Osborn Preserve - Sugar Island
The Osborn Preserve is located on the southeastern shore of Sugar Island which is squeezed between mainland Michigan at Sault Ste. Marie and Ontario. The preserve itself is quite large, encompassing some 3,000 acres, and is managed by the University of Michigan which utilizes it for biological research. I had long planned to go see for myself what the preserve had to offer and this rather snowy day presented itself as my first good opportunity to go.
Like I said the preserve is at the southeast end of Sugar Island. Due to recent snowfall I couldn't make it all the way in to the trailhead but rather had to park about a quarter mile or so away. Without a map (a rather simple and stupid mistake on my part) I really didn't know where I was going to end up but I did have a somewhat vague mental map of the island so I figured I'd be all right. I was hoping to circumnavigate the island or at the very least reach its northern tip. As it turned out I got really close, the constant haze of snow kept me from accurately sighting landmarks but, comparing my pics to maps I now now have, I believe I turned back only a few hundred yards short. Nevertheless, the hike was wonderful. Any chance I can get out in a woodland coated in a thick, fresh mantle of snow I'll take as it always makes for a magical and memorable experience. So, I heartily invite you to take a few minutes and join me out in the snow!!
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 46.353332, -84.136560
Route Type: Out-and-back
Difficulty: HARD (as shown, due to ill-defined route & winter conditions)
Mileage Hiked: 5.5 miles
Trailhead Temp: 22'F
Min. Elevation: 585'
Max Elevation: 610'
Trails Used (blaze color): Duck Lake (unblazed), Old Range Light (unblazed), Red Rock (unblazed)