The Hemlock Cathedral
Between of Manistique and Escanaba is a rare treasure in an area full of natural beauty. Leave U.S. 2 and take County road 513 south onto the Stonington Peninsula going toward where the Monarch Butterfly migration pauses. Travel about 7 miles to the Little Bay de Noc Recreation Area. Take the Maywood History Trail and you will reach an area called the Hemlock Cathedral.
stand of Hemlock trees survived the lumber boom of the turn
of the century and you can enjoy these 300 year old trees
today. The trail in is only a half mile or so and the quiet
and sense of wonder will stay with you for some time to
The name Maywood Trail dates from the 1800's when this stand
was first dubbed The Hemlock Cathedral.
The hemlock trees are enormous and tower up into the sky high overhead. Large stands of hemlock trees create their own climate. The evergreen canopy blocks the sun and wind making a hemlock forest warmer in winter and cooler in summer. This canopy also makes for wonderful hiking because the lack of sunlight inhibits dense undergrowth and brush.
The trail is an easy hike through the cool and silent forest. It swings around and comes back along Bay de Noc.. Hiking along the shore you can catch a refreshing breeze coming off Bay de Noc. The water today is about 15 feet shallower than it was before the area was discovered by Europeans.
I explored off the trail as well and it was worth it. Fantastic ground cover, mosses and fungi grew in great profusion. Ancient campsites and work areas have been discovered inland from where the shore once was.