A Collection of Michigan Fall Days and Day Hikes - 2004

Near Hankard Lake, Waterloo Rec. Area | Lunar Eclipse & Northern Lights | Mapping Waterloo Rec. Area by Portage Lake

Hiking Near Hankdard Lake, Waterloo Recreation Area, November 7, 2004

John Lawton's Route Description

John Lawton and I were doing this hike with the idea that it might make a good hike for the December Gathering (see past December Gatherings here). John's plan was to park at the parking area near Hankard Lake, the trail to the lake is maybe a third of a mile long. Today was one of those rare warm, mid 50s in the sun, bright clear days that you just have to really enjoy because they're few and far between. The hike would follow two-track, deer and hunter trails, do some bushwhacking, and follow major side-trails as well as the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail. John figured we would wander around 10 miles. It was great wandering. Besides the lovely day this kind of hike reminds us that there is a lot more in a place like the Waterloo State Recreation Area besides the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail. We just have to look for it and be willing to explore.

John Lawton's Route Description

Trail Notes and Photos by Ken Knight

John sent me this general description of the hike we did. It's far more detailed than what I could come up with. He has a great memory for details even when he doesn't reference topographic maps. -krk

We started from Cassidy Lake Road, east of Roe Road, and East of Hankard Lake. If you have the topo maps you should see two trails on the map starting from about the same spot, one going to Hankard Lake, the other going to the North shore of the Winnewana Impoundment. We followed this second trail South from the parking area on the South side of Cassidy Lake Road. We then headed South-west on a trail to the South of Hankard Lake along a ridge until we reached the west side of the ridge. We then turned North circleing around the south of a marsh area and crossing between two marshes on a small land bridge. We then turned west for a short bit until we reached the side trail to the North. we followed the trail to the north until it ended at the small field. We then Bushwacked to the North-northwest until we came to the first drainage ditch, where we started going more to the north and going through the low/damp area until we came to the second drainage ditch. Continuing to the North we picked up the trail which led back to Cassidy Lake Road just East of the intersection with Roe Road.

We then followed Cassidy Lake Road East to the second bend in the road east of Roe Rd. where we headed Northeast over a hill and down through a low area across a land bridge to the other side. We continued N and then NE past the pine plantation and a short bushwack through to the trail that we picked up at that point. We then headed Southeast until we came to the field where we then went east around the north side of the big hill that is west of Green Lake. We continued east to the two track access road from M52. At that point we headed south across the big field, crossing a culvert. We continued south and south-southeast until we reached the Waterloo Pinckney trail and headed west around the south side of the wetlands back to Cassidy Lk. Rd. We then followed the WP trail until we were south of Winnewana Lake, where we headed off northeast, looping around to the east side of Winnewana Lake.

From Winnewana Lake, we headed N then NNW eventually crossing Cassidy Lk Rd., and then looping around to the west of a wetlands, crossing on a small land bridge before heading north again.

We then headed off trail and found those thorn trees, circling around the north side of another swamp, and crossing back southward to Cassidy Lk Rd. on the hunter trail on another land bridge. We then road walked west a short bit to the parking area. We then hiked the short trail to Hankard Lk. Hope this helps.

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