Woodland Trails #explorations

Woodland Trails

Ever go on a bike ride where you reach a certain point and regret the idea of it? Maybe that is a bit harsher than it should be, or possibly a bit darker than expected. I mean, how can you regret a bike ride? You’re outside, enjoying the day and pedaling your legs off. But you can still get a bit of a break in there too because of wheels and inertia.

Yeah, I might be speaking nonsense right now. I do that…

So really what’s going on here, we wanted to try a new section of the Kal-Haven trail. This is a bike/ walking trail from Kalamazoo to South Haven, something like 40 or more miles. There are different points along the way where you can start off to follow if you don’t want to take the whole trip. I mean seriously, that’s a bit of a ride if you go both ways. We didn’t do anything close to that.

It was late last week that my wife had discovered an entry point that we hadn’t been to before. We figured it would be a fun ride and we could see a bit of the woods along the way. The dreams of innocence, they have an allure that can make you cry…

Seriously though, we weren’t looking for a long trip along the trail, just enough to explore it a bit. We ended up doing roughly 4 miles, 2 away and then 2 back to where we had parked the car. So far it sounds innocent enough.

Turned out that the trip away had been all downhill, a gentle slope that allowed us to enjoy the path without too much exertion. Yeah. All. Down. Hill. There is a price to be paid for such a thing. We had to go back to get to our car again. There is something to be said about the motivation of having to get back to your car. You know you have to keep pushing if you want to get home again.

This reminds me a bit of our harrowing walk in the middle of winter at a different forest area. We had made the mistake of stepping off the path in knee high snow that was only semi solidified from ice. The distance we had gone was only about half a city block, but I swear there were moments I thought we might die there. We don’t always think through the adventures we find ourselves trapped in I think.

Mind you I say most of this in jest (except for the winter forest trek, that one was horrifying). It was a good ride and really did make us work to get back to the car again. At some point we might even ride further out. We had actually ridden about halfway to the next town on the map that showed the various points of interest along the way.

We have been getting the state park’s pass on our license plate the past couple years because there are so many throughout the state. This was just another benefit of being able to travel through the various parks.

Sadly, I didn’t get any pictures of the forest around us. No way am I going to be snapping picks while trying to maintain control of my bike on hard pack dirt roads. Maybe if we ever walk it I might. But this is one of the things I remember from my early years in Michigan. Woodlands abound throughout the state. There are places in this state where you could get lost in the woods and no one would ever find you. Not that this is something I have ever contemplated…


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