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Sunday, April 4, 2021

Scottville Riverside Park- The Sad Truth

  I think maybe the last time I tried to hike this trail was in 2015, and it had been pretty much abandoned then. You can imagine it has not improved on its own. But the water is really low right now, and I thought maybe I could find my way through. A bridge on the far side washed out, and that has made it an impossible walk most of the year (unless one likes wading) ever since.

Meanwhile- a definite sign of spring. Skunk Cabbage. skunk cabbage

I won't give you the full blow-by-blow, but a sampling. The trail near the campground is partly in decent shape. This bit of infrastructure was built by the city maybe 15 years ago. It's holding up OK, but the loop on the far side of this bridge can barely be found any more. Scottville Riverside Park

Once you get through that section, the trail goes along the edge of the Old Engine Club grounds. That is kept mowed, so that part of the trail is fine, although there is only one remaining marker post so that people would have a clue where to go. Scottville Riverside Park

The next section is where it gets really dicey. Yes, this is the trail. This would need a lot of solid work to clean up, but it could be done. Scottville Riverside Park

Because the water was so low, I was able to get beyond the missing bridge, and come to the edge of the Pere Marquette River. Not much green yet, but always peaceful in this stretch. Pere Marquette River

I almost always find some nice reflection picture along here. Today, it was a mossy log reflection of log in water

There is a large bottomland hardwood swamp between the old water treatment pond locations and the river. I've never seen it this dry. This is usually covered with water. I hiked all through it today in places you can't usually access without wading in muck. bttomland hardwood swamp

Long story shortish... I got back to the edge of one of the old treatment ponds (now dry) and then cut across to the Engine Club area. Managed to dunk my feet on that part of the adventure, but not my butt, so it was fine. Then I went to the other end and hiked around the other direction, skipping that really messed up area I worked my way through earlier. The thing is, there is another place that is almost always covered with water, preventing hikers from closing the loop. It was completely dry today. This section of the trail is badly obscured with Japanese Barberry. Invasive, thorny, miserable. Needs to be removed.

On my trip around in this direction, there were some observers in addition to me. The earth "wall" behind her is the berm for one of the treatment ponds. deer

Anyway, it was a fun adventure- maybe 2.5 miles. The original loop was 1.5. I did that and then an abbreviated second time around in the other direction.

I keep forgetting to tell you the signs of spring that I didn't get pictures of: peepers, chorus frogs, a muskrat, the pheobe came to my deck today, sandhill cranes, turkey vultures... they are all showing up!

In other news: I attended a couple of virtual Easter services, listened to my Easter music playlist, and did a bunch of editing.

See Trail Lost


Ann said...

That was quite an adventure. A shame the trail hasn't been maintained.

Lin said...

Such a shame that the trail is in bad shape. It's very dry here too.

Sharkbytes said...

Ann & Lin- I really miss that little loop- made a contact about perhaps working on it.

The Oceanside Animals said...

Lulu: "That is a very well-hidden section of trail! I'm sure I could follow it with my nose, but the humans would be in trouble ..."

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