The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Most Popular Post of 2018

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

She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile journeys 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

The most popular blog post of 2018 was the post below about a wonderful book about 
Traverse City.

I moved to Traverse City two years ago. I made the move to be closer to "my lake," Lake Michigan.
So, when I got an advance copy of this book from author Kim Schneider, I was thrilled to learn more about my new hometown.

I found many great ideas to explore in the Food and Drink, Music and Entertainment, and Culture and History categories. 

What surprised me, though, was that I learned something new in the suggestions for 
hiking in the area

If you've read this blog or my books or have heard me speak, you know I'm a pretty serious hiker.
And, in the months I've lived in Traverse City, I've explored many of the trails in the area (Empire Bluffs, Alligator Hill, Pyramid Point -- to name just a few). 
But, I had missed Clay Cliffs Natural Area 
north of Leland. 

It's part of the land protected by the Leelanau Conservancy. I've been to several of these areas, but had not been to Clay Cliffs...
until this weekend. 

The hiking trail is clearly marked on M22 
north of Leland.

Sign for this hiking area

I enjoy a good hike, but a hike with a view of Lake Michigan is even better. This trail has a wonderful overlook.

Trail goes up this wooded dune

Manitou Island overlook

Video from the overlook

Ice along shoreline persists

 There is evidence of wind damage from the summer storm that hit the area in 2015. Many large trees were knocked down. Some were caught by other trees and are still suspended over the trail.

Tree uprooted by the storm

Toward the end of the hiking loop, there is a bench to take a break and enjoy the view of Lake Leelanau.

I look forward to recommending  

100 Things to do in Traverse City before you Die to friends and family. The book is available at  the excellent indie bookstores in Traverse City -- Brilliant Books and Horizon Books. And check out the listing for indie bookstores in the region.

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