Mid-summer's Hike in the UP

August 23, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Bareback Ridge - highest point on the hikeLooking northwest, Harlow Lake is directly below.

After a summer of many short hikes and a few long ones, long one (over 5 miles), I took off on a 9-mile trail journey just north of Marquette, Michigan. 

I parked at the Harlow Lake DNR lot just off Hwy 550. The hike would take me up and down a rugged rock escarpment, around Harlow Lake, through a pine forest, across HWY 550 to Lake Superior, along the shoreline past Little Presque Isle and finishing up at Wetmore Landing.  

By hikes end, I was glad for tackling the up/down section at the beginning. 

Lake SuperiorView from the highest point on the trail. Altitude = 878 ft.

At the highest point the trail reaches an altitude of 880 ft, the steepest grade was 22%, and the trail was VERY rocky going up and down.

Harlow Lake

The hike down was very enjoyable with beautiful vistas of the lake and countryside, and it was easier than going up. The fact people mountain bike a trail like this is incredible, very risky on some sections. The three bikers that passed me sure were having fun. 

The Harlow Lake area is a wintering ground for White-tailed Deer from the surrounding area. Herds travel from up to 25 miles away to seek food and protection in the conifer forests, Hemlocks, and Cedars. 

Harlow Lake

White Pine forest

After exiting the lake area the trail leads back into a managed DNR forest composed mostly of White Pine and Red Pine trees. These horseback riders were out for their annual 4-hour ride into through the forest and along the Lake Superior shoreline. We would meet again later. This was the first part of the hike where I encountered some birds. First, I heard a familiar sound, Pine Warblers. Goes to show, get in the right habitat - find the expected species. They were joined by a small mixed flock of Black-capped Chickadees, Black-throated-blue Warblers, and Red-breasted Nuthatches.

Lake Superior shoreline

After hiking through the pine forest for about a mile, the trail crosses the highway and heads north toward Lake Superior. I spotted a few more species of birds in the marshy area along the road. An Eastern Phoebe, American Redstarts and a small flock of American Robins were feeding in the trees.

The next mile, walking along the shoreline, was very peaceful - no rocks, no roots, no bugs. 


Just when the hike was getting a little warm and buggy, this happened. Feel a cool breeze in your face. 

Little Presque Isle

Sheree', Izzy and I have hiked some of the trails around Little Presque, in particular, the Birding Trail. Feeling a little tired, I opted to skip that section, and shortcut across the peninsula, moving on down the North Country Trail, which I had been on since Hwy 550. I arrived on the south side of Little Presque recreation area and began the last leg of my journey, again along the shoreline of Lake Superior. This sections reminded me of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, with it's carved out sandstone cliffs, colorful rocks and overhanging trees. 

 

 

Miniature Pictured Rocks.

Wetmore Landing

To be honest, I was a hurting "old" guy entering Wetmore. Nine miles was about 3 miles over my threshold, but I really enjoyed the hike nevertheless. Being tired, I did only casually noticed a number of very cool beaches along the way, and it was obvious others knew they existed. To visit Wetmore or any other DNR property you must purchase a "Passport", but you already know that is you are a yooper. 

Besides having a great time hiking the nine miles, I located a number of new hangouts for future visits. 

 

Go beach!  I was wondering why so many people were parked at Wetmore each day that I drove to work to Echo Lake. Such a nice spot, and more interesting places to the west.

 

 

Slideshow of more images taken on the hike. Thanks for visiting our new blog. We would enjoy your comments below. 


 

 


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