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Are there any real hikes here?

I ran into someone last week who asked me if there was any real hiking trail around here.

Let’s start by defining a real hiking trail.  In Grand Canyon National Park, about the toughest day hike is from the South Kaibab trailhead, down to the Colorado River, across on the River Trail to the Bright Angel Trail, then back up to the rim on the Bright Angel Trail.  The total distance is 15.8 miles.  You lose 4,863 feet going down into the canyon on South Kaibab (it’s ALL downhill), then climb 4,460 feet back out on Bright Angel (all uphill).  The hike is so hard, they’ve had to rescue hundreds of people trying to day hike the trail and failing.  When you drive into the park they hand you a piece of paper warning you not to try it.  At the trailheads, and partway down the trail there are signs warning dayhikers to turn back or die (yes, literally).  I guess that counts as a real hike.

Today, I went out on the Potowatami Trail in Pinckney State Recreation Area.  I skipped the south loop of the trail, but my total distance came out to 16.40 miles – 0.6 miles further than the Grand Canyon hike.  But Grand Canyon has a HUGE elevation change you can’t possibly match in SE Michigan, right?  I had a total climb of 4,516 feet  – 56 feet more climb than the trail at Grand Canyon.

And I didn’t even do the whole trail.

June 3, 2012 - Posted by | Trail reports

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