Sunday, October 24, 2010

P.J. Hoffmaster State Park

Today was a great day for hiking around P.J. Hoffmaster State Park in Muskegon, MI. There are a number of trails to choose from. If you want a short hike and some great views, park near the visitor center and take the boardwalks to the dune overlook platforms and then out to Lake Michigan. If you want a longer hike, you can take the beach and come back on the Homestead Trail making it a 3-mile loop. You will experience a lot of different terrain: Beach, dunes, and woods. There are interpretive signs along the trail to make the trip a learning experience. :)

Area Map
DNR Website
Google Maps

Since this is a state park you will need a vehicle permit. You can purchase one as you drive in for $10/year which is also good for other state parks in Michigan.
Boardwalk to Beach

Dune Overlook Platform

Found in Quiet Area

Interpretive Signs in Park

Homestead Trail
Homestead Trail
Lake Michigan

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hidden Gem: Short hikes in your area

Hodenpyl Woods
2500 Robinson Rd. (North of Remington Park)
34.06 Acres

My friend, Lyn, just introduced me to a short secluded hike just minutes from where we work.  It seems like you are in the middle of the woods even though it is nestled in the middle of suburbia.

There are numbered and lettered posts scattered along the trail.
The numbered posts identify trees and bushes, and the lettered posts identify the wildflowers. Take this map and plant identification with you when you go for an educational .9 mile loop in the woods.
Hodenpyl Woods Trail Map
Plant Identification

We parked at Mayflower church on Robinson
and found a small trail off the road, but I believe
you can also leave your car at Remington Park.
"This area is home to numerous Eagle Scout projects.  This .9 mile loop is connected by several foot bridges and a floating bridge.  The trails are rustic and provide a wonderful and quiet experience with nature." -

Do some investigation around your home and work area.  You may find a hidden gem too.

Here is another link to check out:
Grand Rapids Trail Information


Monday, October 11, 2010

Autumn in Michigan

It's that time of year, when my favorite season is here!
Red, yellow, orange, and brown, and critters all around.
Grab my pack, throw it on my back.
With my hubby and my puppy, into the woods we go.
You should do the same, before the leaves fall again!

Why Leaves Change Color

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Jordan River Valley Pathway

Another great Michigan hike is the Jordan River Valley Pathway.  You can choose from a short 3-mile loop around Deadman's Hill or a moderate to challenging 18-mile loop on the Jordan River Pathway and North Country Trail.
Sign at Deadman's Hill Scenic Overlook Parking Lot

Check out this link for information on what to expect and how to get there:
Jordan River Pathway Loop Hike

Maps: Maps and Trail Data

Printable brochure: Take a Hike on the Jordan River Pathway

DNR Link:  Jordan River Valley

Historic Post Marker
Along the trail we saw posts with numbers on them, but didn't know what they were for.  My Dad and I bumped into some people who told us each post explained some historic information about each area and that we could get a pamphlet from the DNR.
It would have been nice to have this with us on our hike, and I will be sure to take it in the future: Numbered Posts - Scenic, biological, and historic markers

Campsite at Pinney Bridge
Pinney Bridge Campground:  This is a hike or canoe in campground.  It has potable water (hand pump water well), 15 tent sites with picnic tables, outhouses, and fire rings.  There is a $15/night camping fee.  It is self-registration and you can deposit cash or checks.

This link previews Jim DuFresne's book related to the Jordan River Pathway, look at pages 98-104. I recommend purchasing this book for this hike, and other Michigan hikes: Backpacking in Michigan

Oct 2010 - Colors are beautiful
Landslide Overlook
My Dad and Chopper
Saw a lot of different mushrooms