Thursday, February 4, 2010

Outside Magazine's Urban Adventure: Chicago

Outside Magazine's Urban Adventure Chicago by Lynn Schnaiberg. 2003

This guidebook focuses on outdoor sports around Chicago. Chapters are sport specific: Sea Kayaking & Canoeing, Sailing, Windsurfing & Surfing, Scuba Diving, White Water, Fishing, Biking, Mountain Biking, Bird-Watching, Hiking & Backpacking, Rock Climbing, Climbing Walls, Caving, Winter Sports, Running, Hang Gliding & Skydiving, Horseback Riding. Outside Magazine was based in Chicago for years, so they know the area well.

While many of its suggestions are fairly distant from Kalamazoo, in Wisconsin or Illinois, there are nearby adventures since West Michigan is categorized as a "short hop" from Chicago. Here's a selection:

West Michigan Adventures

1. Love Creek County Park (cross-country skiing) "Early lake-effect snow... reason enough for the quick sojourn." 5 miles groomed trails, lighted, fee. Directions: I-94 to US 31 to Old 31 in Berrien Springs. Cross the river & turn left to Deans Hill Road, then right onto Pokagon Rd. Follow signs to park.

2. Grand Mere Trail Road Ride, Three Oaks, Michigan (Road Biking) "For a full day's scenic ride, the 50-mile Grand Mere loop is hard to beat, with mostly flat, quiet country roads punctuated by a few hilly stretches." See several Three Oaks Bicycle Club routes Directions: I-94 to US 12 to then left on Three Oaks Road to the Three Oaks Bicycle Museum.

3. Yankee Springs Recreation Area, Middleville Michigan (mountain biking) "Popular for a reason; these trails are just plain fun, with enough terrain to keep them interesting for more advanced riders." State park fee, camping at Deep Lake Campground. Directions: US 131 north to exit 61. East n County A42 to Gun Lake Road (right), then Gun Lake Road to Yankee Springs Rd (left) to Deep Lake campground parking lot & trailhead.

4. Warren Dunes State Park, Sawyer, Michigan (hang gliding) "Warren Dunes has a long hang-gliding history; early aficionados headed here in the 1970s to learn and train." State Park fee. I-94 to exit 16 (Bridgman). South 2 miles on Red Arrow Highway to park entrance.

5. Saint Joseph River, Berrien Springs, Michigan (fishing)"You want it, the St. Joseph probably has it. 'It's one of the most diverse fisheries around.' " Walleye, steelhead, smallmouth, Chinook, crappie, catfish, brown trout. License required. Directions: I-94 to US 31. South into Berrien Springs. Left on Ferry St, then right onto N. Mechanic to the DNR dam & fish ladder or cross the bridge to Shamrock park.

6. Fly-fishing the Pere Marquette River, Michigan (fishing) "Blue Ribbon trout waters with serious pedigree. The Pere Marquette's tea-colored water offers some 70 miles of first-class fishing, much of it flowing through Manistee National Forest." Steelhead, king salmon, brown & rainbow trout; catch & release section; license required. Directions: US 31 north to Ludington to US 10. US 10 to MI 37. South on 37 to 72d Street. West on 72d to Peacock Rd. Turn right-- river parking 1/4 mile.

7. Muskegon Winter Sports Complex (luge) "Play Olympian for a day by heading to Muskegon, Mi, home to one of a handful of luge runs in the United States." Winter weekends, fee, equipment available. Part of Muskegon State Park. [Muskegon Winter Sports Complex website]

You might also be interested in their nearby Indiana Adventures.

The book is available at several Michigan libraries and from booksellers like Amazon.

1 comment:

CE Webster said...

Interesting all the things to do in the area--I wasn't aware of it. Thanks for the information for our future vacation there.