Off the Beaten Path | Features

Get in touch with nature on these 5 stunning treking tracks
By Ren Brabenec | Jan. 21, 2023

A Finnish good friend in the U.P. lately specified the term sisu for us. She claims sisu describes the phenomenal resolution the Finnish Yoopers usage to not simply endure the wintertime yet to flourish in it.

Throughout the cool months of January as well as February, it’s very easy to fail to remember the all-natural charm that borders us. So we’re tossing down the onslaught—or the wool-padded handwear cover—to our fellow Michiganders. Springtime might be months away, yet the initiatives of preservationists at the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy as well as the Little Traverse Conservancy have actually offered citizens with numerous treking tracks to advise us that wintertime can be stunning also.

Allow’s personify the sisu imagined by our Finnish next-door neighbors to the north. Allow’s steel ourselves for the nip of the cool, for past that rough bite is a real pleasure to be kept in exterior possibilities.

Right here’s where you’ll discover us this wintertime.

Maplehurst Natural Location: Antrim Area

Incorporating 389 acres of forested bluffs as well as hillocks, Maplehurst Natural Location in Kewadin (imagined) is perfect for wild wanderers that like their walkings to be matched by sensational sights.

“This stunning building has 150 acres of high wood forested bluffs that drain pipes right into Lantern Lake as well as open fields that border Lake Maplehurst, a 60-acre spring-fed treasure. Its placement above ground implies site visitors have exceptional sights of Lantern Lake, Elk Lake, as well as Grand Traverse Bay,” claims Jennifer Jay, supervisor of interactions as well as involvement at the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. “This is a reasonably difficult 5.4-mile walking on rolling surface.”

Though the Maplehurst Natural Location just lately came under GTRLC security as well as Milton Town possession in 2018, the building was residence to Camp Maplehurst from 1955 till 2011, offering the area an abundant background of nature tasks valued by generations of Michigan young people. Today, the first intent of Camp Maplehurst’s creator Thomas Cohn to supply a nature room for talented as well as gifted youngsters survives on in GTRLC’s dedication to protecting the Maplehurst Trails system.

Reduced Woodcock Lake Nature Preserve: Benzie Area

The Reduced Woodcock Lake Nature Protect in Interlochen has a path system of the exact same name that permits site visitors to appreciate this environmentally vital, 230-acre landmark area of the Platte River. The maintain likewise includes Reduced Woodcock Lake, a tranquil, unblemished lake bordered by woodland.

When the maintain opened up in 2020, conservancy personnel constructed 0.8 miles of route. Current renovations executed throughout 2022 have actually significantly broadened availability through included tracks.

“The fairly very easy 3.6-mile walking [with shorter loops if desired] includes numerous environment kinds discovered on the maintain as well as circumnavigates the 22-acre, primitive Lower Woodcock Lake,” claims Jay.

Most Importantly? Wintertime is really an ideal time to see, according to Jay. “This brand-new as well as interesting route is magnificent in all periods, yet a part of it will certainly be enclosed the springtime as well as very early summer season to shield delicate nesting environments,” she claims.

Susan Creek Nature Preserve: Charlevoix Area

Including a loophole route committed to snowshoeing as well as cross-country snowboarding, the Susan Creek Nature Protect in Charlevoix was developed with year-round leisure in mind.

“Situated straight off of US-31, the 314-acre Susan Creek Nature Protect as well as surrounding Taimi Hoag Natural Location supply virtually 2.5 miles of level tracks that meander near as well as throughout Susan Creek, a tributary to Lake Michigan,” claims Anne Fleming, supervisor of area outreach as well as interactions at the Little Traverse Conservancy. “The charm as well as noises of the creek are especially unique in the wintertime, as well as the level nature of the land below as well as routine visitation commonly lead to very easy tracks.”

A location soaked in social relevance, Susan Creek Nature Preserve was when a native negotiation. The maintain adjoins the Taimi Hoag Nature Protect as well as throughout the roadway from the deactivated Big Rock Nuclear reactor website as well as the Little Traverse Wheelway, a smooth route that links Harbor Springs to Charlevoix.

Goodhart Farms Nature Preserve: Emmet Area

Situated 12 miles north of Harbor Springs, Goodhart Farms Nature Preserve is perfect for wintertime leisure, as the maintain is tracked on Thursdays as well as Fridays (when climate condition permit; describe the Little Traverse Conservancy’s social media sites web pages for routine updates).

“For those that desire an even more rustic Up North cross-country ski experience, the Goodhart Farms Nature Protect near the little burb of Great Hart on Lake Michigan is an excellent location,” claims Fleming. “After skiing the tracks, you can head over to the Goodhart General Shop as well as grab a popular poultry casserole for supper or head to the St. Ignatius Church Coastline, where there is public accessibility to Lake Michigan.”

The nature maintain attributes regarding 3.5 miles of on a regular basis brushed tracks, as well as 3 parking lot are offered to gain access to Goodhart Farms.

Though it is rather remote, the 695 acres of fields, hayfields, maple, beech, as well as ash woodland combined with old orchards, ache haciendas, as well as rolling areas with sights of Lake Michigan behind-the-scenes make this wintertime wonderland a must-see.

Timbers Leisure Location: Grand Traverse Area

Timbers Leisure Location in Traverse City sporting activities a more recent route system called Timbers Trails, boosted in 2020 to flaunt an attractive brand-new widely easily accessible (UA) route appropriate for individuals of every ages as well as capabilities.

“The 4.4-mile widely easily accessible route includes over half a mile of smashed accumulation that leads from the car park to Long Lake,” claims Jay. “From there, an about 100-foot boardwalk takes site visitors to an angling pier on Brush Lake. It likewise consists of a spur to a barbecue location behind the stunning historical barns. Parts of the building will certainly be brushed for cross-country snowboarding as weather condition authorizations.”

Timbers Leisure Location is a 250-acre previous woman precursor building with 9,000 feet of water frontage (2,000 feet on Long Lake as well as frontage along the totality of 20-acre Brush Lake). Site visitors appreciate a peaceful equilibrium of north wood woodlands, areas, marshes, as well as lakeshores. 

Locate even more info as well as route maps by going to gtrlc.org as well as landtrust.org.

Image thanks to Deke Ludwig as well as Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy.