This was my first hiking day in section MI-03 of the North Country Trail (NCT). In fact, the city of Lowell has the national HQ of the NCT. (It's a pretty small office!) It was a pleasant day - a little overcast but good otherwise.
Starting from the parking area at the Kent County Youth Fair on S Hudson Street SE, just north of the Grand River, I went south across the Grand River to the intersection of Grand River Drive SE and S Hudson St SE/Segwun Avenue SE. From there, I turned around to hike north, almost to the Lowell State Game Area. However, the descriptions will be given in the NY-to-ND direction.
The trail is mostly well-blazed from the Grand River north. The road connector south of the river towards section MI-02 is not blazed.
There is a major deviation from map MI-03 in this sub-section, which is described in the main MI-03 section page.
Grand River and City of Lowell
From the intersection of Grand River Drive SE at S Hudson St SE/Segwun Avenue SE, the NCT crosses the Grand River on the S Hudson St SE/Segwun Avenue SE bridge. NCT blazes start at the south end of the bridge. (Please note that from the starting point, the map indicates that it is 7.1 miles south by road connector to the southern terminus of section MI-03 and then about another 5.5 miles of road connector to the next actual trail in section MI-02.)
After crossing the bridge, the NCT proceeds through the city of Lowell. The trail proceeds through the fairgrounds, and in the city on sidewalks. Since this is NCT HQ, the trail is marked well!
The map deviation starts at the corner of N Monroe Street and High Street SE, where the NCT (blazed well) now proceeds north on Monroe. Note, however, when N Monroe Street arrives at the Oakwood Cemetery the blazes stop. The proper route is to turn right onto Fremont Street and then left onto N Washington Street SE.
The next blazes start a trail section which heads toward the Lowell State Game Area, shortly after leaving the city of Lowell. The street name changes to Washington Road SE, and trail goes off to the right (east).
Trail north of Lowell
The NCT becomes trail and as it ascends it crosses a power line right-of-way. In the power line area is the only place for an overview - there are a lot of trees. Eventually, the trail arrives above the east bank of the Flat River. The slope down is very steep. It's not too scenic since there are a lot of trees in the way. This report stops at a major turn in this sub-section (a good marker for the next trip report).
The return trip to the parking area had nothing different to report.
See the attached album. Time and travel order are not the same.
-->ND: 20100613 1457, 1500a, 1504, 1505b, 1509, 1511, 1513, 1515, 1517a, 1522 NCT sign, 1523, 1531a, 1533, 1537, 1544, 1641z, 1639z, 1554, 1601, 1606, 1608a, 1613b, 1616
-->NY: 20100613 1617, 1620, 1622, 1624, 1626, 1629, 1631, 1632, 1635, 1638, 1640, 1643, 1649, 1652, 1653, 1657, 1702, 1704, 1706, 1708, 1712, 1716, 1451, 1453, 1454, 1456
There are also some pictures of scenery and animals.
Flat River: 1528 riverboat, 1608 river, 1653 river
Grand River: 20100613 1455 river, 1458a river
Animals: 20100613 1531 swans, 1612 deer, 1613 butterfly, 1613a butterfly2, 1615 turtle
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