Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Lake Dubonnet

Mike Terrell - April 5th, 2010
Lake Dubonet offers a great pedal-paddle combo
By Mike Terrell
Last spring in early April it was one of those picture-perfect days for outdoor activities: warm and sunny. The only decision to be made was would I go mountain biking with my labs or opt for a paddle in my kayak minus the dogs.
Fortunately, there was a solution that would satisfy both – a trip to Lake Dubonet where I was able to ride the seven mile Lost Lake Pathway and paddle the scenic lake afterwards. Both my dogs and I were happy. The pathway runs by the boat launch and shaded parking area, which is located within the state campground. You bike and paddle from the same spot. What could be easier?
The Lost Lake Pathway has always been one of my favorite area trails for a nice, easy outing with great scenery. About a mile of the trail hugs the Lake Dubonet shoreline, and the remaining six miles of pathway meander through a landscape of transitional sinkholes created by glacial debris and melting ice deposits. It’s typical of how the glaciers helped form our regional topography.
The trail passes a couple of large blueberry bogs along the back part as it goes around the Lost Lake basin. They were, at one time, completely covered by the small lake remaining at the north end of the basin. In just a couple of centuries the water will probably completely disappear, which is the fate of small pit lakes that were created by the last glacier passing through here 10,000 some years ago. It’s hung on for quite a while.

At times the trail follows old railroad beds created during the logging era, a little over a century ago. Some of the beautiful red pine stands that you pass through are at least that old. They somehow managed to escape the logger’s ax.
At one point, the pathway had interpretive markers placed along the trail explaining the history, topography and nature of the area, but most are now long gone. Unfortunately, the DNR in cost-cutting moves never replaced them, but maps and post markers do still exist at most trail intersections. The well-worn pathway is fairly easy to follow, but you do have to pay attention. Forest roads and other trails do pass through the area.
The Shore-to-Shore horseback trail also passes through here crisscrossing the Lost Lake Pathway at least a couple of times. Luckily, horses weren’t have been on the hiking trail. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. The DNR needs to put up “no horse trail” signs at all the intersections. Horses are not permitted on the hiking/biking trail, but no signs detail this, and they sometimes stray onto the trail.
The earthen dam you cross a couple of times during the ride was created in 1956, forming Lake Dubonet. The stream flowing away from the dam is the formation of the Platte River. Prior to the dam there used to be two small lakes – Big Mud and Little Mud Lakes – that formed into one large lake when the dam was erected.

The lake is fun to explore by kayak or canoe. It was created to improve waterfowl and fishing habitat, which has proven to be successful. Dubonet is one of the best pan fishing lakes in the region. The north end of the lake, covered with old “ghost” forests, offers some interesting paddling as you work your way through the silent, gray trunks and small islands created by the flooding. There’s even a floating island.
A pair of loons has nested here for years and you can often hear their eerie call echoing across the lake in late afternoon. That wild call and mostly undeveloped shoreline could almost make you think you’re on a lake in the Canadian wilderness.
You’re not, but it’s a nice touch so close to Traverse City and Interlochen. Once you leave the campground on the hiking/mountain biking trails you won’t see any signs of development.

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