Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ski Fort Custer

It's been a few years since I'd skied at Fort Custer, partially because parks to the west of Kalamazoo often have more snow. This season the Lake effect snow has been minimal, so this morning we decided to try Fort Custer State Recreation Area. The snow was barely deep enough to ski, with the occasional root or branch sticking through the surface, but much better than the 1 inch depth reported near Lake Michigan.

Fort Custer has something like 25 miles of trails of differing levels of difficulty. In the summer, they're used by mountain bikers and horseback riders. In winter, skiers and dogsleds. Hikers all year round.

This morning, We skied around Whitford Lake which took just over an hour. The trail was clearly marked and easy to follow through the woods. There were a few hills, including a couple we decided to walk. Overall it's fairly accessible for beginners.

We saw a few Blue Jays, Chickadees, and swans, but the most impressive sight was a pair of noisy Sandhill Cranes flying overhead. It seems a little early for Spring migration but there was no mistaking these big birds.

Fort Custer Recreation Area
just east of Augusta on M-96
about 16 miles from Kalamazoo

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