Beg/Int North Country/Manistee River Trail and Kayaking (2 or 3 day option)

[masked]: Just returned from Hocking Hills and the weather was so great and the hiking so beautiful and the people so friendly that I don’t know how I’m supposed to wait another month for this event.  And it’s amazing how quickly it filled up so far in advance.  As much as I would love to have everyone with an interest in this event to join us, the area is simply not big enough to accommodate a larger group than the current RSVP limits allow for.  However, if you are still on the waiting list, please check back often as people always cancel last minute, and we do this trip every year, so just jump on next year’s event as soon as it’s posted, which will actually be soon after I return from this one.  (and of course change your RSVP ASAP if you can no longer attend)

But the real reason I’m updating this event is that someone finally called me back.  Here are the facts:

There are 17 sites at Seaton Creek, 8 people per site, but only 2 cars per site.  The first night is car camping, so unlike Hocking Hills, bring as much heavy stuff that first night as you like.  However, I’m not sure about electricity now that I think about it, and if you have more than 2 cars, you must park them at the trail head parking lot and pay $5 a night (which we will all do for the second night, while we are backpack camping).

It’s not mandatory that you take Friday off, but the sooner you can arrive and claim a campsite, the better.  And the more people you can stuff in your car, the better.  It would be great to see as many people as possible drive up 3 or 4 per vehicle.  And please try to share tents to, because we’ll want to squeeze as many people as possible on each site we reserve.

Even though it is a “non-reserve, first come, first serve” campground, I’m still working on reserving a few sites next to each other though the very nice ranger I talked to at length with today.  Still, there will be no guarantees.

I’m personally looking for a carpool to leave as early as possible on Friday morning to get up there and reserve with our stuff as many sites as possible, but it would be pretty hard for just three of us to lay claim to 6 or 7 sites, so who else can arrive early?  If anyone on the waiting list can leave very early, that would be a way to get bumped into the event, because we need early people (especially ones who live near Ferndale, who will also stay for kayaking).

And finally, the group rate for the kayaking around 1 or 2PM on Sunday will be 22 for a kayak, and 30 for a double kayak or canoe.  I won’t ask anyone to decide on that until we have a better idea about the weather.

[masked] Carpooling update:  I created a basic spreadsheet for drivers to find passengers here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0At8lfvufoBK9dFRFRGxtQUtTb3E3WTFYa01mbkY0aUE&usp=sharing

If you would like to offer to drive at least one other person, but hopefully two or three, please fill out your name and other info in the spreadsheet.  People looking for rides will then contact you and write their names under your name.  In order to encourage more drivers, I will STRONGLY recommend that passengers pay the majority (or all) of the gas cost.

I see no reason why the beginner and the advanced groups can't use the same carpool sheet. What really matters is location, and the time the driver wants to leave and return.  Let’s work out all the details in advance so all we need to worry about closer to the day is what to pack and how much fun we’re going to have.

As far as food goes, I encourage sharing whenever possible, but everyone should pack for herself.  Not everyone will need his own water purifier (can get by without ever using one in fact), stove, or first aid.  But if you have them, bring them.

Update[masked]:  Because I'm no longer doing Asia for 6 weeks I can push back the trip a few weeks in order to ensure better whether for kayaking.  I can't imagine how that could change anyone's plans this early on but, if you are one of the few awesome people who have already paid and can't make the new date, I'll happily refund your money (if you let me know by Feb 15th), and apologize to you.  But on this official "cold day" where the windchill is -22, I can't wait to hike and sweat and kayak with all of you in a few months.  As far away as it sounds, the Boyne trip is in two days, and I posted that a year in advance as well.  Time flies when your life is full of adventure!

I’ll admit I didn’t know much about the area when I planned my first big backpacking trip in Manistee, but I do now. And I enjoyed it enough that I’m planning the 2014 event just a few days after returning from my first one so that my knowledge and enthusiasm is fresh. I’m also planning two official trips at the same time that intersect each other so that there is no confusion about how far people want to hike and what their experience level is. As a bonus (or human experiment) I’ll charge only $5 to RSVP for the first 9 months, or until 10 people RSVP. After that, it will cost $10 to RSVP. Needless to say, the people who go will be subsidized by those who don’t, and that’s really the only subsidies I encourage. I hope to see you there.

