ONTONAGON — The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park will host a guided hike as part of statewide events celebrating Arbor Day in Michigan.
The hike is scheduled for April 27 at 1 p.m. (EDT.) The Porkies is one of nine locations hosting a Michigan Department of Natural Resources-sponsored events.
“This is the first year that we are doing an event with Arbor Day,” said Bob Wild, park interpreter. “We usually do events around Earth Day.”
The event is part of a new initiative for the Porkies to partner with other entities, including the MDNR’s Forestry Service Division.
According to Wild, participants will hike through some of the park’s old-growth forests in search of big trees. The hike ventures into a trail-less area of the park where measurements of large hemlock, cedar, sugar maple, yellow birch and other trees will be taken.
At the Porkies, celebrating Arbor Day is a “natural fit,” according to Wild.
“Our most outstanding feature is our 35,000 acres of old-growth forest, which is the largest tract of northern hardwood forest in North America,” Wild said. “Arbor Day celebrates trees, so it’s a very good fit.”
There is no cost for the event, however a recreation passport is required for entry into the state park and recreation areas. Recreation passports can be purchased by checking “yes” when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State office for $11 or $5 for motorcycles. Non-residents can purchase a recreation passport of $8.40 a day or $30.50 for the year.
According to Wild, the plan is to continue the event next year, with hopes that the weather will cooperate.
“It can be a challenge this time of year,” Wild said. “We could have warm and sunny conditions, or be completely snow-covered. This year, the snow may impact how far in the old-growth forest we can go.
“This is a great excuse to see the forest,” Wild said. “Come see the reasons why the people in this area wanted this established as a park, to protect the old-growth forest. We have a very special resource here.”
For more information on the event, contact Wild at 906-885-5206 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the Porcupine Mountains State Park, call 906-885-5275 or visit porcupinemountains.com. To purchase a recreation passport, visit michigan.gov/estore or visit the nearest state park or recreational area.
For a complete list of all of the events throughout the state, visit michigan.gov/dnr/.