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2016 Adventures

...the year in review...
Never have I come close to a year of exploring like this one! The nineteen day, eleven state road trip in the heart of summer was ambitious, but with such big payoff. None of these locations had I seen before, and many of the states I'd never set foot in before at that. Several days of hiking with my brother, a rare treat, was unforgettable, and the scenic beauty of the north woods of Michigan and Wisconsin are unlike anything I've seen before. Not to be overshadowed, I proposed to Robin fittingly at an overlook inside Monte Sano State Park, now to set a wedding date! Other notable trips were experiencing the Cahaba River lilies in full bloom, this time leading Robin out to see them up close. The year was end capped by adventures seeing the whooping cranes by foot and by kayak, and embarking on the longest kayak trip I've ever been on.

All Hiking Adventures

[Camping Trips in RED, Cabin stays in BLUE]
Date Preview Locations Length Photos Journal
Dec 29 Bankhead National Forest, AL
White Oak Hollow
5 mi
Dec 27-28 Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, AL
Paddling Flint Creek
3 mi [kayaking]
Nov 25 Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge, AL
Smokey Mountain Loop Interpretive Trail, Longleaf Trail, Ridge Road Interpretive Trail
7 mi
Nov 20 Bankhead National Forest, AL
Capsey Creek, Kemp Branch
5 mi
Nov 6 Bankhead National Forest, AL
Owl Creek
3 mi
Oct 22 Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, MS
Cypress Grove Boardwalk, Webster Memorial Trail and Overlook, Beaver Dam Trail, Bluff Lake Boardwalk
2.8 mi
Sep 17 Red Mountain Park, AL
Eureka Mines Trail, #13 Mine Trail, Ike Maston Trail, #14 Mine Trail, #14 Mine Connector, Ishkooda trail, Ridge Walk Trail, Redding Trail, Songo Trail, BMRR South Trail, L&N Trail
6 mi
Sep 4-5 Bridgestone/Firestone Centennial Wilderness WMA, TN
Polly Branch Falls Trail, Caney Fork River Trail, Jenny Branch Falls Trail, Chestnut Mountain Ranch Trail, Welch Point Day Use Area
10 mi
Aug 20 Monte Sano Preserve, AL
Oak Park Trail, Bankhead Trail, Flat Rock Trail, Buzzards Roost Trail
5 mi
Jul 17 Cathedral Caverns State Park, AL
cave tour
1.5 mi
Jul 2 Wilderness Road State Park, VA
Indian Ridge Trail
0.7 mi
Jul 2 Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, KY/VA/TN
Object Lesson Road Trail, Wilderness Road Trail, Tri-State Peak, Pinnacle Overlook
3.5 mi
Jun 30 Hueston Woods Nature Preserve, OH
Sugar Bush Trail, Blue Heron Trail, West Shore Trail, Big Woods Trail
4.9 mi
Jun 30-Jul 2 Hueston Woods State Park, OH
Cedar Falls Trail, Sycamore Trail, Pine Loop/Cabin Trail, Mud Lick Trail, Hedge Apple Trail, Indian Mound Trail, Gallion Run Trail
7.7 mi
Jun 29 Lake Loon Nature Preserve, IN
Lake Trail, Woods Trail
1.25 mi
Jun 28-30 Pokagon State Park, IN
Trine State Recreation Area, Gentian Lake Trail, Rolling Oaks Trail, Trail 3, Trail 6, Trail 7 [Bluebird Hills Trail], Trail 9, Potawatomi Nature Preserve
9.9 mi
Jun 28 Huron-Manistee National Forest, MI
Lake Loda National Wildflower Sanctuary, Lake Loda Trail
1.2 mi
Jun 27 Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, MI
Sleeping Bear Dunes Wilderness, Dune Climb Trail, Cottonwood Trail, Empire Bluffs Trail
7.25 mi
Jun 26-28 Interlochen State Park, MI
Pine Trail
0.6 mi
Jun 26 Mackinac Island State Park
Fort Mackinac, Arch Rock Bicycle Trail, North Bicycle Trail, Sugar Loaf Rock, Point Lookout, Fort Holmes, Skull Cave
5 mi
Jun 26 Horseshoe Bay Wilderness, MI
Horseshoe Bay Trail
3 mi
Jun 24 Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, MI
Grand Marais Dunes, Sable Falls Trail, Au Sable Trail, Chapel Falls Trail
5.7 mi
Jun 23 Seney National Wildlife Refuge, MI
Piper Overlook Boardwalk, Beach Trail, Hawk Overlook Trail
1 mi
Jun 23-26 Tahquemenon Falls State Park, MI
Upper Falls Trail, Lower Falls Trail, Island Trail, Nature Trail
6.7 mi
Jun 22 Blackjack Springs Wilderness, WI
Whispering Lake Trail, Blackjack Springs State Natural Area
1 mi
Jun 22 Headwaters Wilderness, WI
Giant Pines Trail, Giant White Pines Grove State Natural Area
1 mi
Jun 21-23 Chequemegon-Nicholet National Forest, WI
White Deer Lake Trail, Luna Lake Trail, Hidden Lakes Trail, Haymeadows Flowage State Natural Area
4 mi
Jun 20-21 Great River Bluffs State Park, MN
Kings Bluff Trail, Kearns Valley Trail, Hill of Many Timbers Trail, East Overlook Trail, North Overlook Trail, South Overlook Trail
6 mi
Jun 20 Belleveue State Park, IA
Prairie Loop, Bluff Trail, Overlook Trail, Indian Mound Trail
3.25 mi
Jun 19 Morrison-Rockwood State Park, IL
Tall Oaks Trail
4.1 mi
Jun 18 Maqueketa Caves State Park, IA
Ridge Trail, Wide Mouth Cave, Dug out Cave, Twin Arch Cave, Hernando's Hideaway, Up-N-Down Cave Window Cave, Match Cave, Barbell Cave, Shinbone Cave, Wye Cave, Balanced Rock, Dancehall Cave, Rainy Day Cave, Ice Cave
3 mi
Jun 18 Prophetstown State Park, IL
Wa-bo-kie-shiek Nature Trail
0.6 mi
Jun 16-17 Starved Rock State Park, IL
Starved Rock Trail, Lover's Leap Overlook, French Canyon, Eagle Cliff, Beehive Overlook, Wildcat Canyon, Sandstone Point, Tonti Canyon, LaSalle Canyon, Parkman's Plain, Hennepin Canyon, Ottawa Canyon, Council Overhang, Kaskaskia Canyon, Illinois Canyon, St. Louis Canyon
12.3 mi
Jun 16 Matthiessen State Park, IL
Upper Dells Trail, Lower Dells Trail
6 mi
Jun 15 Garden of the Gods Wilderness, IL
Indian Point Trail
1.7 mi
Jun 15-16 Shawnee National Forest, IL
Garden of the Gods Recreation Area, Observation Trail
0.8 mi
Jun 15 Fort Massac State Park, IL
Fort Trail, George Drouillard Hiking Trail
1.25 mi
Jun 14-15 Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area, KY
Hematite Lake Trail, Center Furnace Trail, Long Creek Trail, Honker Lake Trail, Woodland Walk Trail
7.8 mi
Jun 14 Kenlake State Park, KY
Cherokee Trail, Chickasaw Trail
1.4 mi
Jun 14 Port Royal State Park, TN
Overlook Trail, Old Main Street Trail, Townsite Remnants Trail, River Bottom Trail, Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
1.75 mi
May 14 Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge, AL
Piper Interpretive Trail, Cahaba River lilies
2 mi
May 13 Mammoth Cave National Park, KY
Domes and Dripstones Tour, Heritage Trail, River Styx Spring Trail, Echo River Trail, Mammoth Dome Sink Trail
3.75 mi
May 7 Lula Lake Land Trust, GA
Middle Trail, South Creek Trail, North Creek Trail Lula Falls Trail, High Adventure Trail, Bluff Trail, Jedi Trail, Oven Bird Trail, Homestead Trail
6 mi
Apr 16-17 Bankhead National Forest, AL
Sipsey Fork from Cranal Road to near Grindstone Creek, Lloyd's Canyon, Hurricane Creek
15 mi [kayak]

