hiking
11 days ago

Had a beautiful hike at HSRA - the Oaks, remaining maple leaves, and beeches were in peak color (to the extent Oaks have peak color). I expect most leaves and color will be gone in another week. Trails were in great shape despite a fair bit of rain the past week. Only a few issues, mostly with trail marking, but also recommend you do this trail clockwise, rather than counterclockwise as shown on the track: the trail posts/markers face a clockwise hiker, not the counterclockwise hiker. That said, all my comments are from counterclockwise hiking (live and don't learn). 1) go to the picnic shelter parking lot (marker #22 on the official map - http://www.michigandnr.com/ParksandTrails/Details.aspx?id=284&type=SPTR) - the trailhead isn't actually marked there, but go to the shelter, then past it toward the horseshoe pits, there you'll see the trail heading toward the lake (we went counter clockwise). 2) We missed the turnoff about .3 miles after marker 12 (heading from 12 toward 10), so we ended up continuing on to 10, took the Chief Pontiac Trail (hard to see, is a bit before marker 10 when coming from 12) over to 4, rather than staying on the horse trail to 9 and then to 4. This wasn't a big deal - nice scenery here and added about 0.5 miles. Once we got back on the loop shown here, we missed another turn just past 5 (maybe 300ft or so). It's a very small trail, with a small tree down across it, just as you come along/past the south end of Haven Lake - if you find yourself heading east with no lakeshore on your left, you missed the turn. The scenery on this "mistake" wasn't as good as on the correct trail. All good fun. As always, photos are geo-tagged on my track and more/higher res versions are at https://johnmetzler.smugmug.com/Parks/Highland-State-Recreation-Area/Haven-Hill-Lake-loop/