The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Leafy Hikes

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and dynamic speaker. 

She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has authored three books about these adventures. 


To learn more about her work, or to engage her as a speaker, go to 

http://www.laketrek.com/great-lakes-speaker/



One perk of living in the Traverse City area is there are so many hiking trails 
in addition to miles and miles of Lake Michigan shoreline.

Recently, I hiked two areas known for their brilliant fall foliage:

Hickory Meadows/Hills is just west of Traverse City.

Hickory Meadows


Hickory Meadows with falling leaves

 And Clay Cliffs, north of Leland. This preserve  is part of the Leelanau Conservancy lands.

Clay Cliffs, part of the Leelanau Conservancy lands


The view of Pyramid Point from the overlook







Gorgeous view of the Manitou Islands from the overlook

 It's a lovely time to hike these trails.
Though you'll find me out hiking along Lake Michigan in all sorts of weather and in all seasons.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Great Lakes Island Anniversary

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and dynamic speaker. 

She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has authored three books about these adventures: 

A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach  [A Heartland Indie Bestseller]

A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk   [Winner of the Great Lakes Great Reads Award] 

A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure  [Long-listed for the Chautauqua Prize]

 

To learn more about her work, or to engage her as a speaker, go to http://www.laketrek.com/great-lakes-speaker/


This week marks the 4th anniversary of the completion of my Great Lakes Island Adventure.

This was my third adventure exploring our magnificent Great Lakes.



Sunrise on Isle Royale


Cup and Saucer Trail on Manitoulin Island



Flowerpot Island in Lake Huron




Cedar tree on South Manitou Island

I set foot on over 30 islands in the 
Great Lakes Basin for this adventure.


Glacial Grooves on Kelleys Island


Finale on Mackinac Island


The islands of our Great Lakes are diverse and amazing. They range from the populated Montreal Island in the St. Lawrence River to wild and remote Isle Royale in Lake Superior.


The book about my island adventure


Moose Antlers on Isle Royale


Monitoring piping plovers on North Manitou Island

I was honored to help with some wildlife research taking place on some of these islands.

In May 2019, I will lead a team of women hikers in a Moosewatch Expedition on Isle Royale. 
Email me if you are interested in more information about joining me on this adventure!
LakeTrek@gmail.com



To learn more about her work, or to engage her as a speaker, go to http://www.laketrek.com/great-lakes-speaker/

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Leelanau Conservancy Lands: DeYoung Natural Area

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and dynamic speaker. 

She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has authored three books about these adventures: 

A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach  [A Heartland Indie Bestseller]

A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk   [Winner of the Great Lakes Great Reads Award] 

A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure  [Long-listed for the Chautauqua Prize]


To learn more about her work, or to engage her as a speaker, go to http://www.laketrek.com/great-lakes-speaker/



I hike many of the wonderful trails in and around Traverse City to keep in shape for my adventures. 
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is nearby and the Leelanau Conservancy  has preserved many tracts of land on the Leelanau Peninsula.

[I blogged about one of their lovely hiking areas, Clay Cliffs.]

Today the organization called for volunteers to help create a new trail in the DeYoung Natural Area.


This natural area is west of Cedar Lake on the Leelanau Peninsula

Volunteers joined with board members, Americorps workers, and conservancy employees to work on a 1-mile loop of new trail.

Volunteers gather with Leelanau Conservancy board members and employees


Here I am ready to help clear the trail


We clipped vegetation encroaching on the trail, removed roots, tilled up the trail, then tamped it down.  

A vine leaves its mark


Invasive Japanese Barberry


Board member Gina Erb lends a hand to tamp down the trail


When done, there will be a new, 1-mile loop of groomed trail here

 Learn more about the important work this conservancy is doing at


Thursday, October 18, 2018

6th Anniversary of My Great Lakes Walk

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and dynamic speaker. 

She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has authored three books about these adventures: 

A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach  [A Heartland Indie Bestseller]

A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk   [Winner of the Great Lakes Great Reads Award] 

A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure  [Long-listed for the Chautauqua Prize]

 

To learn more about her work, or to engage her as a speaker, go to http://www.laketrek.com/great-lakes-speaker/


October 20 is the 6th anniversary of my second Great Lakes Adventure. 
This 1,000-mile hike took me along portions of all five of our magnificent Great Lakes.

Yellow line is my route for this 1,000-mile hike

This journey allowed me to get to know the unique personalities of each Great Lake.

If I had to describe each lake in one word, I'd choose:

Lake Erie:  Fishy

Lake Erie has the most fish of any Great Lake. It is shallow and warm and teeming with life.


My sisters dropped me off at the beginning of this adventure


Along the shore of Lake Erie


Lake Erie

Lake Huron: Limestone!
The edge of northern Lake Huron is rimmed with limestone and is the site of several large limestone mines.


Blue Water Bridge


Massive truck at the Calcite Limestone Mine north of Rogers City



40-Mile Point Lighthouse

Hiking the rocky edge of Lake Huron





Puddingstone

 Lake Superior:  Wild!

 Lake Superior is the largest, deepest, coldest, cleanest, and WILDEST Great Lake.




Hiking the middle of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

My son, Ben, joined me along Lake Superior


Ben at the tip of the Keewenaw Peninsula

Lake Ontario: Friendly!

I hiked Lake Ontario on the Canadian side. The weather was mild and the people were welcoming.

Lake Ontario


Hiking the Waterfront Trail along Lake Ontario


Lake Michigan: Home
I live at the edge of this Great Lake, so hiking its shores always feels like home to me.

