There was one tiny piece about a quarter mile long that eliminates a half mile of road, so I walked that. Nice hardwood forest over a little ridge. Very pretty.
Then I continued driving the roads to Croton Dam. I've featured it before, and will show you some more later this week. Today, I only stopped to take some pictures and eat my lunch. Then I drove to the next road crossing because I had already made notes on the first three miles of trail (south end of the Manistee National Forest, from the Dam to Croton Rd). So, I entered the woods at the Croton Road/Pear Rd corner. The section I hiked today alternated between mixed forest and open areas like this one. Although the forecast said it was going to be cloudy, you can see that was not true part of the day. 70+ degrees!
The young white pine are, of course, lovely, but there were some venerable grandfather pines along the way. The trail goes along this row of them.
I think this one is the size winner for today!
I loved the colors of moss and lichen and bark at the base of it.
This is a group of red pines still standing at the edge of an area that had previously been clearcut. They are vulnerable to winds, but haven't toppled yet. Somehow, I found this arrangement appealing.
I walked 5.3 miles to a trail junction in the Coolbough Natural Area, had a snack and returned. With the other little piece, that's a total of 11.1 miles.
Both Sunday and today I saw mourning cloak butterflies, and some smaller orange one today too. Spring is coming!
North Country Trail miles for 2021 is at 138.
North Country Trail, Newaygo County, Pear Rd to Locust and back, 0.5 miles. Croton Road to Coolbough Natural Area Prairie Trail and back, 10.6 miles
In other news: There is no other news. I'm beat, but it was a great day!
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