Rocky Point Nature Preserve, Emmet County (3-3-11) - dwhike
The snow lightened up just a tad allowing for a brief, limited view down the lake to the east...

Rocky Point Nature Preserve

It seems like nature preserves have been popping up everywhere across northern Michigan in recent years. In most cases they're small, rather unremarkable places so aside from a very few I generally steer clear of them. Every so often though one catches my eye, as did Rocky Point Nature Preserve this day. Located along the south shore of Crooked Lake east of Petoskey, this preserve is unique in that it is only accessible by water...technically. However, being that it is surrounded on three sides by private property owned by people who don't even care enough to stay up north during the winter I decided that this season might be a good time to try to reach it by land. The preserve is only about 25 acres in size but you wouldn't know it by traveling it the way I did, cross-country (no choice, there are no trails in this preserve!). I entered via a trail road on the south side then struck out towards the lake through the thick Balsam Fir and Cedar swamps that dominate the preserve. Once at the lake I turned west and followed the shore for about a half mile before turning inland and fighting my way back through some of the craziest, thickest mess of live and dead trees I'd ever seen! Quite a memorable place, even if the weather didn't cooperate...


Mileage Hiked: 2.0 miles

Trailhead Temp: 28'F

Min. Elevation: 595'

Max Elevation: 620'