Non-Hiking Activities

Thursday

(May 2)

 

T-NH2:  Grass River Natural Area, Spring Comes to a Wetland  (2:00-4:00PM)

Meet at the Grass River Natural Area Visitor’s Center to join Grass River wildflower docent Julie Hurd on a hike through several wetland habitats. See the beginnings of spring with native plants emerging from winter dormancy and active wildlife. The area is a designated birding hot spot: Expect to see and hear both migratory and nesting species. Visit several wetland habitats including a rich conifer swamp and a northern fen, both a species diverse home to many native wildflowers. The northern fen is a rare habitat, and this is one of lower Michigan’s largest. The terrain is level and mostly on boardwalks constructed over wetlands.

Grass River Natural Area is a 1,500-acre nature preserve located in northwestern lower Michigan’s Antrim County. It includes shore line of the Grass River which connects Lake Bellaire to Clam Lake. The preserve comprises nine specific natural habitats and is noteworthy for the biological diversity of its flora and fauna.

 

T-NH3:  Kayak the Intermediate River  (Led by Paddle Antrim  |  3:00-5:00PM)

Join representatives from the local nonprofit group Paddle Antrim to paddle along the Intermediate River. The paddle will begin at Richardi Park in Bellaire. Paddlers will travel up the Intermediate River to Intermediate Lake, then turn around to travel back downstream to Richardi Park. Participants will meet at the Richardi Park parking lot. Paddlers can bring their own kayaks or canoes, paddles and safety gear, or arrange for local rental equipment to be delivered to the Park. Due to the length of the trip and the time of year, no paddle boards please. PFDs must be worn and paddlers are advised to dress for the weather. May is still cool in northern Michigan and the waters will be cold. Quick-dry, polyester, wool and fleece, are all great clothing options. No cotton please! Consider bringing a change of clothes in a dry bag (or use one of ours), in case you do flip.

Paddle Antrim is leading the effort to create and market a new state designated non-motorized water trail through the Chain of Lakes. The organization’s mission is to protect the Chain of Lakes by using paddle sports to connect people to  the waterway, which it accomplishes through safety and education classes, community paddling and clean-up events, support for stewardship activities, and its annual non-competitive two-day Festival which celebrates the 42-mile waterway and the towns and communities it connects.


Friday

(May 3)

 

F-NH2:  Guided Upland Forest Walk  (9:30-11:30AM)

Meet at the Grass River Natural Area Visitor’s Center to join Grass River wildflower docent Julie Hurd on a hike through an upland mesic forest, a natural community dominated by northern hardwoods and white pine. See small wetland areas and, weather coopering, a vernal pond. The latter is a seasonal wetland naturally occurring in shallow depressions in a forested landscape. Because of their seasonal existence, vernal ponds lack fish, and thus can support breeding of species normally threatened by fish predation. Begin with a walk on boardwalk through a rich conifer forest to reach trails into the upland forest. These trails are cleared but are sometimes uneven. Since Grass River is a designated birding hot spot, expect to see and hear both migrating species and those that nest in this habitat. In early morning at this time of year, the forest is filled with bird songs.

Grass River Natural Area is a 1,500-acre nature preserve located in northwestern lower Michigan’s Antrim County. It includes shore line of the Grass River which connects Lake Bellaire to Clam Lake. The preserve comprises nine specific natural habitats and is noteworthy for the biological diversity of its flora and fauna.

 

F-NH3:  Glacial Hills Pathway and Natural Area, Botanical Walk  (10:00AM-12:00PM)

Carpool from Shanty Creek Resort to the Eckhardt Road trailhead to experience the sights and sounds of Glacial Hills. This will be an easy, botanical, interpretive walk at Glacial Hills to see early spring wildflowers. The Glacial Hills Natural Area, located just outside of Bellaire, is 814 acres and known for its extreme ecological diversity. The property contains 12 distinct habitat types, including two hardwood forest types, three wetland habitats, and the shrub thicket and wet mesic forest types that support more than 20 species of trees, over 100 species of flowers, and over 100 species of birds, including great-horned owls, eagles and the threatened red-shoulder hawk. This mild, low-mileage walk is well suited for all abilities. Hike Leaders will share their evolving Glacial Hills-specific checklists of birds and also wildflowers, which they have developed over the last five years based on personal sightings.


Saturday

(May 4)

 

S-NH1:  Antrim Creek Natural Area  (8:45AM-12:00PM)

Join Heidi Shaffer with the Antrim Conservation District for a wildflower hike at Antrim Creek Natural Area. There are approximately two miles of easy trails at the natural area where Heidi will lead and point out various wildflowers along the trail. Potentially get a glimpse at Spring Beauty, Blood Root, and Dutchman’s Breeches! At the end of the trail the group will have the option to loop back on the trail or hike the beach back to the vehicles. If time permits, the group will stop at Torch Bay Nature Preserve, and discuss the Critical Dune Area and the unique plants found there. Participants will carpool to Antrim Natural Area and should bring water and lunch/snacks.

Meet at 8:45AM at Shanty Creek lobby, depart at 9:00AM. Return to Shanty Creek at approximately 12:00PM.

 

S-NH2:  Grass River Natural Area, Interpretive Walk  (9:00-11:00AM)

Details coming soon.


Sunday

(May 5)

 

N-NH1:  Trail Run with Mirna Valerio  (8:00AM)

Details coming soon.


More coming soon!