Old Baldy, That’s Where It’s At!

Blogger John Yonkers III takes us along on a hike that manages to shine, despite the rainy weather.

There is a spot, up north, that has been sort of elusive to me for a while. It goes by the name Old Baldy.

After searching web articles and looking at maps I found the general area where I thought this alleged massive bluff was located.

Despite the drizzle, Chels and I trekked north on M22. We passed Inspiration Point and numerous overgrown two-tracks that looked like they could almost be the Baldy Trailhead.

Alas, a mere 1,000 feet past Inspiration Point the Grand Traverse Land Conservancy sign appeared on the west side of the road. The real bummer about this place is that the sign, although quite large, is set too far off the road to be easily visible to the passing motorist.

When we arrived at the trailhead, checked the map and due to the increasing rain opted for the 0.7 mi path to Baldy.

Our trek begins

As we headed down the thickly wooded trail we took note of the hard-packed trail. I am very excited to take the bike down in a few weeks!

The rain continued to pound while we pushed on. Even throughout the hike we both remained happy hikers!

Guess what, we got to a fork in the road and instead of taking the normal path we would take a new path, can you say adventure!

The 0.7 mi trip seemed to fly even in the pouring rain.

An ingenious solution to prevent dune erosion

I was very interested in the set of stairs that lead to Baldy: they are a teak-like wood held together by steel cable. What a brilliant way to make steps and help evade erosion! These things are amazing and very functional.

Atop these steps rests the reason for this hike through the soggy woods: the dune blowout known as Old Baldy!

Looking north offers views of Lower Herring Lake and even Frankfort if you look closely, and if you take that path I am sure you would see more.

The depth of these massive blowouts is only fathomable when you compare their depths to the height of the full grown trees behind them. The area is just beautiful. We both nearly lost our breaths when we came upon this place. We were also bewildered that we have lived around here our whole life and have never been to this place!

The view from Old Baldy

Here I sit, atop what is actually Old Baldy. It is very overwhelming. To get a true sense of how far down the lake is, when we were up here a small biplane flew by and we could see the tops of the wings!

The wet walk was worth it. As we trudged back to the car we discussed how nice it will be to take fall hikes for the color, and winter snowshoe treks to get a unique view of the area in all seasons!

Awesome quick hike, cannot wait to take the longer loop next time we are home and also to check out the trail with the bike as it looked very technical.

John Yonkers III is the founder/writer for the Michigan based adventure blog http://randomstreamoc.blogspot.com/. He enjoys kayaking, hiking, photography, reviewing new gear, swimming, mountain biking, fishing, snowshoeing, camping and the outdoors in general. Most of all he loves to share his adventures and stories with anyone who will lend an ear.

  • http://photolocher-digital.webs.com jeanette

    love hiking the dunes, I climb another “baldy” -Mount Baldy in Saugatuck, myself- very challenging and fun

  • http://randomstreamoc.blogspot.com/ John

    Jeanette; I have heard of Mount Baldy in Saugatuck, I will most definitely check it out sometime when I am in that area. Thanks!

    Rich; Thank you very much for checking it out. My website has a ton of other reviews and little stories about trips of mine. I am going to look for that bluff around Holland. I have not spent much time around there, but I do know that it is beautiful, like all of Pure Michigan!

    Thanks to all for taking the time to read this. Please visit my blog for more info on my recent trips as well as gear reviews and news about the great outdoors!

    -John

  • Sue

    Thanks so much for the pictures and review. We did this hike last Summer. It is so beautiful….the trail through the forest is amazing.