Camp Newaygo & The Wetland Trail

Camp Newaygo & The Wetland Trail

Nature-seekers who discover the “Wetland Trail” at Camp Newaygo are treated to an ecologically-unique outdoor experience. The Wetland Trail is no ordinary swampland or run-of-the-mill hiker pathway! In fact, the one mile (roundtrip) boardwalk trail, is one of the only such trails in Michigan that crosses through the heart of a truly sphagnum bog.

The sphagnum bog at Camp Newaygo is part of a larger wetlands eco-zone. It is a type of bog that contains soft sphagnum moss and other acid-tolerant plants. In some spots, the bog is over 40 feet deep and sphagnum moss “floats” atop a hidden, underlying pond. The surrounding wetlands function as “sediment traps,” filtering out silt and other impurities before water re-enters nearby lakes and streams.

Few places in Michigan offer visitors opportunities to observe this type of habitat up-close and personal, while strolling high and dry over and through the bog and wetlands on a boardwalk.  An afternoon walk may also afford glimpses of the wildlife that inhabit the area, including great blue herons, kingfishers, muskrats, raccoons, barred owls, snapping turtles, deer, porcupines, and perhaps a bald eagle flying overhead. Children may first cringe at the sight of pitcher plants and other insect-devouring flora or spot a water snake swimming in one of two acetic ponds.

The current Wetland Trail is approximately .5-mile-long and dead ends at a peninsula of hard wood forest. The trail consists of a suspended boardwalk through the bog with two deck areas. The first deck overlooking Camp Newaygo’s Hidden Lake, has a floating dock that goes out into the lake for a better view of the high acidic levels of the water that prevent plants from encroaching on the lake. This deck is in the sphagnum bog area of the wetland. The second deck is a large classroom area. It is in the cranberry marsh area of the bog and provides great opportunities to teach about the different plants and animals that coexist in a bog habitat.

The proposed addition to the Wetland Trail would complete the trail loop, creating a total trail length of one mile. The extension would take hikers back into the bog from the hardwood peninsula and lead them by boardwalk to a classroom deck overlooking the second hidden lake, a quaking lake.

After viewing the features of this quaking lake, hikers would then continue by boardwalk to a glacial trail. This offers hikers a contrast in habitats and also offers another dimension to hiking with its gradual incline. A switchback trail will lead the hikers up the hill, through beautiful oak, beech and maple trees, and to a lookout deck. The placement of the lookout offers visitors a view from above the entire bog. A quiet private road completes the loop and leads hikers back to the trailhead. Bus parking would be available near the trail with parking improvements.

Come any time for a self-guided tour. An interpretive guided tour of the Wetland Trail can be arranged for your group or included as part of programming opportunities offered at the camp, including: conferences, business events, weddings and workshops. Camp Newaygo and the Wetland Trail are located in the Pickerel and Emerald Lakes area about four miles north of the City of Newaygo. To reach the Trailhead for the Wetland Trail, go past the entrance to Camp Newaygo located at 5333 Centerline Road and then continue around the curves another half mile to a dirt road that branches to the left. A sign will direct you to the trailhead.

The Wetland Trail is open to the public from dawn until dusk throughout the year. There is no admission charge. For more information or facility rental options, call 231-652-1184, or email campbiz@campnewaygo.org.

 

Feel the ADRENALINE… with the world’s heaviest motorsport!

A need for power and speed is a desire dating back to the chariot races of ancient Rome. It’s a safe bet to say that there is no other sport quite like Truck and Tractor Pulling. The guys and gals that harness these incredibly high-powered machines on the weekends are...

Spring Brings New Life to Newaygo County

Spring Brings New Life to Newaygo County

For a growing number of residents, that new life is in the form of baby chicks. As “Backyard Birding” continues to grow in popularity, many communities are amending or passing laws that allow residents to raise chickens. With most breeds laying an average of 3-4 eggs...

A Dazzling Light Display at Croton Township Campground!

A Dazzling Light Display at Croton Township Campground!

There is something magical about Christmas light displays that bring out the child in all of us.  Memories of car rides to see the neighborhood lights, with noses pressed to the window, are rekindled. These memories can be relived, and new ones created, in Newaygo...

Fremont’s own Award-winning prairie

Fremont’s own Award-winning prairie

Fall is my favorite season, hands-down. Between the fall colors, harvest festivals and some fresh-pressed apple cider, I’m one happy girl. A fall favorite event of ours is Fremont’s Hay Art and this year it was extra special.   While out exploring the city’s Hay...

White Cloud- Trail Town Hidden Gems

White Cloud- Trail Town Hidden Gems

If you venture a few yards off M-37, you will find some amazing hidden gems within White Cloud city limits that most travelers don’t know exist. Hidden Gem #1 If you're heading North into town, Rotary Park is the first stop you’ll make. Taking a right on James Street...

Let’s Talk About Bogs!

Let’s Talk About Bogs!

On todays episode of our outdoor family adventures, we ventured out to Camp Newaygo's Wetland Trail! Nestled in Camp Newaygo, the Wetland Trail is the only one of its kind in Michigan. What makes this so unique is that the one-mile round-trip trail crosses through the...

Family Adventures at Coolbough Natural Area

Family Adventures at Coolbough Natural Area

My family and I are avid outdoors people. Our ideal day would be to do something outdoorsy from sunup to sundown. From hunting and fishing, to hiking trails and exploring new places, it’s something we all can connect and bond over, while giving our family the outdoor...

Never Underestimate a Woman With a Chainsaw

Never Underestimate a Woman With a Chainsaw

Growing up, my grandparents were farmers, and my grandpa and uncle were really into steam engines , restoring one and building one from scratch. They would go to steam engine shows and by chance at one of them, they met a group of lumberjacks doing a show. They...

Labor Day Weekend Logging Festival

Labor Day Weekend Logging Festival

The Logging Festival in Newaygo has been a part of Labor Day weekend for more than 60 years.  I have been trying to research the changes throughout the years and have learned that while some of the weekend’s events and activities have changed, the common theme of...

Exploring Challenge: An 8 year old’s adventure

Exploring Challenge: An 8 year old’s adventure

Having a mom that is involved in a million things has its perks every now and then. As Newaygo County Tourism Council President, I had the opportunity to share the new Newaygo County Exploring Challenge with my kids as soon as it was approved. Over the past few...

A Newbie’s Experience With The White River

A Newbie’s Experience With The White River

Like most who grew up in Michigan, water has always been my happy place. From boating on the big lake, jet skiing on the inland lakes, tubing down the Muskegon River, and most recently kayaking, any day in water is a good day. My new found love of kayaking took me on...

Star Parties Return!

Great news from the S.F. Wessling Observatory!  Read on to learn more, or visit their new website: http://www.newaygocd.org/kropscott-and-observatory.html We are pleased to announce that the S. F. Wessling Observatory will conduct its first 2021 Star Party on Saturday...

Mountain Biking Saved My Life… an experience with The Dragon!

Mountain Biking Saved My Life… an experience with The Dragon!

Mountain biking saved my life….well, that’s an exaggeration, but it definitely improved my overall quality of life. I moved up to Newaygo county last August from Calhoun county, were I thoroughly enjoyed the trails of Fort Custer. However, by this time I was a new...