Michigan's Hartwick Pines State Park Offers Guided Snowshoe Hikes
Michigan –-(Ammoland.com)- Hartwick Pines State Park will offer guided snowshoe hikes through the old growth forest on Jan. 8 and 22, Feb. 5 and 19, and March 5.
These hikes will give visitors to Hartwick Pines a chance to try out snowshoes and hike through the Lower Peninsula’s largest stand of old-growth white pines.
Guided by a park interpreter or historian, participants will learn about the forest in the winter and discover the importance of winter to Michigan’s logging industry in the 1800s, all while getting great exercise.
The hikes begin at the Michigan Forest Visitor Center with an orientation and introduction to Hartwick Pines and a short talk on winter survival and equipment. The group then departs from the auditorium of the visitor center into the woods. The hike is approximately one mile and will head through the old growth forest of white pine and hemlock, stop at deer beds, and look for signs of porcupines and other animals that use the forest in the winter.
The group will visit the logging museum, where participants will have a chance to warm up with a cup of hot cider around the elevated fire pit at the logging museum, and hear stories about the “shantyboys” who endured a winter in the woods. Participants may return to the visitor center on their own or explore other trails in the park.
The guided hikes will begin at 1 p.m. and last until about 3 p.m. The hikes will be limited to 20 participants for each hike. Advanced registration is required. The hikes are free, but please call the visitor center at Hartwick Pines at 989-348-2537 or stop in at the Visitor Center (normally open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) to sign up. Some snowshoes are available to use for free, however check for availability when registering.
Other winter activities at Hartwick Pines include cross-country ski nights on Jan. 15 and 29, and Feb. 12 and 26, and a Winter Lecture Series on Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. Jan. 23 and Feb. 20. Cross-country skiing on groomed ski trails is available everyday, weather permitting. A warming room is available in the visitor center during open hours every weekend and most weekdays.
Hartwick Pines State Park is located at 4216 Ranger Rd. in Grayling. For more information on the programs at Hartwick Pines, please call 989-348-2537 or visit the park’s websites at www.michigan.gov/hartwickpines or www.michigan.gov/loggingmusem.
There is no charge for the snowshoe hikes; however a Recreation Passport is required for park entry.
Effective Oct. 1, 2010, the Recreation Passport replaced the resident motor vehicle permit (MVP). All resident motor vehicles must display the new Recreation Passport when their vehicle registration is renewed, for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and permit required boating access sites. Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking “Yes” on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area.
Non-resident motor vehicles must still display a valid non-resident MVP ($29 annual; $8 daily) to enter a Michigan state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access site. Non-resident permits are available at any state park entrance or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.
Historical interpretation at Hartwick Pines is provided by the Michigan Historical Center. The Michigan Historical Center is part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/museum.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment is committed to the conservation, protection, management, and accessible use and enjoyment of the state's environment, natural resources, and related economic interests for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnre.