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The Best Hikes in Kirtlands Warbler Wildlife Management Area USFWS

7 Triplog Reviews in the Kirtlands Warbler Wildlife Management Area USFWS
Most recent of 5 deeper Triplog Reviews
7.13 mi • 335 ft aeg
A delightful adventure walking a green wooded wonderland. No elevation to speak of made for a nice hike with my kids. The path meanders within view of the river, and there is one bridge crossing that you do twice that was a bit muddy, but not too bad.

The highlight and lowlight of the trip were at the same point... At the furthest point from the parking lot, there is a number of large boulders that are next to the road. The intent being to prevent snowmobiles from using the trail. There are also a couple of signs posted to this effect. Given that this was the halfway point, we decided to sit on these large rocks, situated in long grass, to have a snack. The highlight was discovering the multitude of wild Blueberries which we were able to pick and eat. Yum!! The low light was discovering the multitude of ticks that were on our legs when we got up! :(. Grossness! Suddenly, my kids did not want to be out there anymore. We were all in shorts. We brushed off the vermin and were on our way.

As we did the loop (more of an 8 given the same bridge crossing twice) clockwise, our return trip was through a spacious lodge pole pine forest. So beautiful (except for the resulting tick paranoia. We did have to keep watch and brush off a few more on the way back). The way to the big rocks was mainly dense deciduous forest near the river. Lots of ferns.

We were going to do the entire loop, but ended up skipping a 0.7 mile extra section due to my kids extreme tick paranoia.

Ocqueoc falls is right by the parking lot, with paved access. As soon as you depart the swimming falls area, there are almost no people on the trail. I think we saw 2 groups of 2 people. A nice trail! Just wear pants and bug repellent! I can only imagine the game in the area. They are likely tormented by ticks. A local told me that while there were no ticks in the area 8 years ago, now every place has them. Sad.
0.9 mi • 54 ft aeg
Rifle River Recreation Area was one of our favorite local hang outs growing up. It is a really underrated state park in my opinion. There are several lakes, several campgrounds, good fishing a robust little river known to hold some nice trout. My mom has property bordering the park's boundaries so it made a convenient early morning destination for a quick swim and dog walk in the woods.

The loop was obviously short, which was fine as the bugs were bad. The trail was in immaculate shape and the little loop is probably perfect for family strolls. There are several informational signs about the surrounding forest and ecosystem that you are hiking in as well. The nice little stand of mature white pine is probably the highlight of the trail. Pintail Pond is a swampy mosquito haven.

4.04 mi • 275 ft aeg
After two days of camping in the U.P., we headed below the bridge to see the only recognized waterfalls in Michigan's lower peninsula. The falls can be reached very easily via a paved pathway. The falls are really no more than some nice rapids, but the swimming at them is terrific and fun. After some time playing in the water, we continued on to the Bicentennial Pathway Trail.

I hiked a little four mile lasso loop and my sister and mom opted for a two mile stroll along the river with the kids. The trail offered a pleasant little hike through a very green and healthy forest of hardwoods and pines. I really enjoyed the stroll and the nostalgia it elicited. I also enjoyed the little break from my energetic niece and nephew.
7.37 mi • 490 ft aeg
This hike description is for the 6 mile loop, clockwise. We started our hike from the Forrest Service Headquarters building where maps and all sorts of information are available. Stop inside and see some of the neat exhibits and many mounts. The actual TH for starting here is just south and west of the building right off the road.

The hike starts in thick hardwood forests on a well defined trail and meanders down towards the Pigeon River staying to the south and east of the river. You get a few views of the river along the way, but stay mainly in the hardwoods. The first decision point is at Marker #3. We opted to take a left turn (SE) here, but you should be able to go straight (SW) and still end up at the same place. This next point is the Pigeon Bridge Campground. Water and Toilets are available here. This is also the area for the other TH. For us it was out to Sturgeon Valley Road to head west over the bridge and back on the trail.

The trail starts out on this side in lowlands and and swampy areas for a mile or two. A good half mile of the trail is elevated on double wide 2 X 12 planking to keep you out of the soft ground after rains. The trail continues with gentle ups and downs, mostly covered from the sun and getting numerous views of the Pigeon River. Fern coverage is also prevalent in this section of the hike. The trail crosses a few dirt roads and old logging tracks until you get to the next decision point at sign #12.

For the 6 mile loop that we were on, you head straight east. For access to the 10 and 11 mile loops, Ford Lake and Grass Lake, you would head north here. I've read that the area on the 10 and 11 mile hikes is a bit more hilly with some scenic overlooks. I guess that's where I'll head next time I'm up there.

Once you get towards the end of the 1 mile almost perfectly straight section of the trail, you will begin to see the river again and you have another decision point. For the 6 mile loop and to get back to your car you'll need to go to the right on a trail, down a hill, crossing the river at the bridge.

Enter the Pigeon River Campgrounds and walk through the entire campgrounds to pick up the trail one more time. In this section the trail is marked with blue dots on trees. From here it's just a mile or so to complete the loop back to your starting point.
9.1 mi • 0 ft aeg
This was my first attempt at kayaking and enjoying the day with my brother. We put in at the McMasters Bridge east of Grayling an took our time soaking up the great weather, scenery, and wildlife. The river was running at a decent pace so the paddling was quite easy. The river is clean and clear and gently carves through the surrounding areas pristine forests.
There are scattered pockets of homes and cabins on the river. We saw not a single person on the river all day. We did however see deer, eagles, geese, fish, ducks and numerous other birds. We took out at the Parmalee Bridge, and then drove down to Luzerne to have a burger at the famous Ma Deeter's. We were greeted at the bar with a "Crystal" Wendy.

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