The Arboretum trail has been abandoned by the Forest Service. The directions are being left here for any who might want to try to follow the former pathway.
This Arboretum was planted in the Manistee National Forest in the 1930's to compare how various species of trees from throughout the world would grow in the local climate. Some of them have survived and thrived. Others are hard to find. The interpretive signs have been removed which is a shame, because they were written by someone with a cute sense of humor. This was a wonderful treasure that is practically unknown, but the Forest Service is abandoning it, and will no longer be maintaining the trail.
The description begins at the parking lot. Turn left onto the loop to follow the numbers in order. There used to be fifteen amusing interpretive signs which have been removed. This trail is no longer being maintained.
In order the species which used to be interpreted are: 1 Scotch Pine, 2 Pinon Pine, 3 Balkan Pine, 4 White Pine, 5 Red Pine, 6 Pitch Pine, 7 White Spruce, 8 Norway Spruce, 9 Blue Spruce, 10 Black Cherry, 11 Jack Pine, 12 Hemlock, 13 Darvian Larch, 14 Austrian Pine, 15 overview. There are other species planted there as well which may be found by their plot signs (Red Cedar, Table Mountain Pine, Douglas Fir, White Cedar, and many deciduous trees.
There are three benches located at intersections. The trail from points 12-13 follows along Pine Creek. The interpretive signs were posted quite a few years ago, so the trees they describe have grown, changed, and occasionally died.
Access- Park at the Trailhead at the corner of Pine Lake and Bosschem Roads. The trail begins and ends there.
Restrictions- Dogs must be leashed, no motor vehicles.
Distance and time- About 1 mile total. Plan on time to read the signs. You can walk the outer loop in about 20 minutes
Trail Markers- none
Treadway- wide forest trail, hardened with gravel compressed into the soil, level and stable
Marking- some planting lot markers throughout
Ecosystem- flat, planted tree plot beside a small creek. Trees from around the world were planted here in the 1940's as a growth experiment
Other points of interest- You could go exploring for examples of some trees which don't seem to have survived near their interpretive signs
Most recent date this info personally checked on foot- November 2011
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Skiing- The trail is level and wide- would be a good place for novice skiiers to practice, although there are a few downed trees to get around.
Handicap Accessibility- This trail is wide, flat and hardened, and could be used by someone in a sports wheelchair. There were a couple of large trees down when I was there, but if the Forest Service would clear these it would be a wonderful place to visit.
Additional Facilities- none
Seasonality- parking probably not plowed in winter
Maintained by- Huron-Manistee National Forest The trail has been abandoned by the Forest Service Contact:
Manistee District Ranger Station
412 Red Apple Road
Manistee, MI 49660
Trail Condition Report by Geoffrey Horvath, April 18, 2011. I hiked the Arboretum on April 16, 2011 and it is in sad conditions. Downed trees which appear to have been down for some required leaving the trail at several locations. Probably half the tree type markers are missing. Little or no indication the FS is doing any maintenance.
Comment by Admin- April 18, 2011. Yes- the FS has abandoned it. I need to get back there and see if the route is even passable. Thanks for the poke to do so.
Turn south off of M-55 on Bosschem Road, just west of Wellston. Go south one mile, turn east on Pine Lake Road and the parking lot is immediately on your right. Parking for many vehicles.