Manistee National Forest

The central west end of the southern peninsula of Michigan is where the Manistee National Forest is located. It is the southernmost of this state's great forested stretches. The North Country Trail passes through this forest in a north-south orientation.

I came here in late winter hoping to hike some of the NCT. It would be the first time since I'd left New York that I'd seen this trail. I came to the first trailhead and the parking area was covered in 5 feet of snow. I came to the second trailhead and the parking area, again, was snowed in. Have I mentioned that Michigan doesn't plow much? It's really unfortunate, because I'm sure most tourists aren't as persistent as I am and the state loses plenty of them because there's no way to visit the state during the winter. Eventually I just found a small, deserted-looking road and parked my car at the end of it. I placed a note on the dashboard kindly asking any passers-by not to tow or molest my vehicle and I set off on foot to find the trail. Needless to say I didn't see a single other hiker or any signs of such on this journey.


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