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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Interesting Geology Above the Manistee

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Manistee River from the NCT (photo by JHY)

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by JHY

Today the Spirit of the Woods Chapter of the NCTA hiked the popular route from High Bridge trailhead to Leitch Bayou and back. This was about a 6-mile round trip, on an extremely scenic section above the Manistee River. The brown and gray months which may be less appealing are great for seeing the river and other geologic features.

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Udell Hills from the NCT (photo by JHY)

This hike includes the highest point on the trail our chapter maintains. From near that location, at this season, you can see the second highest section of hills, Udell Hills, which is the home of Big M ski and mountain bike area. We were at about 984 feet here, and Udell Hills is about 920 feet at the highest. Where are they? See a low ridge of blue that is slightly higher than the horizon? It runs for about 2/3 of the picture. That's Udell. The NCT also goes through there.
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Caberfae Ski Area from the NCT (photo by JHY)

This view is of Caberfae Ski Area near Cadillac. One definitely has trouble finding these hills in the summer months. But you can clearly see the remaining snow on the slopes at this time of year.
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glacial esker on the NCT (photo by JHY)

Finally, as the trail descends from the high point to the level of the river in Leitch Bayou, it follows a glacial esker. This is a winding ridge of material which fills in tunneled streams which flow near the bottom of the glacier. The NCT winds along its top for at least a quarter mile.

This is definitely one of the scenic spots in our chapter's range.

This segment is on NCTA map MI-05

See Spirit of the Woods Chapter of the NCTA

1 comment:

Gordon said...

That is interesting. I have hiked that section quite a few times and I always thought it was an old logging rail grade. I had never really heard of an esker. Time for some research and reading I guess.