GAYLORD – Kids Outdoors Otsego will be hosting a family hike on the Pickerel Lake Trail in the Pigeon River Country State Forest from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, August 6.
Sam Cornelius of Kids Outdoors Otsego (KOO) said the hike around Pickerel Lake is about two miles long and includes pine, jack pine, aspen and cedar, as well as many types of undergrowth more small.
“There is a boardwalk section and a footbridge over Pickerel Creek. We’ll see wildflowers, mushrooms, ferns, butterflies, dragonflies, etc. If we’re lucky, an eagle might soar over the above our heads,” he said.
“KOO focuses on young children up to age eight. Parents/guardians will be with their children throughout the ride. Older siblings are welcome so families can do it together Children who cannot walk all the way will need a lift from their parent/guardian,” Cornelius added.
KOO has hiked Pickerel Lake several times over the years, most recently in the fall of 2019, Cornelius said. KOO started doing family hikes in 2011, usually one every two months.
The hike is free and families can finish early if they wish.
“Bring your own water, insect repellent and sunscreen/sun hat and drinking water is accessible on site,” Cornelius said.
Swimming is not part of the hike, but families can wade, snorkel or swim in the lake in the sand/gravel area near the boat launch, Cornelius said.
“KOO rains or shines. Of course, if a major storm or thunder/lightning situation is forecast, we would cancel or wait in the cars for it to pass. We encourage everyone to dress for the weather,” he added.
Cornelius provided these directions: From the flashing light in Vanderbilt, turn east on East Main Street/East Sturgeon Valley Road. Go about eight miles to Pickerel Lake Road and turn north (left). Travel approximately three miles on Pickerel Lake Road to the Pickerel Lake State Forest Campground. At the campground, the campsites are on the right and the boat launch is on the left. Park at the boat ramp. Driving time from Vanderbilt is approximately 20 minutes.
Cornelius said cell phone service in the area was spotty or non-existent. Additional information is available on the KOO Facebook page.