This is a 2.5 day intermediate backpacking trip of 28 miles. No first timers! Sunset is just before 8PM and the plan is to start hiking up Ratlesnake Hill in the dark at 8:30PM so you will probably need to take Friday afternoon off of work as it's a 3.5 hour drive from Grand Rapids, plus spotting cars takes a bit of time on unmarked roads. We will meet at Pigeon Bridge Campground at 6:30 PM then spot a car there to have an optional backpack dropoff point, and spot two cars on Grass Lake Road at the top of Shingle Mill Pathway. Then we will drive to just east of Rattlesake Hill, park in a small clearing, hike up a couple of miles, and pitch tents near the lookout on top of Rattlesnake Hill. Saturday we may see elk as we hike through an area with plantings for them, get water at the Black River, and hike till we decide to pitch tents. On Sunday, we continue NW on High Country Pathway which merges with Shingle Mill Pathway. There will be an option to drop your backpack and get water at the beginning of Shingle Mill Pathway. We continue north following the 10 mile loop to see the sinkhole, Section Four Lake, then loop around Bunyan Bowl back to our spotted cars on Grass Lake Road. We only do 2/3 of the loop because our path is one way.
MEETING PLACE: Pigeon Bridge Rustic Campground at 6:30 PM. It is 10.5 miles east of Vanderbilt on Sturgeon Valley Road.