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Shark Enterprises
Joan H. Young
861 W. US 10
Scottville, MI 49454
events@getoffthecouch.info
© all rights reserved
this page updated 2/26/11

Persons associated with collecting and/or posting this information can not be held legally liable for any errors. While every effort is made to present accurate data, errors may occur.



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Get Off The Couch News

at Lake Bluff Audubon

Lake Bluff Audubon

Lake Bluff Audubon

Lake Bluff Audubon is the former estate of the Gray Family of Morton Salt and Lake Bluff Arabians fame. In 1988 the estate was left to the Michigan Audubon Society. It is staffed by volunteers, and is maintained primarily through donations. There are 75 acres, planted with 300 species of trees and shrubs. Two Michigan Champion trees, the Sycamore Maple and Giant Sequoia can be seen there.

Jack Fern Loop

This is the longest loop. It passes through several ecosystems on the east side of M-110. 1700

Begin from the parking lot on the wast side of M-110, and cross the road to follow a farm lane north of the former stable building. Very shortly you will see small rolling ridges ahead and the trail turns south to descend benched pathway behind the barn to steps, a boardwalk across the valley floor, and steps ascending the other side of the valley. Just as you make the turn to descend notice a large maple with spreading branches which indicates that it grew up in the open. Reach the junction with the Jack Fern Loop. 1705

Guide proceeds straight ahead to follow the loop clockwise. Turn slightly north on benched trail with the valley on your left, and in about one minute begin to curve back around to the right, making the northern end of the loop. Watch for blazes as the trail meanders quite a bit. Descend a few steps and cross a small bridge. Pass a small section of old wire fence. Note that there are a few erratic, small boulders in here, indicating glacial action. Go through some hemlocks and cross another small bridge, and then a very small bridge with the boards aligned with the trail. Gradually climb and cross another little bridge. Climb the next small ridge and follow it for a ways. 1712

Cross another plank bridge that takes you to the west side of the small valley you are in and climb the steepest hill yet (moderate) to the next ridge with some oil tanks in view to the left. Pass a large black cherry tree, and reach junction with the Ridge Trail. 1714

You are now at the high point of the ridge. Continue straight. Begin to descend through small valley, approaching a gravel road, but the trail turns right and gradually climbs another ridge to parallel the road. The trail undulates with several sets of steps built into the hills. After one set of steps jog left and right again which moves the trail closer to the road. Cross an open area with white pine and juniper bushes. You can see the road veer away to the left and the trail angles slightly to the right and enters the woods with more white birch. Reach the junction with the north end of the Ridge Trail, with a nice sign 1718

Ridge Trail leaves to the right, continue straight on benched trail and reach the beginning of the Jack Fern Loop in another minute.

Access- from gravel parking area west of paved MI-110
Fees- donation requested, drop box in parking area
Restrictions- dogs must be leashed, no bikes
Distance and time- about 1 mile, 20 minutes
Trail Markers- white blazes painted on trees
Condition of Marking- good
Treadway- natural surface, stable footing, quite a few stairs and small bridges
Grades- moderately hilly
Ecosystem- rolling maple-beech forests, glacially deposited
Most recent date this info personally checked on foot- April 5, 2010
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map
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Ridge Trail

This trail cuts across the middle of the Jack Fern Loop with some nice views. 1720

Description is from north to south beginning at the signpost with the name of the trail. Climb slightly through white pines and quite a bit of junk vegetation (multiflora rose, Japanese barberry), passing a couple of old apple trees, and quickly reach the top of the ridge with a thick maple and white birch woods filling the valley ahead. Turn right to follow the ridge. There is a bench made from a split log on this short trail. It takes about five minutes to reach the intersection with the outer edge of the Jack Fern Loop.

Access- from gravel parking area west of paved MI-110, then via the Jack Fern Loop
Fees- donation requested, drop box in parking area
Restrictions- dogs must be leashed, no bikes
Distance and time- 1/4 mile
Trail Markers- white blazes painted on trees
Condition of Marking- good
Treadway- natural surface, stable footing
Grades- fairly level at top of ridge
Ecosystem- rolling maple-beech forest, glacially deposited
Most recent date this info personally checked on foot- April 5, 2010
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Beach Path

This pathway connects from the parking lot to the Bluff Trail. I have not yet walked this path.

Access- from gravel parking area west of paved MI-110
Fees- donation requested, drop box in parking loop
Restrictions- no dogs
Distance and time- 1/4 mile
Trail Markers- none
Treadway- natural surface, stable footing
Grades- gradual descent from parking area
Ecosystem- maintained lawn and grounds
Most recent date this info personally checked on foot- April 5, 2010
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Bluff Trail

This pathway follows the bluff above Lake Michigan. I have not yet walked this path.

Access- from gravel parking area west of paved MI-110, via the Beach Path
Fees- donation requested, drop box in parking loop
Restrictions- no dogs
Distance and time- 1/4 mile
Trail Markers- none
Treadway- natural surface, stable footing
Grades- level
Ecosystem- bluff above Lake Michigan
Most recent date this info personally checked on foot- not yet
Back to map
Comment

Cottonwood Path

This pathway is a loop with spurs along the southern end of the property

Access- from loop drive west of paved MI-110
Fees- donation requested, drop box in parking loop
Restrictions- no dogs
Distance and time- 1/2 mile
Trail Markers- none
Treadway- natural surface, stable footing
Grades- level
Ecosystem- old pasture, young woods
Most recent date this info personally checked on foot- not yet
Back to map
Comment

Picnicking- allowed on the terrace or lawn

Scenic Views- Lake Michigan

Historic Site- The house may be toured by prior arrangement.

Swimming- Lake Michigan beach

Handicap Accessibility- not yet determined

Access- paved loop and gravel parking off paved MI-110
Fees- donations requested- two drop tubes near parking areas
Restrictions- no dogs on west side of M-100, dogs must be leashed on east side trails, closed at dusk
Seasonality- trails open all year
Ecosystem- Lake Michigan beach bluff, and wooded hills
Other points of interest- arboretum, two Michigan Champion trees, near the city of Manistee and Orchard Beach State Park
most recent date this info personally checked- April 5, 2010
Additional Facilities- house available for meetings, rooms can be rented
Maintained by- Manistee Audubon Society

[Counties] Lake County Manistee County Mason County Oceana County

In Manistee turn north on MI-110 (approximately one mile south of the junction with MI-55). Reach the Lake Bluff entrance in 2 miles.

N 44.29084 W 86.30965

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