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Friday, April 10, 2020

Udell Fire Tower

Today was pretty chilly, but no predicted rain, so I went for a hike.

I entered a section of the Manistee National Forest known as the Udell Hills on the North Country Trail. Every once in a while, you can get a bit of a view. This is looking NW over more of the Udell Hills.

view from the North Country Trail

I keep trying to take pictures that show the hilliness, but because the picture flattens the perspective, most of them just don't do much. This one is a little bit better. Can you tell that I'm on a hill that angles down from right to left, there is a broad valley below and then another hill rising beyond that?

view from the North Country Trail

So, I decided to do a loop which involved a bit of bushwhacking. Not much, and it's incredibly easy with the Avenza App and the North Country Trail maps. The Udell Fire Tower is still standing, and it is only 0.2 miles from the NCT. I just popped over to the (closed) access road to the tower. And then I could see it ahead of me.

Udell Fire Tower

It's your typical fire tower of the 1930's. I've climbed quite a few. This one has had the bottom set of steps removed so the public can't access it.

Udell Fire Tower

From there, I only needed to carefully descend a steep hill to get on the Big M trail known as, duh, The Firetower Trail. Then I circled back to the junction with the NCT, and returned to my car.

Here is some of last year's Squaw Root, Conopholis americana. It's a parasitic plant- sort of yellowish-white when fresh.

squaw root

And I just liked the pattern of this cracking wood on a fallen tree.

cracked dead wood

Total miles, about 6.5, of which about 4.5 were NCT. NCT Hike 100 Challenge for 2020 is at 103. But I'm not going to stop hiking.

And I hiked them with 25 pounds. Working my way up- still hopeful I can take my big hike in May.

North Country Trail, Manistee County, MI. Udell Hills Road to past Good Road

See MNF Challenge Hike


Ann said...

It was a bit chilly here yesterday too especially since we had gotten some snow.
That second shot shows in the incline perfectly.

Secondary Roads said...

I can easily see the right to left slope, valley beyond and then a hill. Wouldn't it be nice to have 3D photography?

Janski said...

Beautiful, I like your pictures. That Fire Tower was my back yard growing up. Reading your article has inspired me to go back and take a home hike. Thank you.

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