Snowshoe hike slated Feb. 3 in Manistique

MANISTIQUE — The annual Super Saturday Snowshoe and Winter Hike event at the Manistique Township Environmental Education Lab will be held on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 10 a.m to 12 p.m. The free event is geared toward people of all ages, and there will be snowshoes on hand to borrow, loaned by the Manistique Area Schools.

The first 50 participants will receive a certificate from Big Boy for a free hot chocolate to enjoy on the day of the event. Additionally, all participants will be entered in door prize drawings donated by Main Street Pizza, Hardee’s, Cedar Street Cafe, The Downtowner and Top-O-Lake’s Sport Shop. Drawings will be held twice during the event. Participants need not be present at the drawing to win.

A timber harvest was done at the Lab during December, so everyone will notice a definite change of scenery. Although not an easy decision to make, it was ultimately decided that a harvest was necessary for trail safety. Beech bark disease was killing nearly all of the beech, causing them to become hazards as they lost limbs and fell down. Also, mature paper birch and balsam fir had begun to fall across trails more often.

Removing the beech, mature balsam fir, aspen, and paper birch, as well as unhealthy red maples, leaves a much safer trail system. It also encourages the new sprouting of aspen and the vigorous growth of the remaining trees as they get a larger dose of sunlight. Weather conditions have varied over the years for this event, but whether little snow or much, it is still a wonderful place to enjoy a winter walk, ski or snowshoe in the woods. More information is available on the Lab’s Facebook page @EELabManistique.

The Environmental Education Lab is located on 80 acres at the end of Krummich Road in Manistique Township and overlooks the Jamestown Slough. From US-2 about 3 miles east of Manistique, turn north onto the Manistique River Road, go one mile and turn left on Krummich Road (where the big powerline crosses). After one mile, Krummich takes a sharp left. Continue on Krummich to the Lab parking area.

Manistique Township, working together with the Schoolcraft Conservation District, is using the money from the timber harvest as matching funds for a grant to make improvements at the Lab. More volunteers to assist with the planning and implementation are welcomed – contact Doug Smith at 286-2370 or Heidi Troyer at 341-2965 for more information.

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