Because I was busy with my Webelo Scout son visiting the BSA National Jamboree in August and the Great Lakes Council’s Centennial Encampment in September, we decided to make take our annual trip in October this year.
We also decided to try staying in a cabin and day hiking for a change.
Owasippe Outdoor Education Center
When trying to decide where to go this year, I suggested Owasippe Scout Reservation. Being October, the crowds of Scouts are gone and we should have the trails to ourselves.
So we contacted the Owasippe Outdoor Education Center (OOEC) and reserved a cabin on Lake Wolverine by the head of Cleveland Creek.
I had been making short, early morning trips to the camp during the summer as part of a nature photography project I was doing to create images that the BSA Chicago Area Council, OOEC, The Nature Conservancy can use in their efforts to preserve the camp’s natural areas. I was excited about the opportunity to spend several days there and to create more photos.
This year we also had another friend join us on our trip. Kevin had texted me in September asking if Brad could join us for this year’s trip.
“Sure if he does the dishes,” I replied. “We may actually want him to cook,” Kevin replied. “He’s a good cook.” “Then we’ll bring paper plates,” I replied.
And, Kevin wrote back “LOL”. I’m glad we came along this year, because he is a good cook and good hiking companion.
Lake Wolverine, Cleveland Creek
Now I’m sitting in a camp chair by the shore of Lake Wolverine listening to the wind blow in the trees and the constant rumble of water through the dam into Cleveland Creek. During our first day, we hiked 6.5 miles in the North West portion of the camp.
We mostly followed the Cleveland Creek basin and I loved this area. The creek is beautiful and clear. The terrain is rolling. We even saw many large brown trout spawning in the creek.
We ate lunch at Chief Owasippe’s Grave and continued to one of my favorite areas of the camp, Paradise Valley. This small valley is mostly hemlocks with a moss covering the forest floor and logs. There is a small creek meandering through the center.
Once we climbed up out of the valley and crossed Russell Road, we continued along the shores of Blue Lake. The north shore of the lake has lake homes, a YMCA camp, and other youth camps.
The south shore is mostly scout camp. I’ve seen bald eagles and Osprey in this area during past short hikes.
After reaching the Camp Blackhawk Waterfront Area, we headed south again and crossed Owasippe Road. Soon we reached the shores of Wolverine Lake and followed the shoreline west until we reached our cabin.
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