Here is the breakdown for both versions of the trip to compare:
Advanced: Friday, 0 to 6 miles; Saturday, 16 to 18 miles; Sunday, 5 to 7 miles and kayaking

Beginner/Intermediate: Friday, 0 miles; Saturday, 5 to 7 miles; Sunday 5 to 7 miles and kayaking

Friday: arrive at Seaton Creek Campground (already paid for by our deposit: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hmnf/recreation/camping-cabins/recarea/?recid=18880&actid=29 ) as early as possible for maximum enjoyment. Or, if you want to make it a two day trip, simply show up Saturday at Red Bridge (http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5373964.pdf), some time before 1PM, and you may chose to set up camp there as well.

Saturday: if you camped at Seaton Creek, you are free to lounge around and take a short hike to the waterfall or do whatever you feel like, but it’s important to meet up with the rest of the group at Red Bridge by 1PM to meet up with the rest of the group, where you can refill water, eat lunch, and swim. We will then all hike 5 or 6 miles to camps 7 and 6 (depending on how many of us there are and how far we want to go) to spend the night.

Sunday: while the advanced group hikes back to Seaton Creek, you will hike back to Red Bridge and drive to Wilderness Canoe (http://wildernesscanoetripsonline.com/) by 1PM. Depending on how many people RSVP and with how much money, I can probably secure a group rate of just $12 or so a kayak for either the 2hr or 5hr tour. Last year it was too cold to kayak and we weren’t prepared, but I will be ready in 2014 no matter what.

There will be many practice hikes and information meetings before this hike, but here are some things to consider; absolutely anyone, with a little practice and decent gear, can do this trip. You will need wool socks, comfortable shoes/hiking boots, the ability to carry a 30 to 40 pound pack at least 3 hours at a time, a tent (or share), and some basic backing gear that you can either borrow or share.

 

 

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  • Wendy P.

    I created a Youtube page with silly videos from my adventures with MAC. Two videos from this hike are posted there. Here's the link to the playlist. Enjoy!

    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxCGMeI4I4U3SVSvvuzsLryvQyT0DXeUS

    July 16

  • Lee K

    Hat's off to event planner Jim S, who put untold hours into this event! Thanks for all you do! Next year, our priority will be to make sure we're all camping where you are! Another fantastic year!

    4 · June 3

  • Jasmine

    I'll admit, this is the best meetup I have been to yet. Everything went smoothly and everyone enjoyed themselves. This group (adv. and beg.) had a great vibe and I can't wait to do it again next year. Thanks Jim and everyone else!

    4 · June 3

  • Dan B

    It was a great weekend, and great to meet all of you. Let's stay in touch and I'm looking forward to the next trip! Also, thanks to everyone for posting all of the photos.

    6 · June 3

    • Harry

      It was good to meet to you too Dan.

      2 · June 3

  • Wendy P.

    I posted 3 videos on my Facebook page of our trip. Check them out, my page is open to the public. (Or friend me if you would like.)

    June 2

    • Rod

      PS: Saw your fb comment string on ticks. Have you checked out "permethrin"? Spray it on clothes (not while wearing), gear, tents, let it dry (2 - 4 hours) and it supposed to last about 1.5 months.

      1 · June 2

    • Wendy P.

      Never heard of permethrin. I'll have to check it out. Thanks Rod!

      1 · June 2

  • Rod

    Enjoyed the trip & people. Happy that the weather let us kayak this year.

    2 · June 2

  • Phil

    Great hike and good fun. Couldn't of asked for better weather. Nice to see everyone.

    1 · June 2

  • Wendy P.

    Wow! What can I say. That was a great first backpacking experience for me. :) Weather was perfect, company was great, trails were stellar! Thanks all for making this trip so fun!

    5 · June 2

    • Josh

      Good times, can't wait to see you guys again. Thanks to everyone for making the trip a good one.

