"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- WOW-- What a Ride!"

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Virtual Fall Trail Tour - Sand Lakes Quiet Area

This week the Virtual Fall Trail Tour stops at the Sand Lakes Quiet Area somewhere between Traverse City and Kalkaska, MI.  I hope you've been enjoying the tour.  I know I've been enjoying the field work :-)

The Sand Lakes Quiet Area is part of the Pere Marquette State Forest, encompasses 5 lakes and is crossed by the North Country Trail, the Michigan Shore-to-Shore Trail and the TC to Kalkaska Trail.  There are also innumerable unmarked trails, old logging roads, fire breaks and game trails criss-crossing the forest.  Back country camping is allowed.  There is also a State Forest campground at Guernsey Lake

The trails are not too technical in nature.  There wasn't much for rocks and the roots weren't too bad.  The surfaces  are dirt, packed dirt, packed sand, loose sand and in some places leaf drifts.  In places the trails were obviously old two track logging roads.  Nice and wide.  In other places the trails were narrow single tracks.  Today I confined my running to the North Country Trail segment that runs through the Sand Lakes Quiet Area.

I ended up running about 9.7 miles in a little over 2 hours.  Not fast, but I was concentrating on keeping the effort easy.  I also stopped occasionally to take pictures, enjoy the view or try to figure out which way to turn at trail intersections.  Only made 1 wrong turn.  I figured it out 0.7 miles later when I ended up on the horse trail.  Oops.  Today's weather was amazing for mid-October.  Sunny and 79.  Awesome!  I don't think we'll see that again until next spring.

Map of the area with the major trails


Life as a Convert (Khourt) said...

I love these trail images. How far do you have to drive to reach a trail?

Michael Smith said...


I didn't have to drive very far really. My idea for the tour was to see what was available to me less than an hour from my house. This one was about 40 minutes away.