I was minding my own business, biking on the path that runs parallel to US31 between Charlevoix and Petoskey, when I noticed a parking lot across the street. Clearly a trailhead, I crossed the street (looking both ways, of course) and found Susan Creek Nature Preserve. How could I resist a trailhead, and one with an empty parking lot?
With a little over two miles of trails, the nature preserve is a nice, brief walk in the woods. The trail led back into a lightly forested area, and I shortly came to a fork in the trail. I took the long way which led along a pond and deeper into the lightly wooded area. It was a healthy mix of trees, with plenty of birch and cedar to give it that "Up North" feel.
The trail led to what appeared to be an old train track bed, very straight and raised above the surrounding forests. I followed this trail for several minutes before it ducked back into the woods. The trail is not heavily used, and there was a spot where you really had to pay attention to make sure you stayed on the trail.
Into a marsh the trail led, with planks providing a way over the water. But just barely. It had been a wet spring, and water was high, and several of the planks dipped underneath the marsh as I hurried across. But I made is safely – and almost completely dry – to my awaiting bike for a continued trip on the bike path.