3.5 mi [hiking]
Apr 9 Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson State Historic Site, AL
Bartram Arboretum Trail, unnamed trail
3 mi
Apr 3 Bankhead National Forest, AL
Indian Tomb Hollow
5 mi
Mar 29 Green Mountain Nature Preserve, AL
Alum Hollow Trail
2 mi
Mar 20 Walls of Jericho State Natural Area, TN/AL
Mill Creek Trail, Walls of Jericho Trail
10 mi
Mar 6 Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve, AL
Trillium Trail, Quarry Trail, Jimmie Dell White Overlook, Silent Journey Trail, Possum Loop Trail, Overlook Trail, Hawk's View Overlook, Ridge and Valley Trail, Crusher Trail, Hollow Tree Trail, Geology Trail, Marian Harnach Nature Trail
8 mi
Mar 5 Monte Sano State Park/Land Trust, AL
Mountain Mist Trail, Logan Point Trail, Stone Cuts Trail, Sinks Trail
Tollgate Trail, Watts Trail, Wildflower Trail, Fagan Springs Trail, Alm's House Trail, Old Railroad Bed Trail
8.5 mi
Feb 21 Lake Guntersville State Park, AL
Meridith Trail, Golf Course Loop, Lickskillet Trail, Seales Trail
6.5 mi
Feb 20 Big Scirum Creek, AL
no trail
2 mi
Feb 20 Palisades Park, AL
Bird's Foot Trail, Well Trail, Rocky Trail, Dogwood Trail, Pine Trail, Trail of Trees, Rockledge Trail, Old Road Trail, unofficial bluff trail
2.5 mi
Feb 14 Talladega National Forest, AL
Payne Lake Recreation Area, Nature Trail
0.75 mi
Feb 13 Bankhead National Forest, AL
Basin Creek, Corral Canyon
9 mi
Jan 31 Sipsey Wilderness Area, AL
Quillan Creek, Riddle Creek
5.75 mi
Jan 30 Bankhead National Forest, AL
Capsey Creek
8 mi
Jan 23 Blevins Gap Preserve, AL
Bill & Marion Certain Trail, West Bluff Trail, Varnadoe Trail, Sugar Tree Trail
-- mi
Jan 9 Wheeler Wildlife Refuge, AL
Festival of the Cranes, Observation trail, Atkeson Cypress Trail, Beaverdam Boardwalk
3 mi
Jan 3 Bankhead National Forest, AL
Collier Creek, Unnamed Brushy feeder branch
4.5 mi
Jan 1 Monte Sano Nature Preserve, AL
Bluff Line Trail, Belue Trail, Alms House Trail, Sinkhole Trail, Wildflower Trail, Fagan Springs Trail
5.75 mi