Saturday, August 12, 2017

Brevoort Lake and the fossilized sand dunes

Day 2 of my quest to cross the UP via the North Country Trail found me walking the shores of Brevoort (or Brevort depending on which sign you believe) Lake, the river that drains it, and the crest of ten-thousand-year-old sand dunes frozen in time by the growth of forest. 

To the sand dunes first.  It was unusually strenuous hiking after weeks of 'flat'.

In other places it felt like ridge walking.  Hat 42 declared it 'real trail'.

Here's a screen shot of the portion of today's GPS track that followed a sinuous route along this line of dunes, 100 feet high in places.

According to the great trail guide information that the Hiawatha Shore-to-Shore Chapter has posted at many trailheads, these dunes were a former shore line of Lake Michigan.  There still are dunes along the current shore of Lake Michigan here.  The trail skips those - probably because US 2 runs right through there - but I stopped by to experience the sweeping views of the lake.

The trail information also said that you could see the lake from the trail at the tops of the dunes, but I never did.  The closest I got was this vista.

I think the forest has grown up over the years to block the lake views.

Farther west the trail runs beside the shores of big Brevoort Lake, crossing its outlet on this footbridge

and then following the earthwork dam before plunging back into the woods for some severe up-and-down sand dune walking.  The dunes run perpendicular to the shore here.

I did a bushwhack a hundred yards to the top of a particularly high lakeside sand dune to get the best view of the lake.  I'm amazed that there is no side trail to this fine viewpoint.

Leaving the lake the trail follows the Brevoort River valley,

crossing the river at an access road to a campground and again on the big expensive foot bridge shown in the headline photo.

I was in mature undisturbed forest all day on well maintained trail, trampled enough to show that it was pretty popular. 

Real trail.  Love it.  Here's the GPS track screen-shot of the entire day's adventure.

I'm very much enjoying being up here in the sparsely populated Hiawatha National Forest.  First class hiking!  Looking forward to much more.

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