Kim, Day Hiking
Winter started out with a bang in Northern Michigan during the month of November and just as quickly as it arrived it disappeared. The next several weeks were met with much disappointment, even a bit of envy. Many stories and photos were being posted by others enjoying winter adventures across much of the country, including the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Still no new snow for us! It was especially difficult for me being a Tubbs Snowshoe Ambassador this year. It was beginning to look like we would have to head north if we were ever going to enjoy winter activities any time soon. Thankfully, as luck would have it, winter returned just in time for Winter Trails Day. By the time the weekend arrived we had accumulated more than enough snow to snowshoe right out our own back door. We were ecstatic!
Earlier in the week we had heard on the radio about a Winter Trails Day event that was being held locally at TimberRidge Resort, so we packed up Saturday morning and headed out. As we arrived at the resort a small snowshoe group was just heading out onto the trail. We quickly caught up to them and followed along for a bit, later we set off on our own. We trekked around a bit, getting comfortable with our new snowshoes, snapped a few photos and watched as Nordic skiers went whizzing by with a swoosh, quickly leaving our sight. Just then the sun broke through the clouds and shined brightly upon us. The sky was clearing and it appeared it was going to be an amazing day after all! We wanted more! We decided to head back to our truck, load up, and venture out to some other trails around the area.
As we drove on down the road we noticed many people outdoors enjoying the fresh powdery snow and sunshine with plenty of big smiles and laughter. Many were snowmobiling; others were Nordic Skiing. At one trailhead parking area we spotted a group unloading snowshoe gear so we pulled in to check it out. We were greeted with a nod and a smile and off they went onto the trail. We quickly geared up, stopped to check the trail map as it was new to us and headed out on the trail ourselves.
The snow was deep and fluffy but the trail was packed down just enough by the recent snowshoe traffic. We continued on down the trail meandering through the woods while the bright sunshine continued to shine through the trees. Further down the trail we realized that we were actually snowshoeing on a trail high above a lake or river. We could see peeks of water glimmering in the sunshine down below. We continued down the trail to a viewing platform where we discovered that it was in fact a river. This was the Brown Bridge Quiet Area, the trailhead overlooking the Boardman River. A river that was once a lake until the Brown Bridge dam was removed a few years back to allow for a free flowing river once again. We couldn’t wait to see the river up close so we continued on. At trail marker #5 the signs indicated that the trail was steep and that the river was down below at just 530 feet! We headed down the steep terrain with our Tubbs Flex RDG (Ridge) snowshoes doing exactly what they were intended to do. The aggressive crampon teeth bit securely into the trail and kept us sure footed without sliding as we descended down to the river. I giggled with delight and announced to my husband “these snowshoes are amazing!” At the bottom of the hill there was an opening with a bench to rest and to view the river. Excited, I raced in my snowshoes through the deep snow directly to the riverbank. The snow was very deep. The river was gorgeous!
The sun shined brightly across the snow and the water. The sound of the river flowing was so calm and peaceful. We were excited to be there to enjoy the beauty of the day. We were definitely going to remember it and bring back others to share this wonderful trail. We stayed for a bit and snapped up a few photos and then headed back up the steep terrain. The ascent was just as easy as our descent, the Tubbs Snowshoes were amazing! Solid and secure! The custom wrap binding system held our boots securely all the way to the top. They were perfect for this backcountry trail. We headed back just as the sun was beginning to set, satisfied for the beautiful day, a successful first snowshoe adventure and a very memorable Winter Trails Day.