South Long Lake Nature Area

Getting to the South Long Lake Forest Nature Area is a simple affair - just go down North South Long Lake Road (yes, North South Long Lake - I didn't make that up), a lovely winding road bordering the lake. There are signs to either side of the trails giving you a 500 foot warning that the parking area is coming up, which is quite handy - this would be a very easy place to blow by if you didn't know what you were looking for.

The parking area isn't large, but neither is the trail, so it shouldn't be an issue. Handy trail maps are available if you are feeling nervous about being in the deep woods of Grand Traverse county. Well, not really deep - houses and signs of civilization surround the trails, so if you get wildly turned out and off of the trail somehow, eventually, you'll run into somebody's backyard. And the trail is open to bow hunters, but not gun, so it's a good place to head during the thick of deer season

Even if you're directionally challenged, you shouldn't have any problem finding your way around. The trail is well-traveled, and is marked with maps at every intersection. In addition, you have Hiking Buddy to keep you company along the way: