Except as otherwise noted, all contents of this Web site are Copyright Chief Noonday Chapter, the North Country Trail Association.

August 4, 2012

Chief Noonday caps a big year: 

As Chief Noonday Chapter celebrates its 15th anniversary of stewardship and dedicated effort on behalf of the North Country Trail Association and the North Country National Scenic Trail, members outdid themselves putting on an impressive 2012 National Conference that will be a hard act to follow.

Click for an array of pictures and commentary from some of the Conference events that Mick and his Nikon were able to get to.

August 4, 2012

Awards a-plenty for Chief Noonday members: 

At the 2012 National Conference of the North Country Trail Association, which Chief Noonday Chapter very capably hosted, coincidentally Chapter members also walked away with a record number of annual awards from the NCTA and the National Park Service in recognition of hours upon hours of work and effort on behalf of the North Country National Scenic Trail.

Click for an array of pictures and descriptive slides from the awards presentations.

June 26, 2012

A Railway Runs Through It: 

One of the trailheads on the North Country National Scenic Trail in Chief Noonday Chapter country was a far busier place 100 years ago than it typically is today. 

At the turn of the 20th century, the "Hutchinson Trailhead" on Augusta Drive in Kalamazoo County was the site of a junction station for an interurban railway system connecting and serving Battle Creek, Kalamazoo and Gull Lake and the communities in between.  A spur literally ran through the trailhead, and the main interurban track ran directly across the front of it.

Here are some pictures and maps

March 3, 2012

Quiet Water Symposium 2012: 

Again this year, Chief Noonday Chapter joined two other Michigan chapters at Michigan State University to represent the Trail and the North Country Trail Association

We talked up the Trail to a lot of people, sold trail maps, passed out a pile of literature, and ended the day once again convinced it had been a highly worthwhile outreach effort.

Here are some pictures. 

February 19, 2012

Historic Bridge Park upgrade:  The North Country National Scenic Trail passes through this park in Emmett Township east of Battle Creek. 

A major oil pipeline rupture and resultant oil spill in Calhoun County in July 2010, which seriously contaminated the Kalamazoo River for miles, forced the park to be shut down during the cleanup operation.

Enbridge, Inc., the company responsible for the spill and for the clean-up, has gone an extra mile in an effort to demonstrate its desire to be a good neighbor.  One example of its effort is an impressive upgrade it has been working on in Historic Bridge Park.  We got a sneak preview.

Here are some pictures.

February 18, 2012

Kimball Pines work goes on:  Chief Noonday's certified chain-sawyers and their helpers were back at work in Kimball Pines in February.  We continued the post-storm cleanup that we'd been working on since last fall.

We made headway, but it's still a bit disheartening every time we go back there to see the extent of the storm destruction in the park.  That section of the North Country National Scenic Trail through the whispering tall pines will never be the same.  So we work on something new.

Check out the pictures.

December 10, 2011

Images from the Fall:  "Fall" in the autumnal sense.

The Webmaster has finally gotten around to rummaging through his predictably sizeable collection of pictures taken during Chief Noonday's activities from September through November 2011. 

Interesting programs at our Chapter meetings, a hike In November, awards from the NPS, valiant workdays they're all here.

Enjoy the pictures!

August 29, 2011

Events of August:  We haven't taken the summer off in Chief Noonday Chapter.  August saw us enjoying a bounteous repast at our Annual Potluck Picnic in Delton, celebrating the Trail with NCTA members from all across the Northern Tier States, and starting downed tree clearing at Kimball Pines.

See the item in the Trail LogClick here for the pictures.

May 29, 2011

Storm on the Trail:  A powerful storm featuring straight line winds 75-100 miles per hour hit the Battle Creek area during Memorial Day weekend.

Square in the center of the swath which the storm cut through Emmett Township east of Battle Creek was Kimball Pines County Park through which the North Country National Scenic Trail passes.  The Trail is now buried under hundreds of trees including the tall stately pines for which the park had been famous.

See the item in the Trail Log Click here for the pictures and take a moment of silence.

April 30, 2011

The April File:  In April 2011, Chief Noonday Chapter made the best of Michigan's version of Spring.

We ventured off the North Country National Scenic Trail for our monthly hike and walked around Sessions Lake in the Ionia State Recreation Area.

And we completed counter-erosion measures we'd initiated last fall at Fort Custer near Armstrong Road when we had re-routed a portion of the Trail.  This time took a further step in the project by putting in a puncheon.  Later we will probably re-position the kiosk.

Click here for the pictures.

March 27, 2011

Certified Sawyers:  Five Chief Noonday members and one Chief Baw Beese member received training toward NPS certification (or, in one case, renewed certification) as chain-sawyers the weekend of March 26-27.

The two-day program consisted of classroom work at Kellogg Forest and field instruction and practice in the Barry State Game Area under a special Use Permit issued by the DNRE.

Click here for the pictures.  See also the Trail Log item.

March 19, 2011

Sprucing up the Ott Biological Preserve:  Twelve able-bodied members of Chief Noonday Chapter and three new friends spent 5 hours of a beautiful Saturday replacing a bunch of broken rails and posts along two boardwalks over wetlands.

That was after they hand-carried a hefty supply of lumber and hardware for a mile from the trailhead to the work site.

But it was worth it.  The results were something to be proud of.  Neighbors and users of the Preserve should be impressed.

Click here for the pictures.  See also the Trail Log item.  

January 22, 2011

Log Box Building Bee:  We spent part of a mighty cold Michigan winter Saturday in Steve Hicks' cozy heated workshop at Saddlebag Lake doing trail work.  Sort of.  We built nine cedar trail log boxes based on a model developed, we believe, for the Finger Lakes Trail in New York State.

We ended up with ten boxes, counting a prototype built earlier by Steve based on plans and specs drawn up by Jeff Fleming.  Jeff had gone out on the trail and collected the data from a box that had already been up for years at W. K. Kellogg Experimental Forest.

According to the plan, these boxes would be mounted on trail kiosks in Chief Noonday's NCNST section during a February 19th workday.

Click here for the pictures.  See also the Trail Log item. 

September 21, 2010

Catching Up:  In recent months the Webmaster has learned the hard way that there is truth in a (remanufactured) adage, "The busier I be, the behinder I get."

Here is a catch-up gallery featuring pictures taken at several Trail-related events in late summer: the NCTA 2010 National Conference at Ashland, a workday in Lake County, a hike on the North Country Trail across the Straits of Mackinac called Bring on the Bridge! II, and rainy-day trail-building near Middleville.


Click here for the pictures. 

July 30, 2010

On July 29th the Webmaster got a chance to visit the area of this week's major oil spill in Calhoun County.  He saw firsthand how the spill impacted waterways in both Calhoun and Kalamazoo Counties.  And per his usual MO he took scads of pictures.

The North Country Trail runs directly alongside or crosses the Kalamazoo River in several places.  It is now closed in those places until further notice.

Click here for some more pictures.  See also the next panel below and our updated map of the impacted area. 


July 28, 2010

We've been used to hearing about oil spills for the past 100 days.  But this one in Calhoun County hits too close to home.

On Sunday or Monday, July 25-26, a pipeline south of Marshall spilled into a nearby stream.  And by midweek the impact was felt all along the Kalamazoo River almost to Galesburg in Kalamazoo County.

The North Country National Scenic Trail, which runs along the Kalamazoo River in several places, was directly impacted.

Click here for pictures.  Thanks to Tom Garnett for supplying these.  See also our Trail Log and our map of the impacted area.

November 14, 2009

  Kellogg Biological Station was again the scene of a busy morning of work put out by a singularly dedicated group of people.  And a tractor.

We planned to lower two kiosks to make the display boards more accessible to all, to stain the wooden stairway that leads up to the Trail from the parking loop by the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, and ... maybe ... erect a new third kiosk in the north portion of the re-route. 

And, believe it or not, we got all that done!  We could even have stained the kiosks ... if we'd had the stain with us.

Click here for pictures. 

September 26, 2009

A Partnership That Works! 

We had an unusual workday at Kellogg Biological Station

For one thing, we had our breakfast table set up literally on the North Country National Scenic Trail itself.  For another, with KBS staff we celebrated completing a stretch of trail which showcases KBS's work in dairy farming, and at the same time made virtually the entire NCNST in Kalamazoo County off-road.  And we had one of the biggest groups of workers we've ever had for a chapter workday.  It was a great day!

Click here for pictures. 

July 30 - August 2, 2009

Eight stalwart Chief Noonday members made their way to Valley City, North Dakota, and had a ball at this year's North Country Trail Association National Conference

Despite the travel distance entailed for many, this year's conference was one of the best attended ever.

There were plenty of hikes to go on, workshops to attend, people to share stories and insights with, fun things to do.

Click here for some of the 800+ pictures we took!

June 6, 2009

National Trails Day:  We built bridges of a different nature from our usual when we engaged in an energetic service project in Calhoun County's Historic Bridge Park

The paved North Country National Scenic Trail through the park doesn't require a lot of attention.  Instead nine Chief Noonday members joined four historic bridge buffs for a busy park clean-up and mowing project around the various park bridges and features.  It was a good demonstration of what can be accomplished by dedicated volunteers in support of the NCNST and county and local park programs.

It took us all morning, but we were proud of what we accomplished.

Pictures are here.

November 8, 2008

We greeted November with a busy double-header a hike in Portage, and a workday in Ft. Custer which proved considerably more complicated than we could have anticipated.  We seemed to come up against a conspiracy between Mother Nature and the beavers!

Click here for the pictures.

October 11, 2008

We built a bridge in Kimball Pines on this warm, mosquito-y October day.  We're not sure whether the creek it now crosses has a name, but this was definitely a "bridge to somewhere", facilitating the walk through the wetlands of this beautiful county park.  Now we'll see what the beavers think up by way of retaliation.... 

Click here for the pictures.

January 12, 2008

We don't seem to have this "winter hike" thing quite worked out yet.  Yes, that's Joe Higdon wading -- barefoot -- in January.  We hiked on Battle Creek's Linear Park pathway, parts of which were under water from a somewhat flooded Battle Creek River.  Joe decided to take the direct approach rather than detour with the rest of us wimps.  The day was nippy when we started out, but before long it was more like walking on a brisk spring day.

Pictures are here. 

November 3, 2007

We had gorgeous weather and a fine turnout of eager workers for our final workday of 2007 and our last day on the Trail through the John Gay property until spring.

We actually didn't quite have enough tools for everybody!

We re-benched and rebuilt about 300 feet of trail.

Pictures are here. 

October 13, 2007

We did something a little different for our Fall Color Hike this year.  For one thing, we ventured out of Chief Noonday's usual territory and into Hillsdale County where we hiked on the North Country National Scenic Trail in the Lost Nation State Game Area.

For another thing, we shared our hike with the Chief Baw Beese Chapter, which tends to that section of the NCNST.

Not to mention that one of our hikers was probably one of the youngest ever to participate in one of our chapter hikes.

Pictures are here. 

August 28, 2007

Chief Noonday Chapter was ably represented by Ron and Linda Sootsman and Tom and Maggie Momenee (& Blaze) at a special work project in the Upper Peninsula hosted by NCTA Director of Trail Management, Clare Cain, and Great Lakes Regional Trail Coordinator Bill Menke.

They camped and spent three days putting in bridges, benching and refurbishing the Trail.

Pictures are here.

August 18, 2007

A skeleton crew, dominated by representation from Clan Hawkins and the U. S. Coast Guard, worked on the trail through the John Gay property this month, re-benching and widening the trail through a hilly section.

There is still enough work remaining in the section for another workday in the fall.

Click here for the photographic evidence.

August 11, 2007

A small group of us, under the expert leadership of Charles Krammin, recently enjoyed a pleasant Saturday morning trail hike into the dunes of Saugatuck Dunes State Park and onto the shore of Lake Michigan.  It was worth the rather long drive from our more normal tramping grounds.

Here are pictures.   

August 2, 2007

It was kind of a long drive this year, but eight of us from Chief Noonday managed to complete the trek to Bemidji, Minnesota, the land of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, to enjoy the annual National Conference of the North Country Trail Association

And it was well worth the effort.

We're already looking forward to next year in Cazenovia, New York.

Here are pictures.   

March 17, 2007

On our sunny, crisp but nippy workday we installed two trail kiosks on the NCNST Battle Creek Linear Park pathway. 

The kiosks utilized a new light weight modular design engineered and single-handedly constructed by Chief Noonday member Josh Ritchie

That, coupled with a good turnout of zealous workers, got the job done in plenty of time for lunch.

Here are pictures.  


