McNearney Cross Country Ski Trail

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The Sault Ste. Marie District of the Hiawatha National Forest is full of opportunities for scenic beauty, recreation, fishing, wildlife, natural resource management and protection.Located 5 miles northeast of Strongs Corner, Michigan, the McNearney Cross-Country Ski Trail winds through hilly, forested countryside. To protect the trail from damage and provide a quiet experience, no motorized use is allowed on the groomed ski trail.

The trailhead is located on the he north side of Salt Point Road approximately 5 miles north of Strongs Corner (junction of M-28 and Salt Point Road). The open area surrounding the park lot was the site of Camp 4, a logging camp used during the early part of this century.

Trail Loops All four loops are designed for one-way traffic. Please follow this traffic flow. Local interest, amount of use, and comments from skiers will determine if additional loops will be added in the future.

Loop 1 – Beginner Loop is one mile long over level terrain; a scenic area for first- time skiers to travel through.

Loop 2 – Camp 4 Loop is approximately 3 miles long. Except for the first up-hill, the terrain is gentle and very appealing to first time skiers. Beginners should be able to ski this loop with little difficulty while enjoying the variety of gentle slopes and level areas.

Loop 3 – The Big Pine Loop is designated for skiers with moderate skills. Advanced beginners and more experienced skiers should find the enjoyable hills and wooded areas of this loop very appealing.

Loop 4 – The Forester’s Loop is also designed for the advanced beginners and experienced skiers. The hills demand more skills and are classed for skiers with advanced techniques.

Points of Interest The McNearney Ski Trail is located on ancient sand dunes just above the shores of Glacial Lake Algonquin (old Lake Superior). The hills are covered mostly by second growth hardwood forest. Camp 4 Loop passes through unthinned second growth hardwood forest.Big Pine Loop consists of larger hardwoods with one area over 150 years old. A white spruce plantation is also present through the valleys between the larger hills. This plantation was planted in the 1960’s. Big Pine Loop offers a view into the past as the visitor travels through large hardwoods. Featured is a 110 foot tall white pine reaching far above the forest canopy. Look close–it can be easy to miss.

The Forester’s Loop passes through actively managed hardwood stands. Most of these have been thinned since 1980.

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