ENVIRONMENTAL

OFF the TRAIL

LOCATION

Bowman Lake
Exact Location:
Lake County- less than a mile north of the 56th St. Trailhead, access via NCT or Bowman Lake trails. Totally within the Bowman Lake Semi-Primitive Area and managed by the Manistee National Forest, Baldwin District
 
Bowman Lake
Bowman Lake- a kettle hole. Blue line is NCT (Google satellite photo)
Bowman Lake is a kettle hole lake just off the North Country Trail, but easily accessible and visible through the trees to the west of the trail. Turn left where the trail crosses an old 2-track and reach the lake in 200 feet.

Kettle hole lakes are glacial features formed when a large chunk of ice calves off the glacier as it retreats, and the weight creates a depression. The ice melts and a lake is formed. These lakes typically have no inlet or outlet. Most dry up or become wetlands without some connection to the groundwater. The Bowman Lake Semi-Primitive Area has several other kettle holes which still have some wetland plants at their depths.

No vehicular access is allowed, but paddle boats can be carried in. Swimming is allowed at your own risk, but kettle holes are usually heavy with sediment, and the experience may not be pleasant.

Semi-Primitive areas are protected from vehicular travel and are characterized by a predominantly natural or natural-appearing environment with a moderate probability of experiencing isolation from the sights and sounds of man. There are a number of interesting glacial features within the approximately six square miles of the Bowman Lake SPA.

Bowman Lake
Bowman Lake in summer (photo by jhy)
There are four campsites around the lake with tent pads and fire rings.

Also see:
Bowman Trails
Bowman Semi-Primitive Area
Bowman Bridge Campground
Bowman Campsites

Sources:
MSU Michigan Geology, kettle lakes
personal experience


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The North Country National Scenic Trail is 4600 miles long, spanning seven states. For more information, visit the North Country Trail Association


8/5/17
MILP-La1
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