      4 · June 2

    • Neylan A.

      It was really great. Much needed and enjoyed making new friends. Fun with good people. Thanks everyone. Looking forward to next adventure with you all :))

      3 · June 2

  • Jeff

    Not gonna make it. Enjoy!

    May 31

  • Jeff

    Won't make it this eve. Maybe tomorrow morn.

    May 30

  • Jasmine

    Just search for Seatton Creek Campground and you'll find us

    May 30

  • Mandie

    I need a phone number of anyone at the park, I'm struggling with the location

    May 30

    • Dylan C.

      I'm not there yet but I might be able to help. [masked]

      May 30

    • Dylan C.

      The address is: Mc Clush Rd, Mesick,MI

      May 30

  • Mandie

    the above location isn't working for me, is there a cell number I can call to get help?

    May 30

  • Neylan A.

    It seems like I need a ride and tent at the last minute. I can leave tonight around 6 pm and come back on Sunday. Anyone I can ride with? I live in Belleville area and can meet you anywhere around....

    May 30

  • Rod

    If anyone still needs a ride, I have 3 passengers in my Trailblazer and have room for one more. We are leaving from the Holly area around noon and returning Sunday evening.

    May 22

    • Harry

      It's going to be lot of fun :)

      1 · May 26

    • Rod

      Dan has decided to drive his own vehicle. We now have 4 in the vehicle (counting me) and could take a 5th if someone needs a ride.

      May 29

  • Robyn

    I'm finalizing my packing and just putting this info. out there.....I have a camping burner and small fuel canister I'm bringing and can share I just need it for coffee and Sat. night food heating. I think fires are allowed at all the camping spots though. Also, the backpacking camp sites DO NOT have a drinking water faucet or pit latrines. Remember to carry in your water or be ready to purify and bring TP and your shovel.

    May 28

    • Harry

      That's great info Robyn, if you don't mind I might need to share the burner for boiling water and MTR ready to eat food.

      May 28

    • Lee K

      There are pit toilets at Friday's campground. Saturday's sites are more like open space in the middle of the woods near the river.

      May 29

  • Dylan C.

    Who would like to carpool from the Ann Arbor area on Friday? I'll pay for gas or drive. I'd like to leave around noon Friday, kayak or not on Sunday and get back at a reasonable time. I'm in the advanced group but it looks like all the Ann Arbor folks are over here.

    May 28

  • Mandie

    What do we tell the park when we arrive since we've already paid? We are apart of the meet up group?
    Also, I noticed that we start at Seaton on Saturday and then get to Red Bridge by one, are we hiking to this area, driving? I'm just a little confused how our cars will be at Red Bridge if we camp at Seaton, clarification would be appreciated :)

    May 28

    • Dylan C.

      I'll answer in case Jim doesn't get to this. Seaton is an unmanned campground. Jim will put money in the tube later. You are driving to Red Bridge. There are some options for the beginner group on Sunday, but I suggest you all do the same thing. You could hike back the way you came, or continue north and get a ride back with the advanced group. I believe Jim is putting Lee in charge of the beginners group. There will be time to figure out the details on Friday evening. Bring a map.

      May 28

  • Elizabeth

    For anyone still looking for a ride, I have 2 spots open in my car. I'll be leaving in the morning from Hazel Park and can pick up anyone in the area, or meet someone along I-75.

    May 22

    • P

      Hi Elizabeth - do you still have room in your vehicle? I am hoping to be able to link up with this adventure ~

      May 28

    • Elizabeth

      Sorry, P, my car's full now. Check the spreadsheet. There were still rides available last I looked.

      May 28

  • Josh

    Doesn't look like there is a limit on how early we can arrive, is there?

    May 28

    • Jasmine

      Looks like only your will power to get out of bed is your limiter!

      May 28

  • Rod

    I live near Holly (I75 mile marker 101) and would be happy to drive or drive with someone. My Trailblazer can comfortably hold 4 with packs (we did 5 between Grand Marais and Munising last year). I'm sure we'll pin this down in May like we did last year.

    January 29, 2014

    • Emily P.

      Rod I am going to ride withsomeone closer to me

      May 22

    • Rod

      Ok Emily. I removed your name from my vehicle list.

      May 22

  • Emily P.

    Does someone have a water filter they wouldn't mind sharing?

    May 21

    • Emily P.

      Awesome thanks! Im so exciteddd

      May 22

    • Lee K

      Emily, I clicked on your name, and sent you an e-mail. Could you confirm that you received it? I wanted to know if you want to carpool to Rod's in Holly, as we like close together.

      May 22

  • Emily P.

    Hi everyone! I live in madison heights and would love to ride with someone. Anyone in my area?

    1 · March 8

    • Harry

      Hi Emily, I think Rod is waiting for message from you to Confirm if you are riding with him... You should reach out to him

      May 20

    • Emily P.

      I am riding with him idk how to check messages on here

      May 21

  • Norma J.

    right knee injury. going for mri on the 27th. hate to back out but do not want to hold up anyone especially if i cannot hike for any length of time. have fun everyone. will catch the next hike when am healthy.

    May 20

    • Elizabeth

      Feel better soon! Injuries are the worst.

      May 20

  • Lee K

    Jim, will there be a shakedown meeting? I know what I know, but do newcomers? (Although you have explained things extensively...)

    April 2

    • Jim S

      very likely, it would be much closer to the even, maybe a week before

      April 14

    • Harry

      Hi Jim, is the shakedown meeting happening?

      May 20

  • Lee K

    Don't wait until the last minute to form a carpool!! Gas will cost about $80 - $120 round trip, or about $0.56 per mile = $280. It is proper to consider wear and tear on the vehicle, so the latter number is fairer, for sure. Folks always scramble last minute, and too many people end up driving up alone who didn't want to! If you change plans, let your driver know and update the spreadsheet! As the beginner and advanced hikes have been posted separately, your best best is to check out the carpool spreadsheet! And, post on both sites. From the carpool spreadsheet: IF YOU'RE LOOKING for a carpool, be PRO-ACTIVE and CONTACT ALL THE DRIVERS that might fit your needs from the list below. IF YOU'RE STILL STUCK, add your name to the bottom "NEED-A-RIDE" section, and maybe someone will reach out. But, don't count on that... your best bet is to keep contacting people. Good luck, drive safely, avoid the Flint I-75 construction, etc. construction, and see ya there!

    May 15

    • Harry

      Lee, I m not sure I agree with your figure of. 56$ per mile... That's like what companies pay their employees for driving for work. For an average car, if it gives 20 miles per gallon on Highway@ $3.70 per gallon, its come out to be $0.185 per mile.... About one third of what you r stating.

      May 15

    • Rod

      FYI, I don't mind splitting actual round trip gas cost (about $90?) by all in my vehicle (including me). That would range between $18 ~ $23 for 5 to 4 travelers.

      May 15

  • Lea J.

    Sadly, I'm not going to be able to attend afterall. Maybe next year. Hope everyone has a great time.

    May 14

  • Rod

    Just a heads up - - there is construction on the northbound side of the I75 Zilwaukee Bridge. Traffic is reduced to two lanes and routed around it on northbound I675. When we went by it last Friday evening (around 6:00), traffic was backed up several miles. If you are leaving Friday late afternoon/evening, be prepared.

    1 · May 12

  • Lee K

    Rod's SUV has room for 1, maybe 2 more. First come, first served. See the spreadsheet and contact Rod for confirmation.

    May 6

    • Harry

      Hi Lee, how many confirmed riders are there in Rod s SUV so far? You, rod, anyone else?

      May 6

    • Lee K

      Hey Atam! Rod's SUV has room for 1, maybe 2 more. First come, first served. See the spreadsheet for possible info and contact Rod for confirmation.

      May 7

  • Lee K

    Overview map and more directions to campground
    http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5373964.pdf

    May 6

  • Lee K

    In addition to posting here, the best place to look for a carpool, or let others know you're looking for space in a carpool is to add info to the car pool spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsh...­
    Scrambling for a carpool at the last minute is no fun

    May 6

  • Harry

    Love the detailed description on the meetup and the 4/28 Update.... :)

    1 · April 29

  • A former member
    A former member

    I live in Orion, I would be happy to have people ride up with me.

    1 · February 17, 2014

    • Rod

      Emily - - I need you to confirm if you are riding with us or making other arrangements. Thea is asking if we have room for her. If you are going with us, please add your name to the car pool spreadsheet as confirmed like Lea and Lea have. Thanks.

      April 23

    • Rod

      Emily - - I've sent you a message and asked through these comments to confirm if you are riding with us or making other arrangements. Two other people are asking if we have room for them. If you are going with us, please confirm and add your name to the car pool spreadsheet as confirmed like Lee and Lea have. If I don't hear from you before Sunday (5/4), I'll be making the space I held for you to someone else. Please respond. Thanks.

      1 · April 29

  • Spencer S.

    My car comfortably seats 1 passenger, and an additional person in the back with almost no leg room. Does anyone want to car pool? I live in the Monroe area.

    January 28, 2014

    • connie

      When in Friday are you leaving?

      April 28

  • Jim S

    note: it's now $10 to rsvp, and i opened up 5 more spots, but that's all i'll ever open up again.

    April 28

  • Phil

    I'm on the East side, specifically the Harrison Township area if anyone needs a ride from the East side.

    March 29

    • Lee K

      Hi. Phil, I added you to the carpool list (see link at top of page). Even if you aren't taking other people, it helps for seekers to know who NOT to call. You may want to add more info.

      March 30

    • Phil

      Ok , thanks Lee.

      March 31

  • Emily P.

    Anyone in the detroit area looking to carpool?

    March 27

  • Phoebe H.

    I live in Detroit and would love to carpool, up Friday and back Sunday!

    January 28, 2014

    • Emily P.

      Hi ohoebe whats the word on your car? :)

      March 24

    • Phoebe H.

      I'm unable to drive up at this time. :(

      March 25

  • Barbara

    Very sorry but I'm not going to be able to make this one. Too close to when I travel overseas the following week. Hope you all have a great time!

    March 18

  • Robyn

    I'm near Ann Arbor/Brighton/Novi area and would be taking US-23 up to I-75 and then over. I'm willing to use my car can fit 3 more comfortably with packs.

    February 4, 2014

    • Jasmine

      Private message on meetup

      March 9

    • Robyn

      Got it :)

      1 · March 10

  • Jessica

    Hi I would like to carpool with someone if possible. I am closer to Ann Arbor.

    March 7

  • Jim S

    between the date change and the reminder, we really just about filled this event up. i'm so excited (on this second "cold day" in a row.)

    2 · January 29, 2014

  • Robyn

    Thank you for the date change :)

    January 28, 2014

    • Jim S

      my pleasure

      January 29, 2014

  • Barbara

    How would you rate the kayaking? Can I rent a kayak or do I have to have my own? Are we traveling between the campsites via the kayaks? Sorry not clear.

    September 27, 2013

    • Jim S

      never been, last year we were about to but it was too cold. almost everyone will rent. it's after hiking is all over with and we are all packed up

      January 29, 2014

  • Keith D.

    Will there be extra Kayaks?

    January 2, 2014

    • Jim S

      once i have a hard number, i'll reserve them well in advance

      January 29, 2014

  • Rod

    With the date change - - I'm in! Looking forward to the kayaking this time!

    1 · January 28, 2014

  • Benoit

    We are interested in the trip and in the carpooling!

    January 28, 2014

  • Barbara

    Ok I may have to drop out of this as it's getting close to June and I have a foreign trip planned that I leave for on June 6th. This does sound fun though, but I may need that weekend to pack for my June trip.

    January 28, 2014

  • Phoebe H.

    I admit Mesick has one of the cutest little up north bars, the Bucksnort! Friendly place. Going up north just isn't the same without stopping in for a cold one there! :)

    1 · January 24, 2014

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