52 Hike Challenge Winter Report


For the first time in my life I have hiked through an entire Michigan winter.

As I mentioned in here, Patronus and I set out for our first hike of 2019 during the first weekend of January.  It was great to start out the year with a hike, even if it wasn’t a super long one.

great pyrenees winter
Hike #1

In mid-January, the temperatures dipped down below the 20s, but we had a couple of beautiful, sunny days that made hitting the trails worthwhile.  Patronus and I didn’t rack up a whole lot of miles, but we did take full advantage of the snow.

great pyrenees running
Hike #2
Hike #3

I also had the chance to check out a new trail with my brother.  We may or may not have found our way in the middle of a haunted forest.

Hike #4

In early February Luke, Patronus and I had the chance to meet up with some old friends and do a lantern lit night hike complete with bonfires and hot cocoa.  Patronus made friends with Goose, a Pit Bull the same age as he is.  If you ever have the chance to do one of the lantern lit hikes at a Michigan State Park, I would highly recommend going for it!

Lantern Lit Hike Island Lake
Hike #5

Most of the snow melted away in mid-February, leaving most of the trails covered in thick sheets of ice.  Fortunately, I decided to invest in a pair of spikes this winter, so all of the ice gave me a few chances to test them out.  If you ever plan on hiking during the winter and live in a place where the weather changes constantly, a set of microspikes is a total game changer!

Hike #6

After taking a week off from hiking due to some travel for work, Patronus and I got back outdoors and decided to hike some trails along the river.  The weather on this hike was pretty crazy, alternating between gusty winds, sunshine, snow, and hail.

Great Pyrenees
Hike #7

For our next hike, Patronus and I ventured out to a mountain biking trail to revisit the classic cars we discovered on a winter hike with our friend Mike a couple months ago.  The trails were pretty icy so I was thankful for my spikes, and eventually it began to snow.  We kept hiking for a while after spending some time looking at the cars, but eventually we came across a huge paw print on the trail.

Great Pyrenees Snow
Hike #8


Whatever animal made the track had bigger paws than Patronus, and I didn’t really want to stick around and find out what it was, so I decided it was probably a good time to head back.  As we hiked back to the car the snow started to pick up even more, so it was probably good that we headed back when we did anyhow.  By the time we got back to the car, we were both covered in snow.

Our St. Patrick’s Day, Patronus and I set out on our final hike of the winter.  Well, it was our final hike of what is technically winter.  The weather in Michigan is like a box of chocolates.

Hike #9

The weather was nice for a winter hike, but the trail conditions were pretty muddy.  Our adventure was pretty short at around three miles, but they were three really fun miles, so I don’t think either of us minded.  On our way back to the parking lot, a little kid stopped to let us know that we both looked really dirty.

And in case you’re wondering, I’ve given up on cleaning out my car until mud season is officially over.

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