The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Kettles Trail

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/




Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has almost 100 miles of designated hiking trails (details here). 
A new trail recently opened in the park:


Trail Description: The trail is 3.0 miles long; the first 1,000 feet of trail is universally accessible with compacted crushed stone surface. The rest of the trail is compacted earth.

The Kettles Trail has some significant slopes through kettle moraine terrain with steep hills,  valleys, and ponds or bogs. 
...The overall typical trail grade is 10%; the maximum grade is 21%.

I hiked it just as the leaves were beginning to fall.
Here are some highlights:





















Location and more info HERE.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Swanson Nature Preserve

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/




The Leelanau Conservancy has preserved some wonderful tracts of land on the Leelanau Peninsula. 
I recently hiked the Swanson Preserve. It is a slice of land that runs from M22 to the shoreline of Little Traverse Lake.




The hike is short, but lovely. It winds through a cedar swamp and over a little stream. Boardwalks lifted me over the wetter parts.
Over 200 varieties of plants have been identified here, and the conservancy has a wildflower rescue program where plants are potted and sold in the spring to help support the work of the conservancy.
Here are some photos:









Trails are blazed




The pileated woodpecker has done some work here




Some trees couldn't hold on during a big blow




Woodpecker tracks on birch bark









Little Traverse Lake











Exoskeleton left behind









It's a short, worthwhile hike. There's even a bench along the little lake to take a moment to watch the light play on the water.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Jordan Valley Pathway

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/




With colors peaking Up North, I headed to the Jordan River Valley to do a 2-day hike as the leaves began to let loose and flutter to the ground.
This hike is located east of Torch Lake near Alba.
More info from the DNR HERE.

Check out the brilliant colors:













This loop hike is listed as 'moderate.' 
It was just over 21 miles...





...with a total climb of almost 2,400 feet.


A wonderful walk in the woods.





Sunday, October 20, 2019

Wild Lake Michigan

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/




I headed to the lakeshore this week to see the wild winds whipping up Lake Michigan. 











All of the Great Lakes are at or near record high levels. And levels are expected to remain high in 2020. Read more HERE.





Sunday, October 13, 2019

Treat Farm Trail to Mount Baldy

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/




I took a lovely fall hike with my rucking friends. 'Rucking' is hiking with a weighted pack. 
(HERE is the facebook page for the Traverse Area Rucking Club.) We hike weekly alongside the Traverse City Track Club.

Sometimes, we have extra energy so we gather to hike again. 
With the leaves beginning to change and the air getting cooler, we headed to the lakeshore to hike through the Treat Farm to Mt. Baldy in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.


Harry (wearing his amazing kilt), Terri, and Homer


Lake Michigan and the magnificent dunes 




 The wind was howling when we reached the top of the dunes. What a view!





Homer, Terri, & Harry






Platte Bay


Hiking back to Treat Farm





The original Treat Farm


Some shots inside the farm house: 





Front porch of the house:


 This trail is just south of the Empire Bluff Trail and loops up to Mt. Baldly and back (about 2.8 miles). You could go up the Treat Trail (on Norcock Road off of M22 south of Empire), hike along the dune trail, then back down the Empire Bluff Trail.

Hmmmm....that might be my next day hike!