Ottawa National Forest

Close to a massive size of a million acres, the Ottawa National Forest covers much of Ontonagon and Gogebic county with wooded slopes, rolling hills, and remote waterways. Jacob's favorite sections of this protected land includes the McCormick Tract and Sturgeon River Gorge, although there are many other spots to explore.

East from Haystack Mountain

Courtney Lake Snowshoeing

Emily and I looking over the trail ahead

Emily and I pored over her ten-year-old McNally Atlas looking for a good snowshoe destination. The wind howled outside the small Ontonagon house as I checked the clock out of the corner of my eye. It was still early in the afternoon, with hours of daylight left in the snowy February day, but I still…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted March 10, 2014
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Highpoint of Houghton County

Dim morning light over the Bluff

Houghton County is home to plenty of interesting high spots. St Louis Bluff up by Laurium, Silver Mountain, the peaks of Haystack and Kallio, Beacon Hill, even Whealkate Bluff outside South Range all sit within the county boundaries and offer spectacular views. However, none of these can claim the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted February 26, 2014
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Trap Hills near Cascade Creek

Hacking trail leading to the ridgeline away from t

The morning air was crisp enough to draw a shiver from me as I searched for a path. I had parked on the end of a forest road east of Old M-64 on a spring morning and wondered if my double shirt and jean jacket would be enough to protect me from the cold. Finding the sign that marked the start of the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted November 24, 2012
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Wolf Mountain

Park sign marking the start of the footpath

Far from my usual haunts in the Huron Mountains, Wolf Mountain rises 1,826 feet and is the highest point in Gogebic County. Emily and I drove north along a forest road off of US-2, bumping up and down on the rough two-track past Little Presque River through thick, green woods. It was a short drive,…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 28, 2012
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Lookout Mountain

Cloudy view from the poor rock pile

Emily and I had just finished a long hike along Norwich bluff which left us soaking wet, cold, and tired, but there was still several hours of light left in the day. We drove down the bumpy Victoria road east from Norwich Road to the start of the houses near Victoria Dam, parking at a small gravel…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 25, 2011
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Norwich Bluff

Misty two-track on the way to Gleason Falls

A cold, misty morning wrapped around Norwich road like a tunnel as I barreled south from Ontonagon. I was meeting a friend at the North Country Trail parking area near FR630 and was running late. It turned out that Emily was also behind schedule, and we met at the small parking area at the same…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 21, 2011
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Cascade Falls

Early fork on the Trail to Cascade Falls

The parking lot for Cascade Falls was surrounded by a warm green mugginess after the morning's rain. It was easy enough to find, just off a well-maintained forest service road, mere minutes from Norwich Road. I stepped out and quickly put on a jean jacket and baseball cap in anticipation for the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted June 26, 2011
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Haystack Mountain

South from Haystack Mountain

Of the three volcanic plugs in the Ottawa National Forest (see an earlier post about Ottawa volcanic plugs), I enjoyed Haystack Mountain the most. It's relatively remote, virtually unknown, and involves a short but challenging hike. A recent trip to the Upper Peninsula brought me close enough to the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted October 13, 2010
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Cookout Mountain and the Hidden Falls

Snow covered Weidman Lake

There is a small mountain and tiny lake located on the western end of the Trap Hills right off of M-64. A blazed trail leads up from the road to the mountain, passing near the lake, before it heads south to the North Country Trail. Known by locals as Cookout Mountain and Weidman Lake, this area…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 13, 2010
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Volcanic Plugs of Ottawa Forest

Bald top and view off of Silver Mountain

The Ottawa National Forest includes almost one million acres of lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and forested hills of the Western Upper Peninsula. Stretching from the Peshekee Highlands north of Champion to the Michigan-Wisconsin border, the forest contains the Sturgeon River Gorge, McCormick Tract, and…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 15, 2009
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Activity Stream

  • Read What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
  • Hiked 30.00 miles and felt great.
  • Favorited Amanda Palmer - Creep (Radiohead Cover) on YouTube.
  • Pushed some code at jacobemerick/lifestream-service.
  • Pushed some code at jacobemerick/lifestream-service.
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