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Friday, April 21, 2023

French Farm Lake - Day 413

We started underneath the approach to the Mackinac Bridge this morning. Apparently, I can't manage to get a smile on my face. I thought I was smiling. Sigh.
hikers at Mackinac Bridge

The first few miles were on a rail trail, the North Western State Trail. This is a former Pennsylvania RR track. I don't have my RR atlas with me, so I'm not sure what it was before that.
North Western State Trail

The defining feature of the day was French Farm Lake. The trail follows its shore for more than 3 miles. At the upper end, it's marshy and dotted with small islands of vegetation.
French Farm Lake

But, there is a large portion that is open water. Overall, the lake is shallow. There is a State Forest Campground strung out along the access road. When I last hiked it, the trail followed the road. Now, most of the trail undulates along the low hills between the road and the shore with lots of nice views.

The name may be derived from an early homestead on the shores of the lake.
French Farm Lake

After we left the lake, another interesting feature is the Carp River Bridge (not the same Carp River as in the UP). Of course, people have stolen the emblems on the "arches," but this large wooden bridge has been an interesting river crossing for about 30 years. I remember when this was featured in the North Star magazine as a huge trail accomplishment.
Carp River Bridge

There are often register boxes to sign.
hiker signing a register

We were smokin' today. There never seems to be much reason as to why we hike faster some days than others unless the trail is really hilly. Today was less hilly and the temperature was about perfect. Anyway, we hiked fast. Not that it matters- no one is racing- but it was interesting to note.

Miles today: 8.6. Total miles so far: 4579.1.

See Muddy Buddy

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