Sunday, February 3, 2013

Pentwater Pathways

Pentwater Pathways offers some nice skiing just outside the village of Pentwater (about a two hour drive northwest of Kalamazoo.)  Four loops, ranging from two to five miles long, pass through a rolling mix of pine and hardwood forest.  The Pathways are in the Pere Marquette State Forest and are maintained by the Oceana Cross Country Ski Association. (The same group maintains the Crystal Valley trails). 

We enjoyed a nice run on the trails last Sunday.  The trails were well marked and maps were posted at each intersection of the various loops.  The snow was reasonably deep and a good set of tracks had been set.  It seemed to be a popular spot, with several groups of skiers on the trails, although it certainly wasn't crowded that morning.  We avoided what Howard Meyerson described as "the hill that rhymes with 'oh spit' " by skipping the fourth loop.

The Get Off The Couch website has detailed descriptions of each segment of the trail, a trail map and driving directions.  The Oceana ski association had xeroxed trail maps available at the trailhead and  printable trail maps [pdf] on their website.

Pentwater Pathways
Cross Long Bridge from Pentwater Bus 31. 
Turn left on Wayne Road. 
In 1.5 miles there is an unpaved road to the right. There is a sign for Pentwater Pathway. Take this. 
In about 0.3 miles the road widens to a parking area at the entrance to the trail. 
Plowed by the county.

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