Trip length: Friday evening to Monday afternoon
Distance: 200 miles from central Chicago, 3.5 hour drive (plus traffic delays)
Max Trail Distance: 10-12 miles (longest of the 2 hikes planned)
Trail Conditions: intermediate, some parts a little strenuous.
Limit: 20 campers
Trip Leader: Jack D [masked] ............................................................................................................ "Come along, come along, explore the forest green with us. Come along, come along, and paddle down the stream with us..." Okay, I'll stop quoting lines from various camp songs now. But they're totally appropriate, as we'll be camping for 3 nights on Labor Day weekend at the Owasippe Scout Reservation in Michigan. Now in its 103nd year, Owasippe is owned by the Chicago Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and is the oldest continuously operating scout camp in the country. About 230 miles from Chicago, Owasippe is about 20 minutes north of Muskegan and adjacent to the Manistee National Forest. The camp is 4,800 acres of oak and pine forest, lakes, streams, and trails in an area that is relatively undeveloped. With several "section camps" on the property, we will be staying at Camp Wolverine on Lake Wolverine. The scouts have all gone home for the summer by then, and the only other campers will be other groups of savvy campers who know how to use their scouting connections to avoid the crowds at state parks. Even if full, the camp will feel empty compared to almost anywhere else on Labor Day weekend. Facilities will be a little rustic, but may surprise you. The washroom (usually one per two campsites) is unisex, but has flush toilets and running water. We will probably have one with a heated shower, but if not there will still be a cold shower available.
THE PLAN: HIKING - There are 30-40 miles of trails on the property. We won't hike them all, but we will hike on at least 2 days. Highlights include: PARADISE VALLEY: A cathedral-like valley almost as dark as night, whose steep sides are covered with hemlock, and whose bottom supports the bog climax forest of the region: magnificent sugar maples, beech, hemlock, white cedar, basswood, tulip, and a few white pines. Here you?ll see the primeval forest that once covered this entire region before it was logged around 1870. At the bottom of the valley are several springs which merge and flow together into Cleveland Creek, the source of Lake Wolverine. QUAKING BOG: Bogs are wetlands that have a distinctive vegetation growing on a bog mat. As you walk across this mat, the surrounding trees and shrubs shake and quake because the mat is composed of vegetation floating on water several feet down. These areas were also largely undisturbed during the logging of the area generations ago. But be careful, poison ivy and poison sumac are more likely to grow here. FISHING - If you want to fish on Lake Wolverine, feel free. Since the entire lake is private property, no Michigan fishing license is required. SWIMMING - The lake we are camping on is NOT suitable for swimming. There is a nearby county park on Big Blue Lake with swimming for an additional cost.
COST: $45.00 includes camp fees, 3 breakfasts, 2 dinners, and firewood. You are on your own for lunches. IMPORTANT: I'll send out driving directions and a few more details closer to the date. But first.... >>>IN YOUR COMMENTS PLEASE INCLUDE<<< If you need a ride or can offer a ride, say so along with a general description of where you will be driving from and what time you will be leaving town. Let's do our best to carpool as much as we can!