I awoke to a smiling Patronus in my face at 10:00 A.M. on the morning we had planned to visit Maybury State Park. Apparently he did not forget the night before, when I told him we were going to go on another adventure.
The two of us were all ready to leave by 11:00 A.M., exactly on schedule, with our backpacks on and everything. Unfortunately, my car keys had other plans. Frantically, I began searching the house looking in every single place I could have possibly left them. After a good 30 minutes of tearing the house apart (sorry Luke), I finally discovered that our robotic vacuum had eaten them while I was upstairs getting dressed!
Okay, I admit that it was totally my fault for leaving keys on the floor, but it was the ONE place I knew that I would be able to see them when I was on my way out the door. Oh well.
After picking up my brother, we made a pit stop at REI so he could get a new pair of hiking boots, and then finally made our way to our destination. Upon arrival Siri got us lost, but we eventually found our way to the appropriate trailhead.
Pro Tip: One thing I have found so far is that navigating my way to a particular trailhead often times works better when I click on the “Driving Directions” button in the Hiking Project app as opposed to searching for the park through a regular Maps app.
The hiking trails at Maybury State Park proved to be a little bit intimidating at first, not because of their difficulty, but because the trail map essentially looked like a pair of kittens had gotten into their owner’s stash of yarn and somebody took a picture of the aftermath. There were several different kinds of trails, all intertwining with one another. Fortunately, there were a lot of posts without too much distance in between each one, so it was easier to navigate than it originally seemed.
Brandon and I decided to do the history trail first, a short trail winding through the woods, with plaques indicating different structures that had once stood on the grounds back when they were used as a sanatorium.
Walking through the colorful autumn forests on an overcast day, we read about the buildings that once stood on the grounds, looked at photographs, and read aloud quotes from former employees and decided it felt similar to playing a video game.
There were a decent number of people on the trails for it being a random Tuesday in October, many of which had dogs. Patronus was all about befriending the other dogs, but unfortunately for him, only the bigger dogs wanted anything to do with him.
Since today’s hike was more about exploring than it was about challenge, we took our time checking out the wildlife and reading all of the different plaques stationed around that section of the park. We discovered our absolute favorite artifact last of all.
After finishing the history trail, we decided to take another unpaved hiking trail leading to a large pond.
Pro Tip: If you haven’t read my previous post about Crooked Lake, I mentioned that if you’re hiking on a trail with a lot of rocks and/or exposed roots, make sure to wear good hiking footwear and bring your trekking poles if you have them, especially during the fall (or don’t be clumsy). Colorful leaves blanketing the forest floor are undoubtedly pretty, but they also obscure some of the trip hazards you might otherwise be able to avoid.
Along the trail to the pond, Patronus met an adorable 7 month old Malamute named Ruffy. Almost the size of Patronus, she was ridiculously fluffy and playful and the two of them wanted to play so bad. In retrospect, I really wish I would have thought to take a photo or video of them!
Eventually we made it to the pond, which had a wooden boardwalk with two benches for hikers to sit on while enjoying a view of the water. Brandon and I were both starting to get really hungry, so we decided to eat our lunch there.
Brandon and I snacked on strawberry fruit bars and apple chips while Patronus enjoyed water and treats.
Patronus and I both have a terrible habit of not wanting to eat all day, particularly if we’re busy doing something fun, then wanting a big dinner late at night. Consequently, he decided that his food bowl would better be used as a pillow for the time being.
The three of us spent some time hanging out at the pond, taking photos, and petting Patronus for a bit.
Eventually, it was starting to get late, so we decided to make our way back to the parking lot.
While it is possible to hike, run, or bike one specific trail in the park, this hike definitely seemed to be more about exploring than anything else. I know we definitely did not get a chance to see all the points of interest within the park, so it definitely warrants another trip back!
Trail Distance: Choose your own adventure
Highlights: History Trail, Artifacts, Paved Trail, Mountain Bike Trail, Equestrian Trail, Pond, Farm
Map: Michigan DNR
Dog Friendly: Yes