Last September, I was pulling on a fleecy sweatshirt and heading into the woods … the North Woods. During hurricane season, I like to find places to hike outside of Florida – even when we don’t have storms, the wet and heat are a bit much after a couple of months – and my choice as fall gathered in 2011 was the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
It’s a region I’ve been drawn to for more than 20 years, as it provides the best of several worlds. The terrain is similar to Florida, with steep climbs only found along the escarpments around the Great Lakes. Low-lying areas tend to be marshy, with uplands deeply shaded by deciduous forests. There are pine forests growing on sandy soil, similar in nature to our sandhills and sand pine scrubs. And the Great Lakes moderate the temperature of the region in summer and early fall. Once winter kicks in, watch out! This region is known for 300′ deep snowpacks and ice climbing.
During September’s travels, I hiked trails across several parts of the Eastern UP:
- Mackinac Island State Park
- Seney National Wildlife Refuge
- Grand Island Recreation Area
- Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Until I compile my experiences about hiking in Michigan, please enjoy these images from the trails of Upper Michigan: