If you've wanted to try winter backpacking or camping, this is an intermediate level event where we will hiking a 12 mile loop in the morning/afternoon and camping at a drive in state campground for the night. You can store gear, an extra sleeping bag, blankets, etc in your car.
Where: We'll meet Saturday at 10 AM at the entrance to the Equestrian/Horse Camp in Waterloo State Recreation Area. The Equestrian/Horse Camp is located on Loveland Road, just above Clear Lake Shore Dr. Here is a map: http://goo.gl/maps/fVK4A of where we are meeting and camping. The GPS coordinates are:[masked],[masked]
Waterloo is a big state recreation area, please be careful that you go to the Equestrian/Horse Camp. Google maps doesn't have a marker for the camp but it is there.
What: We'll hike the blue 12 mile loop in about 6 hours. We will stop for lunch half way though. There will be some hills on the trail. Dress warmly and bring something for lunch that won't freeze, plenty of snacks, and water.
After hiking the loop, we'll be camping at the Equestrian/Horse Camp for the night and leaving Sunday morning. The camping part is optional if you're only interested in the day hike.
I'm going to be carrying everything on my back for the weekend to try out winter backpacking, but camping is open to anyone - backpacker or not. It is a drive in camp site so you can always do the day hike, then car camp.
Here's a map of the loop we'll do: http://www.michigandnr.com/Publications/PDFS/RecreationCamping/Waterloo_horsetrails.pdf
• Take I-94 to exit 153 for Clear Lake Road.
• Go north 4 miles.
• Turn right on Loveland Road.
• Loveland Road will bend 90 degrees to the right. The Equestrian/Horse Camp are on the left, right after Sugarloaf Lake Campground.
Cost: If you're only going for the day, you need a state recreation passport which is $11. If you are staying the night, the fee for the campsite is $17.
Etiquette: I will designate someone as sweep. Do not get behind the sweep. If you get way ahead of the sweep, please stop and wait at each intersection and every 30-minutes. Go back if necessary, someone behind you may need help.
If you see a mountain bike getting close, yell BIKE! and step off the trail to the right.
Staying warm: For the hike, make sure you dress in layers. You generate a lot of heat hiking and you might want to take a layer off or add one on depending on your circumstance.
If you are camping, please bring extra bedding or an extra sleeping bag even. Sleeping bag ratings are usually pretty liberal with their estimates and you might find yourself miserable and cold at night.
Maps and Links:
Map to where we are meeting/camping (Equestrian/Horse Camp) : http://goo.gl/maps/fVK4A
Map of the trail: http://www.michigandnr.com/Publications/PDFS/RecreationCamping/Waterloo_horsetrails.pdf
Map of the whole Waterloo State Recreation Area: http://www.michigandnr.com/Publications/PDFS/RecreationCamping/waterloo_map.pdf
Winter camping and hiking tips from REI: http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/winter-camping.html
Lots more winter camping info: http://www.wintercampers.com/