, 2023-04-08 09:03:53,
Looking for more than a walk in the woods? Try these four NoMi trails.
By Ren Brabenec | April 8, 2023
The sunlight in your eyes may seem sharp after months of gray, but it’s a welcome reminder that we did it; we survived another Michigan winter. Now you want to get outside, but you want to kick the season off with something unique and special. Rather than the typical hike, you want something more engaging, a place where you can turn off the podcast and immerse yourself in an activity.
Here’s where you’ll find us this spring.
Sleeping Bear Birding Trail
M-22 from Manistee to Traverse City
Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Birding Trail (SBBT) is more than a simple birding trail—it’s a 123-mile span of M-22 that winds through Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The stretch of road takes adventurers along forests, orchards, vineyards, wetlands, and beaches, affording visitors numerous pullovers, beach access points, scenic overlooks, and wooded walking paths. The result? A day’s drive along the SBBT provides birding enthusiasts access to numerous habitats and a diverse panoply of bird species living in those habitats.
“I always knew we had the resources to add birding to the area’s tourism brand,” says Dave Barrons, chairman and co-founder of Michigan’s first birding trail. “But the surprise was just how much access to diverse, public land there is along M-22… This is not just a single trail where you get out and hike around looking for birds. It’s a travel route, a way of connecting several birding sites in a way that allows you to include them in your itinerary and enjoy some incredible scenery.”
According to Barrons, the fields, forests, and beaches along the SBBT are home to 321 bird species.
There are 34 birding hotspots scattered along the 123-mile route, with the trail’s website set to publish trail maps later this year. Folks interested in exploring the SBBT this spring should look out for red-winged blackbirds, sandhill cranes, Canada geese, warblers, sandpipers, and puddle ducks.
Learn more at sleepingbearbirdingtrail.org.
Pigeon River Country State Forest Equestrian Trails
The region of Otsego County that Ernest Hemingway once called “wild as the devil, the greatest I’ve ever been in,” was…
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