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|