Photos and story by Duane Lawton, Jordan Valley 45o Chapter, Michigan
Near Petoskey, Michigan the NCT passes through the City of Petoskey’s Skyline Natural Area. There is a short spur trail with a viewing platform where westbound thru-hikers get their first glimpse of Lake Michigan. In addition, working with local landowners Doug and Pam Boor, a campsite has been set up just off the city property—Skyline Camp.
The Boors donated a “yurt”—actually a wooden-framed canvas tent on a platform—which we erected in late 2015. We also installed a fire ring and built the spur trails to the camp and to a small spring downhill for non-potable water. Unfortunately, last winter the yurt collapsed under the snow load.
Joe Farley to the rescue! Joe is a boy scout who chose as his Eagle Scout project to build a permanent shelter on the platform where the yurt was.
A crowd of boy scouts and eager handy-people set out to build the new Skyline Camp shelter building starting on November 12, and continuing on the 13th, 26th and 27th. We had reasonable weather (which is why we didn’t work on the 19th). Many scouts helped with the work, and they provided scrumptious lunches using dutch ovens in campfire coals.
We now have a roughed-in structure with a roof, a covered porch, and a small sleeping loft. The inside dimensions are 12’ x 13’, spacious for a trail shelter. Doug Boor has furnished two windows and a door. There will also be two large west-facing screened openings, wood siding, a metal roof and bunks…and we have a latrine!
Another scout, Chase Rawson—for his Eagle Scout project—is nearing completion of the improvements to the spring water source down the hill. That will be a huge plus for hikers using the shelter.
We look forward to finishing finishing the work in spring 2017…
The shelter will then be open for business, under the rules posted there. The closest access is to use the Skyline parking area off Krause Rd. one mile south of Brubaker, which is southeast of Petoskey. From there it is about 1/3 mile by trail to the camp.
To get there from Petoskey: Head east on Mitchell and turn right on Division Road. Follow Division a short distance to Atkins where you’ll head east again for .5 miles. Turn right on Cedar Valley Road and go another .5 miles to Greenwood Road where you will want to turn left. Follow Greenwood around the curve 1.5 miles to four-way intersection. Continue south on Brubaker Road for one mile. Turn right on Krause Road – go one more mile. Sign and parking on the right.