Trail at negwegon state park


trailWe think of camping and roasted marshmallows when we think of State Parks in Michigan. Most state parks in Michigan are convenient places to take a camper, they provide facilities and showers and beautiful camp sites in the trees. There are a few that are more rustic and one, Negwegon State Park, is one of the only unimproved parks left.

The park is reached by land after driving along a very rough sand trail for several miles. It is actually easier to get to by canoe or kayak. There is a gravel parking lot at the entrance, you can use the nearby comfort facilities and there is an artesian well flowing so you can fill your canteen. No vehicles are allowed in the park so you hike to your campsite. There are only four campsites, with rustic facilities, spread along the two mile main trail. The northernmost campsite, #4, is in view of the Bird Islands. Each campsite has its own private beach on Lake Huron.

Between campsite 3 and campsite 4 the trail splits. The branch to the right will take you across a prairie to campsite 4. Exploring the prairie will reveal an old stone water well and the foundations of an old cabin. The story is told that during the last century, a free black man lived here all alone and disappeared without a trace. Hike into this remote place during the winter and you will wonder how anyone could survive in this isolated location, 100 years ago, all alone.

If you take the trail to the left before you enter the prairie, you can hike for a couple more miles as the trail loops back toward the parking area. You will cross a small stream a hundred yards or so along the left branch. Along that stream, deep in the swamp, are old stone walls and cairns built long ago by parties unknown.