Three hikers sitting on a bridge near Spring Lake Campground.
Before discussing today’s hike from Spring Lake to Broomhead Road, I must mention a few details from last night. We had this amazing campsite along the north branch of the Boardman River. It was just us and one family, which had very colorful members! They were a local family who lived just three miles (4.8 km) away from this spot, but said it was always taken when they wanted to camp here. So they happened to snag this spot, and were planning to stay three weeks. Wow!

So this morning we shuttled two cars down to the Spring Lake State Forest Campground, where the sites are first-come, first-served. The campground seemed bustling, but we found one open site, so we set up our tents and then began hiking back north to Broomhead Road. We didn’t get started until nearly 10 a.m., but at least we had our campsite set up already.

Making Our Way from Spring Lake to Broomhead Road

Our trek today back to Broomhead Road was lovely. The day was gorgeous: sunny and warm, but not humid. There were no bugs, either. Yay! The trail wasn’t too difficult, and we passed many scenic spots.

We stopped for lunch around 12:30, eating on a small bridge over Twenty-Two Creek. It was just lovely. Just as we were finishing a couple arrived with a huge dog. Thank goodness we had everything picked up, because it would have been too difficult for them to get around us.

After that, the hike got quite scenic, often dipping past the Boardman River, but always climbing again. We got turned around a few times, but nothing where we were too confused.

At one point, there was a big sign that said, “Advice from an Old Oak Tree: Stand tall and proud. Be content with your beauty, Sink your roots into the earth. Drink plenty of water. Enjoy the view.” Love it! I also spotted a bald eagle soaring above the river.

Day Is Done

We reached our cart around 6:15, then stopped at a grocery store en route to Spring Lake so we could grab ice and some snacks.

It was nice to have our camp all set up when we arrived, although it still took longer than you’d think to wash up, find our meals and cookware, etc. Anyway, we ate our freeze-dried meals, had some good beer and wine, and discussed issues big and small. That’s what you do with good friends. All in all, a wonderful day.

Oh – I have my ultralight backpacking tent with me, but while Ed is here we’re using our new, four-person REI tent. It seems so gigantic! All I’ve ever camped in in my tiny Big Agnes tent.


MI NCT miles today: 18 (29 km)
MI NCT miles to date: 703.5 (1,132.2 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 1,471 (2,367.4 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 3,129 (5,035.6 km)

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved