Event Rating: Moderately Difficult!!!!! Due to hilly, sandy and rugged terrain along with uphills/downhills. Mud, ice and standing water are also possible this time of year.
We'll hike part of the Blue trail and the Badlands area at a moderately fast pace. Total distance will likely be about 8 - 10 miles with about 3-4 miles in the Badlands area.
The Badlands is a unique dune-like area of the park. We'll climb and walk atop a few of the dunes while enjoying a very scenic view of the landscape below.
The route may need to be modified due to the ongoing gravel/sand mining operation in the Badlands. We'll stay mostly in the western area which was free of mining the last time I checked. The mining operations in the Badlands does not operate on Sundays, so we may be able to explore the eastern area a bit if group interest, conditions, time, etc. allow. This would add additional distance. All final decisions are my call!
Wet and muddy conditions are possible along with standing water over the route! Proper footwear(such as waterproof boots) advised!!!
Check the forecast and dress for the weather! The Badlands is mostly open to the elements - sun, wind, rain, etc. Layers recommended!
'Tis the season! Mud, snow, ice, wet/slippery conditions and standing water over the route are always possible this time of year.
Hiking poles and/or traction devices(for your boots) such as Kahtoola Microspikes can be helpful if there is snow and/or ice on the trails.
Also Bring: Water. You may also want to bring a light snack - we'll make several BRIEF stops.
The usual disclaimers:
As always this time of year, you may also want to bring a headlamp or small flashlight.. just in case!
The trails are hilly and rugged! We will be climbing uphills and downhills on uneven, loose, sandy and slippery terrain - with rocks, roots, sand, etc. Leaves and branches will be covering the trails and may make footing difficult. The trails could be muddy, snowy and/or icy with standing water over the route in places. We may go off-trail in a few places. The route may be overgrown in a few places. We may do a water crossing by walking across downed trees/logs. The Blue trail is used by mountain bikes.
***** Hike Meeting Location, Time, Directions, etc. *****
We'll meet in the main hiking/biking trailhead parking lot at Island Lake State Recreation Area - in the corner diagonally opposite the parking lot driveway enters the parking lot.
The GPS coordinates are:[masked], [masked]
Do not input "Island Lake State Recreation Area" into a GPS unit. It will NOT take you to the meeting location
Map Island Lake State Recreation on Google Maps:
Island Lake State Recreation Area DNR Website:
The trailhead parking lot is marked by a black star in the link above.
***** Directions From I-96:
Take the Exit 151 for Kensington Road Exit(One exit west of Kent Lake Rd). Go south on Kensington Road. Pass Grand River(traffic light). Make the first left into Island Lake State Recreation Area. Immediately after going through the contact station(where they check for the state park sticker), turn right. Follow the park road. The main hiking/biking trailhead will be the second right(the Huron River/shore fishing site will be the first right). We'll meet in the parking lot by the water pump - first row on the left as you enter the parking lot.
This is a Michigan State Recreation Area(state park). A Michigan Recreation Passport is required!
This event may be canceled or modified due to lack of interest, weather and/or trail conditions at the time of the event. Check this website for updates before leaving!