South Manitou Island Revisited

DockLightLast year, our Hiking North Central Michigan director, Mark Wilson, headed off to South Manitou Island for a few weeks of Volunteer Trails work. He spent an extended time on the Island repairing trails, signage and some of the historical building there. Read Marks first entries on his South Manitou Island visit.

This year a number of people who had seen Marks reports and the great MapTallClouds we had built from his exploits on the Island, planned a trip there. A couple of local Boy Scout Troops and our friend Kim, her son Dylan and family headed for the Island and sent us extensive pictures of their visit. In fact…..we have split up these pictures into groups to best display them here. The first batch from Kim and family are the basics of the Island. We will be posting the Flowers and Birds of South Manitou Island, following this first posting.

South Manitou Island is part of an island chain that extends north to the Straits of Mackinac. The island consists of a ridge of tilted layers of limestone, buried under a blanket of glacial debris. Glaciers carved out the Lake Michigan basin. When the basin filled with water, the peaks of the ridge remained exposed as islands. During post-glacial times, winds blowing on the high, sandy bluffs on the west side of the island moved sand inland, forming perched dunes. The dunes are a fragile environment. Please stay on existing paths and avoid stepping on plants.

Tucked away on the southwest corner of the island is a grove of virgin white cedar trees. One of the fallen trees showed 528 growth rings, dating its existence to before Columbus. A trip to South Manitou Island takes a little planning. The passenger ferry is operated by Manitou Island Transit (231-256-9061). You will want to call ahead for reservations and be sure to pack a lunch.

Get more info about the Island from the National Park Service web site here:  National Park Service web site.

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Thank You Kim Leedom for your FANTASTIC pictures of South Manitou Island!!!

S.ManitouIslandDownload the Map of South Manitou Island here:  S.MANITOU ISLAND MAP

 

South Manitou Island

Well……our fearless leader is back to the Manitou Islands again. This time he is working on the Trails system on South Manitou Island. He has also been meeting with Park staff to set up some working trips to both Islands next Spring for Hiking Michigan members. details will be coming on those planned weekends soon.

The basics will be some BackPacking, while we clear the Trails as we go. We have done this kind of Trail work at some of the Southeastern Michigan Parks. Not even like work, if you ask me. And to Hike back over your cleared trails has a sense of accomplishment I have not felt in any other way of giving back to my Park lands.

You can follow some of Marks journey on the Hiking North/Central facebook page. He is already starting to post some pictures this evening upon just arriving on the Island.   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hiking-NorthCentral-Michigan/149820138449459