Thursday, August 6 was our 33rd wedding anniversary. We like to celebrate our anniversaries by going either hiking or kayaking, and this year was no different. We chose to go for a hike on the North Country Trail south of Ontonagon, Michigan.
The hike we chose was O-kun-de-kun Falls and the Baltimore River Bridge. When we arrived at the trailhead, we saw trail workers hauling aggregate from the parking lot down the trail. As is seen in the above photo, the trail is level stone between treated lumber.
A little ways down the trail, we encountered the four college students who were spending their summer improving the path. They were doing a fabulous job. They had only been there three days, and they were making good time! It is interesting to see how a trail like this is constructed.
The trail ahead revealed why they were working to improve it. We were glad that we chose to use our trekking poles. With the path being designated as part of the North Country Trail, the traffic is increasing on it.
Even still, there were spots that the ferns were covering the planks. It definitely made the hike more of an adventure! It was about this point that something got between my right hand and my trekking pole and stung the base of my right thumb. It REALLY hurt, but I wanted to keep going. This trail was way too cool to stop!
Further along, the planks gave way to roots and rocks. There was a clay base, and the mud had caused people to take alternate routes, causing damage to the surrounding vegetation. The improved trail will really have a positive impact on this heavily travelled section.
Looking back from the base of the bridge, O-kun-de-kun Falls can be fully appreciated. The waterfalls are named for an Ojibway chief. The daring can brave the slippery rocks and venture behind the cascade. The clay riverbed that gives some of the area’s rivers a chocolate milk appearance can be seen here. O-kun-de-kun is one of the wilder falls in the U.P., and was well worth the effort to get there.
When we completed the hike, we drove to Bond Falls, a Michigan State Park.
Before heading back to Ontonagon, we stopped at Agate Falls.
All in all, we ended up hiking to 3 falls for our 33rd anniversary! It was a perfect way to spend our day together. 🙂