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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Ward Hills Again

  Today, a fairly new friend, Monica, and I hiked 6.5 miles. We did a combo of North Country Trail, bushwhacking, and 2-tracks to make a loop and then we added a short out-and-back tail to make it a little longer.

We went to the Ward Hills Fire Tower site. I learned a couple of new things about this. For one thing, this is not only the highest hill in Ward Hills, I think it's the highest base elevation of any of the fire tower sites in the Manistee National Forest. I had assumed that would be either Udell or Red Bridge tower sites which are farther north in a hillier location. But this one is at 1160 feet, and Red Bridge is only 1101. Udell's base elevation is only 1000 feet. This was a 100-foot tower and was built by the Walhalla CCC camp. It was dismantled in 1972. Now you can only see the footings.

I hunted for the benchmark, but I've forgotten exactly where it is. Another reason to go back there. It's a site I like, even though the views are mostly grown in. Ward Hills fire tower site

The best part is the foundation of the keeper's house. I haven't been able to find out a lot of information about specific towers, but this is the only one I know of that had a house provided. Ward Hills fire tower site

I didn't take a lot of pictures. We were doing quite a bit of visiting. But I did snap one of my favorite bowls in this section. The trail snakes around the rim hills

This log was rimmed with a little orange fungus which contrasted nicely with the moss. orange fungus

Another nice find was some Angel Wings fungus. Supposed to be edible, but I haven't tried it. There has been some conflicting evidence on its edibility. I'll stick to the ones I'm certain of, thank you. angel wings fungus

Anyway, we hiked 5.25 miles on the NCT, and another 1.25 on roads. Hoping for more hikes with Monica!

North Country Trail miles for 2021 is at 360. I think Monica has her Hike 100 done.

North Country Trail, Lake County, MI, 8th St to Centerline Rd, and 8th St and Fire Tower access road for a loop and more. 6.5 miles

In other news: I edited, I wrote a chapter, I had a meeting this evening, and did a teeny-tiny bit on the trailer.

See Eight Miles for Spring

1 comment:

The Oceanside Animals said...

Lulu: "Hmm, that keeper's house looks like it's a bit of a fixer-upper these days ..."

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