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

Mapping Project along the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail Between Portage Lake and Willis Road

Dennis Shubitowski, John Lawton, Andy Mytys, and I have been slowly working on a mapping project along the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail. The goal is to create a trail guide and associated maps of the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail and all the generally navigable side-trails that intersect the WPT. There are a surprising number of side-trails not only along the sections of WPT which are cris-crossed by horse trails but throughout the entire Waterloo and Pinckney region.

On October 23rd, 2004 the four of us set out to really start gathering precise mapping data for the side trails. We were going to be out on a misty, and eventually rainy, cool, cloudy October day. When we arrived at Portage Lake it was rather hard to even see the lake shrouded in mist. But questionable weather was not going to deter us and especially not Andy who was prepared with a big poncho to protect his laptop. If he had to he would completely cover himself in his poncho and work his laptop and GPS under the cloak of silnylon.

I am sure I've written about this portion of trail before. It's easy hiking. There are some small hills but the hiking is generally rather level. There are a fair number of side trails here. Some just lead to small back roads and others help form larger loops that you can explore. We are only focusing on side-trails that we feel will be visible throughout the year. There are certainly many other potential trails than this but so many of these little used trails become invisible when the foliage grows back in force. For the next five or so hours we spent our time wandering along the WPT and its side trails between Portage Lake and Willis Road. Along the way we ran into Joy hiking from Sackrider Hill to Portage Lake (and then on the return leg). But she was the only other person I think we ran into that day.

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Copyright © 2003, Kenneth Knight Last updated: November 17, 2004