In the morning, I hiked a section of the Midland to Mackinac Trail that I did not even attempt to describe in the first iteration of the guidebook. My friend, Jerry, led me though it in 2018 because he said I'd never find it on my own, and I think he was right. However, now you can find your way through that section.
It's rough in a couple of places, but do-able. This portion that follows an old two-track was really pretty. But sometimes I was wading through ferns that were almost to my armpits, and there was a stretch of about 100 yards that I thought might be the end of the hike. But I kept climbing over downed trees and squishing through soft spots, and I did find the next blaze, and I didn't break an ankle. After that, it got better. (Oh yeah, I did miss a turn that wasn't marked and found a really old blaze that hadn't been removed, but eventually I figured that out and got back on the right track.)
As I said, this is a Boy Scout trail, and there are these nice signs at most of the major road crossings.
And in the woods, you'll find a mixture of blue rectangular blazes, arrows, diagonal marks, the normal DNR hiker/skier trail trapezoids, and some of these- special DNR trapezoids made for the Boy Scouts.
I will say that even though a lot of the trail is rough, there are almost always bridges at the creeks. This crosses Wheeler Drain. It's listing a bit, but it was sturdy.
The portion I hiked today was all west of route MI-30, with crossings at each end. So, I'm not a complete dope. I walked back to my car on the road to complete the loop without having to fight my way through the difficult parts again. And that was fun too, because I found the yellow happy guy, and also this interesting location. This is an arm of the Tittibawassee River that obviously had much more water in the not-too-distant past. Remember when Sanford Dam failed in 2020? This is one of the areas, although far upstream, that was affected.
Jerry says the dam is being rebuilt, so perhaps all these homes will once again have waterfront properties. Right now, not so much!
I got back to the car just before the rain started. Talk about timing! It rained all afternoon. But I had planned to spend some of the time with Connie and Jerry talking about the sections that would be best for me to re-hike. I knew I couldn't do everything on my list this week anyway, and they helped me decide which ones probably haven't been fixed yet. So now I have a plan for the rest of my time here that is likely to be productive. And we also had a chance to visit, which is nice because they are also good friends. They are really busy this week with special meetings at their church. Otherwise they'd be more involved with my trail adventurees.
I was thinking I might do a short hike in the late afternoon, but another heavy thunderstorm rolled in, so, hey. we just visited some more.
Midland to Mackinac Trail, Gladwin County, MI. West of M-30 and south of Ritchie Road. 4.2 mile loop
|See Back to M2M- Day 1|