May 28, 2017
At 4.0 kilometers (2.5 miles), the Cedar Trail is the longest hiking trail at the Pinery, an interesting loop with spurs to both Lake Huron and the Old Ausable Channel. It starts at the parking lot for the Visitor's Center, and heads west through oak savanna interspersed with red cedar. After a short distance, the trail splits and we turned right, and then turned right again at the next intersection, as well, to take the spur trail toward the lake. The main loop is wide and gravel-surfaced to provide accessibility, while the spur to the lake is narrower with slightly more topography, including a long staircase climbing over an old forested dune. The trail crosses over a park road before traversing more boardwalks over the dunes that lead to a viewing platform with benches and stairs down to the beach.
May 27, 2017
Frankie and I spent Memorial Day weekend at the Pinery Provincial Park in Ontario. We met Mary and Keith for a long weekend of camping, hiking, and playing in the sand along the shores of Lake Huron. Mary and Keith have been coming here for many years, often staying a week or more. This is the third year in a row Frankie and I have joined the fun and it's starting to feel like a tradition, which is just a terrific feeling. Yay for outdoor adventure traditions!
May 10, 2017
When researching this hike months ago, I read that there is no bridge over Cheningo Creek, and that the crossing can be difficult/dangerous during high water. I went down and scouted the crossing when I was in the area on a solo hike back in January, and decided that I should save this section for a day when Erwin could join me. It turns out that was an abundance of caution, because despite high water conditions today, the crossing was really easy. However, it was a spectacular hike for Erwin to tag along on! Really nice woods, stunning displays of wildflowers, and not too much hill climbing. Having two cars allowed us to drop one vehicle at the Cheningo Day Use Area, then drive around to start our traverse at the Telephone Road crossing.
May 7, 2017
There was another group hike with families from Frankie's school scheduled for today. The original invite indicated that the hike would be re-scheduled for Saturday (yesterday) if rain was forecast today. With a previous commitment for yesterday, and rain predicted all weekend coupled with with unseasonably cold temperatures, I wasn't sure if we'd be able to go, or even if the hike would be cancelled altogether. We are new to this group, and I just didn't know what to expect. I was delighted to find that the organizers stuck with the plans for hiking today despite the cold rain. They changed the venue to somewhere less remote, and moved the meeting time from late morning to early early afternoon. Meeting after lunch was definitely sensible, as picnicking in steady rain with temperatures below 40 degrees is not ideal.