Monday, February 16, 2009

SPW Trail Club February Outing

Spirit of the Woods Chapter of the NCTA
SPW trail club members in the warming shelter at Big M (photo by a helpful Scout)
by Joan H. Young

Anyone who would like to get outside more often, but doesn't want to have to figure out a good place to go, or someone to go with, need look no farther than to the Spirit of the Woods Chapter of the North Country Trail Association.

With very few exceptions the club has led a hike once a month for the past 10 years. Most adventures have been within Mason, Manistee, Lake or Oceana counties.

Over the years the club has settled into a routine of the February outing being at Big M ski area just east of Manistee. Everyone goes out on the trails in small groups, choosing routes that match their skill levels. Some people snowshoe off-trail (so as to not damage the ski tracks). But then people congregate in the warming shelter for homemade chili made by a member and heated on the wood stove.

Yesterday we swapped stories of hikes in the Adirondacks, at Whitefish Bay, adventures in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota or just in the next county. John displayed his new GPS unit, Vicky and Barb brought dessert, and we generally made more noise than the Scouts or a group of college kids who drove up from Miami of Ohio for the weekend.

Anyone is welcome to join the outings. Hikes are almost always at 10 am on the second Saturday of each month. Distances range from 2 or 3 miles to an occasional longer distance of 6-7 miles. There is always a hike leader who knows the trail. Some hikes are on the North Country Trail, while others take advantage of the many trail resources in the local area.

If you would like to be added to the monthly email list to be notified of hikes contact Joan Young

See Spirit of the Woods Chapter of the NCTA
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