NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Spring Boardwalk Finds in Munising

We love a good boardwalk, and Munising has a nice one at Sand Point.  The half mile Sand Point Marsh Trail is located near the parking lot for the beach.  Just park and walk, Baby.

Much like Baileys Harbor in Door County, this area also is made up of ridges and swales.  The trail starts in a dune ridge forest thick with Pine, Ash and Cedar trees.  It doesn't take long until you move into an open shrub swamp heavily populated with Sweet Gale and Leatherleaf shrubs.

Sweet Gale

The boardwalk trail was constructed by the Youth Conservation Corps and NPS staff during the summer of 1989.  Did you know that wetlands filter, purify and release surface water?  They help control flood waters and protect water quality by recharging groundwater.  It's not just the plant and animal community that benefits from protecting special places like this one.

Michigan has already lost over 70% of its wetlands. Amazing.  The native Anishinabe (Ojibwa or Chippewa) people made good use of wetland habitat.  The plants were used in dyes, medicines, for weaving and building. You might know that cattail leaves were used for weaving mats, but did you know the stems were eaten like potatoes?


We were on the lookout for the frogs we could hear, but never actually saw one.  We also didn't see any Pine Marten or Beaver, but we did see some spots where perhaps they traveled through the vegetation often.  Maybe if there were more beavers out in the wild we'd have more wetlands again?

Katrina and Joe scanning for frogs

Best time for viewing wildlife is always early in the morning or just before sunset so besides a few birds flitting about our only wildlife sighting was a water spider.

To continue with this week's theme of highlighting other bloggers I encourage you to read Ranger Kathryn's post from a month ago.  In it she talks about the services maybe some people take for granted that our National Park workers provide and that always welcome reminder to treat others with respect and kindness.  I know when we visit the parks I go out of my way to tell the rangers and other staff how much I appreciate their helpfulness and dedication.

On a personal note, yesterday the temps were in the 60's (yay!) and I went for a run.  For the past two months I've only been able to run for 3-5 minutes at a time before resting.  I thought it was probably heat related and sure enough, I ran 15 minutes without a struggle.  I took a potty/hydration break at the gas station and turned around and ran another 18 minutes.  To be fair, my legs were jelly for that last minute, but I ran exactly 3 miles in 33 minutes!  What is the summer heat keeping you from doing?


  1. WOW that's an 11 minute mile. Really respectable. Good for you. Love the picture of you guys leaning over the railing. Glad to see you point out all the really important things about wetlands and our folly in constantly filling them in to build things. Thanks!

  2. Good job running. Bob would be so jealous.

  3. You and me both. I used to be able to run the heat (of course we have dry heat, your humidity would kill me) but now I appreciate it not being too warm anymore. Must be an age thing. I am very lucky to live right next to a State Park and am able to run the trails which I enjoy more than street running. Constantly watching for rocks and roots makes for good foot-eye coordination. I look at that as an added bonus.

  4. Yahoo! Glad to hear you're running again.

  5. Love these pics! (Are you getting my emails? I responded to yours, but got it back. Sent another that I'm hoping you got)

  6. enjoyed seeing this trail Pam; very picturesque and good on you and your run. I can well imagine how the hot weather would knock you back a notch or two ...