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It seems that the ferry is not going to be running to the Manitou Island this year, so I must change the trip a bit. This year we will try a trip to Beaver island it is also in Lake Michigan. (I did check the Charter boat option, but that there were multiple issues with that option. Price increased by 3 fold, a small 6 passenger boat, and any sort of weather was a much bigger challenge for the boat captain.) Beaver island is quite a bit different from North Manitou island in multiple ways. First it is twice the area, but there is private land ownership on the island. There are also about 650 permanent residents, along with tourists. Approximately 35% of the island is state forest property and little or no federal property. Beaver Island will also require a ferry ride, but we will buy the tickets there on a first come first serve basis. We will arrive early to ensure we are on the boat. We will camp in Michigan Wednesday night and then catch the ferry on Thursday morning at 8:30 am EDT. The ferry departs from Charlevoix, MI. The ferry rate is $32.50 each way, and it is the Beaver Island Ferry Company. I haven't developed the entire route yet, but it is possible we will be camping at the St. James Township campground Saturday night since it is close to the ferry. If we do it will cost a few dollars. There will also be a chance to take a shower at the Emerald Isle Hotel before we depart for the return trip (I believe the cost is $10). Ferry: https://www.bibco.com/ Island Info: https://www.beaverisland.org/ Map: https://www.beaverisland.org/media-marketing-publishing/order-beaver-island-map/ The start time listed above is at the campground, you are also welcome to meet up with us Thursday morning at the ferry. (Just let me know.) I will post additional details once they are determined. Due to the nature of the trip a moderate amount of backpacking experience is required. Dogs may be allowed, but you will need to do the research to be sure. I will post a more detailed plan as we get closer to the trip date. If there are any comments, suggestions, or questions you can post them in the comment section below or send me an email. This trip is cross-posted on the Ohio Valley Backpackers meetup, it is only necessary to RSVP on one site. I would like to get some conformation from everyone that they are OK with the changes just to let me know you have seen the change.
Come and backpack along a part of the Sheltowee Trace and along the Rockcastle river. This has become my favorite trip and I make it an annual occurrence. Friday night we will hike in a short distance and setup camp, could be after dark. Saturday we will hike along a creek and see several water falls and the Rockcastle river. Then Sunday we will return to the parking area around noon or shortly after. Total distance is approximately 13 miles (feels like more), see the highlighted route on the map. This year we will hike the loop portion counter-clockwise (backward from previous years), and camp at the southwest corner of the loop on Saturday night. See pictures from the previous trip (Nov 2012) here: (http://www.meetup.com/OhioValleyBackpackers/photos/11707182/) http://www.meetup.com/OhioValleyBackpackers/photos/11707182/ The trail difficulty is listed as moderate with some strenuous parts. The expectation is to be on the trail by 9:00 am each morning. Click here for a better map. (http://files.meetup.com/1128464/Bee%20Rock%20Trail%20Map%20.pdf) Trails 100 and 401. This trip is cross posted to the Indy Backpackers too, it is only necessary to RSVP on one. Well behaved dogs are welcome.