Project Description: Volunteers will be working to build a multi-use, non-motorized trail in the White River area- home to the federally endangered Karner Blue Butterfly. When completed, approximately 30 miles of trail will be available to hikers and the savanna habitat will be restored and protected for the butterflies. Much of the trail runs along ridges providing scenic overlooks of the State Natural River. The location of the trail along these ridges requires extensive benching and tread construction to ensure the trail will be sustainable for a mix of non-motorized recreation activities long term.
Hosting Organization: US Forest Service
Day Hiking or Backpacking: Day Hiking Up to 4 Miles Per Day
Work Level: Moderate
Minimum Age: 10
Area and Attractions: The Manistee National Forest is located on the western side of the lower peninsula in Michigan. It has a wide variety of habitat types sure to please any outdoor enthusiast. A popular destination for both fisherman and boaters, the forest offers the White River, where the project will be located, and Pere Marquette River, which is a Federally designated Wild and Scenic River. The shores of Lake Michigan are less than an hour drive from most of the District and it is worth the trip to see the clear blue waters and sand dunes near Silver Lake. There are an abundance of recreational activities to be had during the evenings or on the Wednesday "free day" to enjoy the wonder that is Pure Michigan!
Accommodations Description: Volunteers will be staying in the Birch Grove Schoolhouse, just one and a half miles from the North Country National Scenic Trail, which makes an excellent base for groups to discover this recreational treasure. It serves as a home away from home for those of us who aren't lucky enough to have a National Scenic Trail in our backyard and also makes a perfect stopover for weary long-distance hikers. Facilities at the Birch Grove Schoolhouse include a kitchen with a double sink, refrigerator, microwave, a stove with oven, coffee makers, dishes, cookware, abd utensils. There are also six tables and 25 chairs. For sleeping, we have two rollaways, two cots, and twelve mattresses. There is one indoor bathroom with toilet, sink, and shower, as well as one outhouse. Outdoor amenities include a grill, two picnic tables, fire pit, and room for tent camping. Volunteers should bring their own linens and personal gear.
Climate Information: There is a saying in Michigan: "If you don't like the weather, just wait 10 minutes!" This can be very true in late summer with thunderstorms popping up midafternoon with little to no warning. The weather in late July can range from cool mornings to hot, humid afternoons. Rain gear is recommended in case of rain and hydration will be key for those hot afternoons.
Travel Information: Airport pickup provided from Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
Maximum # of Volunteers: 10