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McCoy's Creek Trail

McCoy's Creek Trail

There's a small slice of paradise within the E.B. Clark Woods in Buchanan Michigan. As a relative newcomer I have often visited the northern-most part of the McCoy Creek Trail since my arrival from California last November. After the seasonal dormancy under the cold winter rains, sleet and snow, the month of April brings definite signs of coming abundance.

New growth pushes through remnants of the prior season.
© Joseph Maas 2016, all rights reserved

Though in recent years I have hiked through Northern California’s picturesque redwood groves and along the John Muir Trail of the High Sierras, I must say that the McCoy Creak Trail is one of the most pleasant short walks I’ve ever experienced.

And Spring has just barely begun.

Wildflowers overlooking embankment leading down to Proud Creek.
© Joseph Maas 2016, all rights reserved

Wooden stairway leading 70ft down to McCoy Creek below.
© Joseph Maas 2016, all rights reserved

In 2007 this section of the trail was paved to allow easy access to the trail’s multiple wooden stairways, bench swings and observational platforms where visitors can spend quite moments observing this nearly untouched steppingstone of nature. Often sited by visitors are the glacial-cut canyons that channel rushing waters through the park’s midsection, 70 feet below. A seasonal bounty of steelhead salmon and rainbow trout are said to occupy these waters en route to their spawning grounds during the late Summer and Fall months. But what’s been most appealing to me thus far are the early signs of new growth. McCoy Creek’s numerous herbs and wildflowers that flourish here during warmer months are becoming quite apparent in these early spring days of April. Among them are wild ginger, Solomon’s seal, hepatica, trillium, May apples and trout lily; even ginseng flourishes here.

It is worth pointing out, however, that nearly all of Michigan’s wildflowers are protected, including of course, the wild ginseng that is starting to make its presence known. Michigan’s wild ginseng is specifically protected and enforced by the Michigan Ginseng Act of 1994.

Early Mayapple unfolding, Podophyllum peltatum (Barberry family)
© Joseph Maas 2016, all rights reserved

leaveonlyfootprints.jpg

As a sign near the north entrance suggests, “Take pictures and memories. Leave only footprints.” which, as you can see by the images in this post, I and my friend and fellow photographer, Rita Arnold, have endeavored to do so with joy.

Photo of posted, "You are here" map. Click to enlarge.

Joseph Maas, True Midwest photographer.

Joseph Maas, True Midwest photographer.

A place to sit amidst the quiet passing of the day.
©Joseph Maas 2016, all rights reserved.


Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.

— Henry David Thoreau

©Joseph Maas 2016, all rights reserved.

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