The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A 100 Things to do in Traverse City...

I moved to Traverse City almost two years ago. I made the move to be closer to "my lake," Lake Michigan.
So, when I got an advance copy of this book from author Kim Schneider, I was thrilled to learn more about my new hometown.

I found many great ideas to explore in the Food and Drink, Music and Entertainment, and Culture and History categories. 

What surprised me, though, was that I learned something new in the suggestions for 
hiking in the area

If you've read this blog or my books or have heard me speak, you know I'm a pretty serious hiker.
And, in the months I've lived in Traverse City, I've explored many of the trails in the area (Empire Bluffs, Alligator Hill, Pyramid Point -- to name just a few). 
But, I had missed Clay Cliffs Natural Area 
north of Leland. 

It's part of the land protected by the Leelanau Conservancy. I've been to several of these areas, but had not been to Clay Cliffs...
until this weekend. 

The hiking trail is clearly marked on M22 
north of Leland.

Sign for this hiking area

I enjoy a good hike, but a hike with a view of Lake Michigan is even better. This trail has a wonderful overlook.

Trail goes up this wooded dune

Manitou Island overlook

Video from the overlook

Ice along shoreline persists

 There is evidence of wind damage from the summer storm that hit the area in 2015. Many large trees were knocked down. Some were caught by other trees and are still suspended over the trail.

Tree uprooted by the storm

Toward the end of the hiking loop, there is a bench to take a break and enjoy the view of Lake Leelanau.

I look forward to recommending  
100 Things to do in Traverse City before you Die to friends and family. The book is available at  the excellent indie bookstores in Traverse City -- Brilliant Books and Horizon Books. Check out the listing for indie bookstores in the region on pages 132-133 in the book.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Lake Trek Anniversary

oreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and Great Lakes speaker. She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has written three books about the Great Lakes [A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach *a Heartland Indie Bestseller*A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk *winner of the Great Lakes Great Reads Award*, and A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure]. To learn more about her work, or to book her as a speaker, go to

Today is the 9th anniversary of my 
first 1,000-mile hike. 
Lake Michigan has been my favorite place my entire life, and in 2009 I decided to get to know it  by walking all the way around it. It was my way of internalizing this special place, to record it in my muscles and bones.

Here are some photos from this amazing journey.

The book about my walk around Lake Michigan.

Now available on Audible as an audiobook:

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Hiking Alligator Hill

"Alligator Hill" is a strange name for anything in Michigan. However, when viewed from the top of the nearby Dune Climb, this wooded dune resembles the outline of an alligator's snout.

This area was devastated by a brutal, summer storm in 2015. Thousands of trees were felled in a matter of minutes, and the trails on Alligator Hill were blocked for months by fallen trees.

I recently hiked this fascinating area on a cool and rainy February day.

Deer track

Devastation from the storm is still evident

More info on this area HERE.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Beaches of Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan 

I recently moved closer to "my lake," Lake Michigan. Here are some photos from my favorite beaches before and after the ice formed.

 Leland Beach in January (below)