Friday, October 3, 2008

Into the Woods - North Country Trail Near Petoskey

volunteers build benched trail,
taking the NCT off Krause Road
(photo credit Cora Killinger)

by Joan H. Young

Long (and short) distance hikers of the North Country Trail can rejoice this week as one more half-mile of trail has been taken off road, into the woods.

The new section of trail, just south of Petoskey, will connect two sections on city property. The project has been a long-time dream of property owners Doug and Pam Boor. For several years they have been working with the Nature Conservancy to sell a trail easement to the Conservancy. That transaction was completed this past year, and all that remained was to build the trail.

Saturday, September 27, over 45 people showed up to make that piece of trail a reality on the ground. The tasks were organized by Gary Johnson and Cora Killinger, of the Tittabawassee Chapter of the North Country Trail Association. This section of trail traverses a steep hillside, requiring that almost all of the trail be benched into the hill. This type of trail is difficult to build, requiring hard work, and close attention to detail to create a treadway that will stand up to hiking traffic. It is also very rewarding to view at the end of the day!

Cora reports that in this one day the work was about 80% completed. She says, "No one person could have done much, but together you should see what we've accomplished!"

viewing platform
and the view from the new trail
(photo credit Cora Killinger)
The hillside where this new trail is located is one of the highest spots in Emmett County. Thanks to the Nature Conservancy there is a viewing platform already in place from which you can see Little Traverse Bay. This is sure to become one of the favorite scenic views along the NCT.

Doug Boor's dream for the section includes creating a primitive campsite where hikers may stay.

It's only a short piece of trail, you say? Yes, but consider the many layers of complexity required to create it. A property owner, the city of Petoskey, the Nature Conservancy, the North Country Trail Association, finance sources, volunteers, and other individuals all worked together to make this a reality. When you ponder this effort it makes you appreciate the enormity of the vision to place all the miles of the NCT, New York to North Dakota, off road.

See North Country Trail
See The Nature Conservancy
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

Go To for all the news
See North Country Trail
See Get Off The Couch


Anonymous said...

PS--The view from the platform on this new section of trail will be the first glimpse of the Great Lakes from the North Country Trail for those hiking from NY to North Dakota, or as Lyle Bialk pointed out--the last glimpse if headed the other way. We had fun being part of creating it!

Peg & Andy, Saginaw

Anonymous said...

Hats off to Gary, Cora and the Tittabawassee Chapter of NCTA. It's important to note that most members of this chapter drive long distances just to further development of the NCT through Lower Michigan's most picturesque areas. These are wonderful people to be around. I hope this latest project brings with it a groundswell of support from folks who live near the trail.
A year ago I joined this group on a project - all day in a steady rain, mid-40 temps, chainsaws, hammers and lumber akimbo... As we hauled gear back to the trucks at the end of the day we met a family hiking the section we'd just worked. The excitement shown by the workgroup - knowing hikers were about to benefit from their work - was amazing! So, even if you weren't in Petoskey to help on this latest NCT project, get out there and hike it - They'll love you for it.

Happy Trails!

Dennis Mashue
Midland Hiking Club

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