Sunset at tip of Leelanau Peninsula


Along Lake Michigan

Sanderlings along Lake Michigan

The finale of this hike took place along the Niagara River. My finish line for this 1,000-mile hike was Niagara Falls.

The enthusiastic group that hiked the final miles with me!




The magnificent finish line

Niagara Falls in motion:





The book about this adventure!
[Available wherever books are sold.
Find the audiobook HERE.]





Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Great Lakes Legislative Caucus

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and dynamic speaker. 

She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has authored three books about these adventures: 

A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach  [A Heartland Indie Bestseller]

A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk   [Winner of the Great Lakes Great Reads Award] 

A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure  [Long-listed for the Chautauqua Prize]

 

To learn more about her work, or to engage her as a speaker, go to 

http://www.laketrek.com/great-lakes-speaker/




This September, I was honored to speak at the annual meeting of the 
Great Lakes Legislative Caucus
in Erie, Pennsylvania.
This is the group of state and provincial legislators who came together to hammer out the 
Great Lakes Water Compact 
a decade ago. This protective agreement governs how and when the waters of the Great Lakes can be used.

My badge and name placard for my place at the table

This group of about 50 legislators meets annually to share information about legislation pending or passed in their respective states/provinces, to learn about new issues in the region, and to take action on threats to our Great Lakes.


The room where it happened



The items currently on the policy agenda for this group are:
Water Consumption -- especially with regard to safe drinking water throughout the GL basin
Aquatic Invasive Species -- including preventing Asian Carp from entering our GL and strengthening laws on ballast water
Toxic Substances -- including support for continued funding of the GLRI and monitoring emerging contaminants
Nutrient Pollution -- working to decrease nutrient runoff from agricultural land into the GLs and their tributaries
Coastal Communities -- supporting sustainable economic development within the GL basin, including restoration and preservation of habitat




Legislators at work

 It is notable and laudable that this is a non-partisan effort. Legislators from all eight Great Lakes States along with two Canadian Provinces come together for the good of our Great Lakes.



My books were featured for sale after my presentation



My presentation about the islands of the Great Lakes was enjoyed by all and this group had wonderful questions after the talk.

Bicentennial Tower in the harbor in Erie, PA

Traveling to Pennsylvania for this speaking gig means that I have travelled to ten states for speaking engagements! 

To inquire about engaging me as a speaker at your event, please email me at:

LakeTrek@gmail.com

To learn more about my dynamic Great Lakes presentations, go to 


http://www.laketrek.com/great-lakes-speaker/



"Loreen took our audience on an adventure that was engaging, educational, and entertaining. A few attendees were inspired to consider taking their own treks, or to join Loreen on her next adventure. We were fortunate to have found her. I'm sure future speaking engagements will result from Loreen's impressive performance at the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus meeting."

-Lisa Janairo, Program Director
The Council of State Governments

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Perry Monument on Presque Isle

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and dynamic speaker. 

She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has authored three books about these adventures: 

A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach  [A Heartland Indie Bestseller]

A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk   [Winner of the Great Lakes Great Reads Award] 

A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure  [Long-listed for the Chautauqua Prize]

 

To learn more about her work, or to engage her as a speaker, go to http://www.laketrek.com/great-lakes-speaker/



I recently had a speaking engagement in Erie, Pennsylvania. The natural harbor there is formed by a long peninsula reaching out into Lake Erie.  
That peninsula is called Presque Isle which is French for "almost island." 
It is attached to the mainland by a thin strip of land.


Presque Isle is the green peninsula in map above


Looking back at the city of Erie from Presque Isle State Park

It was in this harbor that the Americans built 6 ships to battle with the British at the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813.
This was the first time that the British navy was defeated and all of their vessels were captured.
The American commander that day was Oliver Hazard Perry, and a monument to him stands out on the peninsula.


Perry Monument



Inscription reads:  "Erected by the State of Pennsylvania to commemorate the victory of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry in the Battle of Lake Erie"

Oliver Hazard Perry gave us the famous line:
"We have met the enemy, and they are ours."

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Shut Down Line 5!

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and dynamic speaker. 

She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has authored three books about these adventures: 

A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach  [A Heartland Indie Bestseller]

A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk   [Winner of the Great Lakes Great Reads Award] 

A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure  [Long-listed for the Chautauqua Prize]

 

To learn more about her work, or to engage her as a speaker, go to http://www.laketrek.com/great-lakes-speaker/



I was honored to take part in the 
Pipe Out Paddle Protest 
yesterday on the Straits of Mackinac.


Kayaks are 'smudged' using smoke from burning sage


Kayakers and a few stand up paddle boarders gathered near the Mackinac Bridge to call for the shut down of Enbridge Line 5 that is submerged in the water here between Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas.   

This event was organized by Jannan J. Cornstalk and there were many tribal members at the event. 

Blessing the water ceremony




"Water is Life!" was the call of the day




Jannan J. Cornstalk, event organizer


 Two tribal canoes led the protest.


Tribal canoe








Paddling on the Straits






Flotilla of around 50 kayaks



 The pipeline underneath the water here is 65 years old and is well past its safe lifespan. It is time to decommission this pipeline. 

The clouds moved in as the flotilla headed back to shore




Several tribal members and politicians spoke abut the need to retire Line 5

 Thank you to the tribes and especially Jannan J. Cornstalk for organizing this event.
Learn more about Enbridge Line 5 that runs under the water in the Straits of Mackinac by viewing this movie:  https://youtu.be/ViYpuMZXdzM