Seven Lakes State Park: A Pre-Solstice Wintery Adventure


The arrival of the winter solstice opens the way for a new season of embracing the ways of nature on the trails and in the parks that add to the quality of life of Oakland County. The nature that surrounds us becomes even more amazing – we’ve got enticing trails, drifting snow, frozen streams, babbling brooks, crackling ice, whispering winds, and of course, tracks in the snow that help unravel the mysteries of wild creatures living in our midst. If a destination is chosen with forethought, there’s the added benefit of enjoying soothing solitude for hiking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on the wilder side of Oakland County. That was my plan last Friday. Continue reading

Groundhog Day and Signs of Spring: Fallacies, Facts, and Fun



THE BIG DAY IS ALMOST HERE! Crowds will soon gather around televisions for the final countdown. When will he appear? What will he do? Punxsutawney Phil, the furry weatherman from Pennsylvania has been slumbering in his hibernating den since late autumn. But on February 2nd Phil will stop procrastinating and make a statement at Gobblers Knob in front of an array of cameras. As crowds surge forward for a better view, he will yawn once or twice, and then without further ado will predict the weather. If he sees his shadow, he dives back into his den and we have six more weeks of winter. If there is no shadow, he lounges topside and that signals that spring will soon embrace the countryside. It’s a great tall tale, and Phil always has a 50% chance of being right.  Continue reading

Seven Lakes State Park at the Dawn of Summer


Seven Lakes State Park remains a well-kept secret for many residents of Oakland County. That is a shame, for this 1,432 acre gem of diverse topography offers excellent outdoor recreation opportunities. Located in the northwestern corner of our county, Seven Lakes has something for everyone at the dawn of summer. There is also a small mystery spawned by this park’s name. Sharp-eyed park visitors study the map, and then pause. Where is the seventh lake? Hint: Don’t look for it.

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