. So it was nice to see it in sun.
Near the end of our hike we crossed the much smaller Rattlesnake Creek.
Red pine plantations aren't considered very good management practice any more, but they always make for good pictures.
One of the best parts of today's hike for me is that many of the spring wildflowers are now opening. Here are my best pictures of the day.
Gaywings (not an orchid, but they sure look like one).
Wood Betony or Lousewort. Flowers may be yellow, maroon or a mixture like these. I thought this top-down view made them look like firecracker pinwheels.
And all along the way the pink lady slipper orchid was blooming. Always a favorite.
Even though we got a late start our pace was good and we finished the 11 miles in about 3.5 hours with three rest stops. Everyone had a great time. Nine of the ten people also came to the first hike, so potentially those nine people could do all the Manistee this year. Of course anyone could "make up" a missed hike on their own.
North Country Trail, Newaygo County. 40th Street to M-20.
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