Spirit of the Woods Chapter: February Hike


February 11, 2023    
10:00 am - 1:00 pm


Big M
Manistee, Manistee, Michigan

Event Type

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The NCTA Spirit of the Woods Chapter February hike will be our annual Chili Feed at Big M Cross Country Ski Trails on Saturday, February 11. (Note: This is the second Saturday in February.)

We plan to meet for a hike at 10:00 a.m. We will have chili, soup, and hot chocolate in the wood heated trail shelter at Big M at about noon, after the hike. Please bring a potluck accompaniment or side dish to pass if you would like.

Big M is on Udell Hills Road east of Manistee near the town of Wellston, Mich. Big M is listed on Google Maps and this link will take you to a Google Map of the Big M trails and trail shelter. Big M’s website will give you more information.

Gary Hearing will be leading the hike on the North Country Trail at 10:00 a.m. It will be an out-and-back hike. We are not sure yet of the distance, it will be based on participant’s wishes and conditions on the Trail. The hiking miles will be able to be counted for the Hike 100 Challenge. We could use a volunteer to be a sweep: be the person to bring up the rear and do a shorter distance if there is interest. Currently (as of Jan 31) we have about eight inches of snow so snowshoes may be advisable depending on conditions. If we have a freeze/thaw cycle before the hike date, you may be able to do fine with traction devices on your boots. Please let Loren Bach know that you plan to attend and for further info.

The meeting place for the hike is west of the Big M trails. We plan to meet where the Trail crosses Madison Road, at the corner of Madison and Skocelas Road. We have been getting large groups joining us for hikes, so we would like you to park on Madison Road. If you can carpool that would be helpful to cut down on the number of cars. This link will bring you to an ArcGIS map of the area. The meeting place is approximately at Milepost 826.

This link is for a Google Map to the start point of the hike.

The other alternative is that you can bring cross country skis and ski the Big M ski trails. Peg Gramas has volunteered to lead a group to ski, assuming we have skiable snow. (Check with Loren to find out about conditions.)

We have had recent snow and mostly below freezing weather. Ski conditions and maps are posted on the Big M website at

For questions or to RSVP please contact Loren Bach at 231-510-1983 or

The Big M Cross Country Ski Trails does have a Forest Service fee pipe. It is $5 per vehicle or you can use your federal senior pass (place in the windshield). The Forest Service donates your fee money to the Manistee Cross Country Ski Council, the volunteer group that maintains the Big M trails.