Hikes Log



Hike and Snowshoe the Upper Peninsula
with Steve & Sue

~ ~ ~

Miscellaneous Trails

Fayette State Park upper trails March

Ashford Lake Pathw.
Bruno's Run

Days River Pathway
Escanaba Pathway
Fayette State Park
Indian Lake Pathway
Little Presque Isle

McKeever Hills Trail
North Country Trail
other trails
Presque Isle Park
Pine Martin Run
Rapid River Ski Trail
Seney WL Refuge
Valley Spur

Trails less traveled but a treat nonetheless, and maybe more!


 February 8, 2022 -- the Nature Trail in the Snow

Days River Nature Trail Feb. 2022

Tuesday arrived with nice weather, upper 20's and some sun, so we had to go out for a walk. When we had explored the small Days River Nature Trail in November (below) we had said we'd stop back in the winter where it would be different in the snow. So that was our first stop, and it was not only a "new" trail with snow but still a delight. It was well trod so snowshoes not needed but we knew we'd go off trail down to the Bay so we put our 'shoes on, passing a couple coming out as we went in. The whole area was criss-crossed with trails, some made by people, others by their many dogs, and more by the local wildlife. This is a very popular spot! We wandered around on the trails, peaceful and enjoyable, heading off to the well-frozen (based on the number of pickups out on the ice) Lake on someone else's side trail. It felt good to walk along the open shoreline in the snow with the enough sun to cheer and warm us. So we made yet another trail, which being along the wind swept Bay would no doubt be wiped away before long. When we neared the River Steve found a way through the shoreline brush to get us back in and on the trail (or one of the many trails) where we were met by a large friendly dog who was obviously enjoying his own "walk" but in a much more exuberant fashion! We waved at the owner as we walked along the River. Soon another happy dog loped by, and another owner walked his own path. Back at the car after just a half hour we agreed this was a special place.

 November 24, 2021 -- the Days River Nature Trail          

Since it was only mid afternoon when we left the Escanaba Pathway we decided this might be the day to check out the little Days River Nature Trail on the way home. We don't like to leave any trail within our area unexplored but this one was, like the Esky trail, on low ground so we'd passed it by many times. Maybe today would be its day.

Being right on the Kipling Road, which runs along the Lake between Gladstone to near Rapid River, it's an easily accessible stop. Built some many years ago by a cub scout troop, according to the well aged but nicely made sign in the small parking lot. There is little to no information about it online and no date on the sign.

Days River Nature Trail Sign

But someone has fairly recently re-marked the trail with blue paint triangles on the trees which is especially nice on a narrow path through the woods, where one could easily walk off in any direction between other trees. And the trail has been used. Though muddy in places it was quite passable, going through a mixed forest from cedar and hemlock to white pine and hardwoods. The land is low, nestled between the Bay, the Days River, and the road. It is a small tract and one never gets away from the traffic noise of US-2, but it is very pleasant.

When the water of the Bay came in view we left the nice trail to stumble through and over the reeds and dead branches and shrubs of the shoreline to see if we could get to the water, more or less following a mix of animal trails. We got close but it was getting pretty wet so we admired this small stretch of natural area along the Bay between the populated sections on either end and returned to the trail. Walking on and around we came to where the trail nears the Days River as it heads on into the Bay. The other part of the Days River that we visit so often on the much larger Days River Pathway trail, seemed far away, though probably not so far as the crow flies. Here the River is fairly wide with houses and cabins lining the other side. There were several short paths from trail to waters edge, with trail signs and a nice bench at the intersection. When we got close to the River we were surprised by a black rooster on the other side loudly defending his territory. His alarms followed us back and on down the trail.

There are some beautiful trees in this un-logged woods, including this beautiful big hemlock. One simply has to stop and hug a tree like that.

large hemlock on the Days River Nature Trail

We followed the River then turned in to rejoin the entrance trail back to the parking lot. This is a small but delightful little trail. It probably took me almost as long to write about it as walk it, but trails don't have to all be long and challenging. It's especially nice to find a hidden gem like this amidst a populated area. It will be fun to return and walk it again on snowshoes this winter.

March 17 & 23, 2021 -- Town Hikes Can be Nice, too (Escanaba)
                                   and Finding Little Gems (Bayshore Trail - Little Bay de Noc)

Last week we walked for a couple of hours around Escanaba with hiking friends, enjoying spending time together and walking their home paths, talking about hikes past and those to come. One doesn't need to be on a woods trail to Little Bay de Noc Rec Area mapenjoy a hike, though all of us generally prefer the countryside. On our way home we added to the day by heading down Stonington Peninsula to check out the mile long Bayshore Trail along Little Bay de Noc as part of the Little Bay de Noc Recreation Area. A long name for a small area but it is very nice, including a boat launch and small campground with plenty of large trees and a series of footpaths between. The Bay was still frozen so with a breeze off the water it was rather cool and the trail was still snow/ice covered but we enjoyed an hour down there walking along the shore trail, which nicely separates the wooded camp sites from the marshy shore of the Lake, then around the loops of paths, stopping to read the many historical signs. It was fun to stop and visit this little gem which we'd passed so many times going down 513 to visit friends over the years. 

Today we found ourselves in Escanaba again and while our car was getting an oil change we went for a longer hike around town. Although starting on pavement, having a need to stop by Stones deli downtown to get a scone for Steve (and they only had one left! whew, that was close...) and a cup of soup for non-scone-lover me, we soon were down by lakeside Ludington Park and off the sidewalks. For several more hours we walked mostly on ground, enjoying the pleasantly warm (for a cool March day), sunshine, and no snow. Along the park, out and back on the man-made nicely wooded Aronson Island, exploring the docks at the marina, greeting people also enjoying being out and about. We got back to pick up our trusty Prius before they closed having enjoyed a nice long town hike, making the trip a day's highlight instead of just a necessary chore.

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Copyright Susan Robishaw and Stephen Schmeck


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