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The Perfect Winter Trail

I was out hiking on Sunday at Proud Lake State Recreation Area.  The sun was out, and it wasn’t too windy, so, really, how could I not go out and do at least a little hiking, right?  We’ve had a total about about six feet of snow so far this winter, with nearly three feet of accumulation still on the ground.  Normally, that’d make for some rough hiking conditions, but not on Sunday.  Instead, through luck or planning, I don’t know, but the trails were nearly perfect.

proud lake snow trail 2-15-2014

The trails themselves were hard packed and smooth for a width of 12″ – 18″.  The surface was hard, but not icy at all.  Hard enough to walk on, but still smooth and boot-divot-free enough to also make for perfect cross-country ski trails.  Unlike normal cross-country ski trails, though, they didn’t have that annoying double ridge with the ankle-twisting canyon in the middle that so many of those trails tend to pick up.  I suspect it was the work of snowshoers.  Just don’t step off to the side.  There’s a couple feet of loose snow over there just off that packed down trail.

Although there’s still plenty of winter left, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for us lovers of spring.  It’s warming up a bit, even above freezing here, and the days are getting noticeably longer.  Won’t be long before all that white is replaced with green.  Before that happens, though, don’t forget to check out icebergs on all the rivers and streams that’ll be melting soon.  Probably get some really nice, beautiful ice dams building up here and there, too, on the narrow spots and sharp turns in the rivers.

February 18, 2014 Posted by | Trail reports | , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Spring is here! You can taste it on your pancakes.

Yes, there’s still snow on the ground, but don’t let that fool you.  It’s springtime in Michigan.  Spring traditionally brings the end of snow, wildflowers, warmer weather, and, unfortunately, road construction, but we’ll ignore that last part.

One thing we shouldn’t forget about is that springtime in Michigan also brings the maple syrup season.  Parks and museums all over have started setting up their sugar operations, tapping trees throughout their sugar bushes, and have started producing one of the sweetest agricultural products available anywhere.  Be sure to take advantage of it with a visit to one of your local parks.

March 3, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a Comment