The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Restoring Our Rivers

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/



There are so many rivers that feed our magnificent Great Lakes. The health of these rivers and wetlands determine the health of our lakes.

 The Grand Traverse Conservation District has been restoring the Boardman River by removing three dams. This allows the river to return to flowing within the banks where it once flowed.

I helped plant trees along one section of restored river earlier this year, 
and today I hiked a section of the river flowing through the Brown Bridge Quiet area.

Enjoy these images from the hike:





































Sunday, September 1, 2019

Sleeping Bear Point 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/



One of the iconic hiking trails within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is the Sleeping Bear Point Trail.

The trailhead is near the Maritime Museum. The loop takes you to within sight of Lake Michigan (a trail spur takes you down to the edge of the water), along the back of the sleeping bear dune, then through a ghost forest, through the dunes, then a forested area, before returning to the trailhead.

The trail is labeled #9 at the top of this map

Check out some photos from my hike in the dunes.












A Merlin falcon hovered above me







Into the ghost forest












There is SO MUCH to explore









Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Taking to the Water

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've had time to kayak lately, so I've taken to the water.
I joined a large group of kayakers to paddle a 10.5 mile stretch of the Boardman River. If you've been in Traverse City, you've probably seen the Boardman winding lazily through town. 
This river is over 30 miles long and its headwaters are in Kalkaska. A section of the Boardman has  class 1-3 rapids as it descends into Traverse City!
The section I paddled was from the Brown Bridge Quiet area to Beitner Road. There were only class 1 rapids on this stretch, but several miles past Beitner Road are crazy with rapids.
Here are a couple of photos from that paddle:





And here are a bunch from a paddle I took on Cedar Lake west of Traverse City:


Paddling my Advanced Elements Kayak



Is that a loon?


Yep, a loon!




Spot the turtle



Underwater...






Sunday, August 11, 2019

Whaleback 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. 


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

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



I moved to Traverse City three years ago to be near "my lake" (Lake Michigan) and, especially, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
While there are over a 100 miles of hiking trails within the National Lakeshore, there are many more miles of hiking in lands conserved by the Leelanau Conservancy and Grand Traverse Conservation District.
I am exploring all of these trails, trying to tick off new ones like in this previous post...(which is difficult, sometimes, because I am constantly drawn back to my favorites).

This month I vowed to hike Whaleback Natural Area just south of Leland. 
From out on the lake, this rise in the shoreline resembles a surfacing whale.


This trail is about 1.5 miles out-and-back with views of Lake Michigan along the way.

Lake Michigan with Pyramid Point in the distance


This trail passes through private land and runs adjacent to a vineyard before getting up into the wooded preserve.
There are wildflowers and patches of thimbleberry plants (surprise!). These plants are common in areas far north of here, but a patch persists this preserve.





Blazes mark the trail







Thimbleberry plants






Vineyard at beginning of trail


I continue to look for opportunities to contribute by doing trail clean-up and trail-blazing with the organizations overseeing conservation areas in the region.