October 7, 2006

Our Fall Color Hike from the Augusta trailhead through Kellogg Forest, led by Joe Higdon, didn't exactly occur during the peak times for autumn colors in our region.  It's not easy to plan things like that in Michigan. 

But it was a beautiful day and a great hike nonetheless.

Here are pictures. 

August 9-13, 2006

NCTA's National Conference in Pennsylvania proved to be a great opportunity for eight members of Chief Noonday Chapter.  We hobnobbed with other enthusiastic supporters of the Trail hailing from all seven of the states through which the NCNST passes -- not to mention hiking in marvelous weather on the NCNST and other trails in the beautiful setting of the Alleghenies.  We even built some great trail.

Here are pictures.

July 29, 2006

Fourteen intrepid souls turned out for a pair of Summer Hikes sponsored by the Chief Noonday Chapter despite predictions of temperatures reaching into the 90's by noon. 

The hikes, hosted by hikemaster Jerry Pattok, took us a bit "off-trail" and through the Michigan Audubon Society's Ronald H. Warner and Robert & Mildred Otis Sanctuaries.

Even if it was a bit warm, it was a great day for hiking in these beautiful settings.

Here are some pictures. 


June 24, 2006

"Bi-location" was the name of the game this beautiful weekend for Chief Noonday Chapter, with a Workday in Barry County and Bridge Day at Historic Bridge Park in Battle Creek.  So while a trail crew of nine stained trailhead kiosks in the northern portion of the Chapter's coverage area, other members provided a presence at Bridge Day with a display of Chief Noonday's trailer and a literature table and fielded questions from interested visitors. 

Here's the photo evidence.

June 7, 2006

LaVerne BeBeau passed away at home on June 7 after a long illness.  LaVerne's profession was education and his passion was teaching, with a special interest in history.  He was a skilled researcher, as well as a self-taught naturalist, who put his talents to good use for the benefit of the Trail and the Chief Noonday Chapter.  We have a special page of reflections on LaVerne's life and his contributions to Chief Noonday Chapter and the NCNST.  LaVerne will be missed.

May 20, 2006

Spring Wildflower Hike: 
A good turnout of hikers enjoyed a highly informative walk through Yankee Springs under the impressively knowledgeable tutelage of Barb VanDyken, hikemaster, and Cal Lamoreaux. 

(Click here to see some pictures.)



May 13, 2006

  We had busy workdays on April 22 and May 13.  At Charles Krammin's farm we built three new kiosks under Charlie's capable direction.  Then on May 13th, utilizing sort of a "Rube Goldberg" but very workable device created by Charlie out of recycled farm equipment, we installed two of the new kiosks at Irving and at Kimball Pines.  (Photos by the Webmaster and Ron Sootsman)

(Click here to see some pictures.)



February 18, 2006

We arguably picked the coldest day of the season for our annual Winter Hike, this year a part of the Gun Lake Area WinterFest.  Thirteen people in two groups took part in the 5.2 mile hike from the M-179 trailhead to the Long Lake Outdoor Center.  And in spite of the cold, it was a good day and a great hike.  Joe Higdon (in the light colored parka) was hike master. 

(Click here to see some pictures.)



February 12, 2006

The North Country National Scenic Trail in Barry County's Prairieville is a road walk connector trail on Norris Road through town.  As you hike it, be sure to take a short side trip into the Prairieville Cemetery on the north side of the town, visit the Doster family plot near the northeast corner of the cemetery, and meet Ben, who's been guarding his mistress's grave for more than 100 years.

(Click here to read  this poignant story and see pictures.)


February 8, 2006

Bud Leonard gave a well-received presentation at the February 8th chapter meeting in Delton.  He drew on a whole lot of years' direct personal experience in the region, talking about Native American activities in the Wall Lake area.  (Click here to see the pictures.)


January 21, 2006

Thanks to a fine turnout of able-bodied workers, not to mention great weather, the installation of a new temporary footbridge at the Ft. Custer Recreation Area was essentially completed in one workday.  (Click here to see the pictures.  And click here to see a "before" picture of how you would have to cross the creek without the bridge.)

(Photos provided by Maggie Momenee and the Webmaster)

Click here for more pictures from prior to 2006.


(Please note:  if you have any trail photos to share, please send them to the webmaster)

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