So excited to start my 2022 North Country Trail section-hike at Michigan’s Hickory Corners! Last year, I ended my Michigan NCT hiking at Hall Lake, heading southbound. On this two-week trek, I’ll finish all of Michigan – yay! – and hike into northern Ohio, stopping at the spot where the NCT piggybacks on the state’s famous Buckeye Trail. While I’ll be heading southbound, I’m going northbound just for today, because it was easier logistically to leave my car at the Hall Lake parking area.
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Now Departing Hickory Corners
Trail Angel Arlene met me at Hall Lake and kindly shuttled me to Hickory Corners. The temperature was unseasonably cold – just 25 F (-3.9 C). Brr! But I dressed appropriately, it wasn’t windy and the temperature rose all day to a rather balmy 42 F (5.6 C).
While most of today was a road walk, it was one of the most pleasant I’ve had on a National Scenic Trail. The first few miles were on a dirt road through pretty land. No cars passed. After that it was a mix of dirt and blacktop roads. The traffic was minimal.
I passed a lot of beautiful lakes during the day, and was able to take a snack break at a small park, complete with a North Country Trail-marked picnic table. I even had enough cell service to listen to a webinar for work!
Nearing the End
The last several miles were off-road trail, which wound through a hardwood forest. There were some elevation changes here (and on the road a few miles prior) after many flat miles. The ground was thick with fallen leaves. I signed one trail log and passed two groups of hikers. Otherwise it was just me and the woods.
I’d planned to camp tonight and tomorrow, before I knew the forecast was for cool temps and, tonight, rain, ice and snow. Ugh! Luckily, local NCT volunteer Eric Longman invited me to stay in his family’s century-old cottage, which sits on Gull Lake. I gratefully accepted. The cottage is amazing! It’s spacious, comfy and well-equipped. Thank you, Eric and Arlene, for helping me today.
Wish me luck tomorrow. It’s supposed to rain at least half the day. Boo!
NCT Miles Today: 19.5 (31.4 km)
MI NCT miles to date: 1,017.4 (1,637.4 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 1,824.6 (2,936.4 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 2,775.4 (4,466.6 km)
This is the hiking umbrella I use when rain is in the forecast. It’s lightweight, so no big deal to carry if the rain never comes. But if it does, it keeps you pretty darn dry.