Upper Midwest airfields near good hiking trails

DeadStick

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DeadStick
I'm looking for some recommendations on locations within 400 nm from Chicago that are close to hiking (or have courtesy-cars that could drop off/pick-up at trail heads nearby). As an example, I like to hike/camp in the Porkies in the UP, and there's a small airport nearby in Ontonagon, but I don't know the kind of transit options from that airport and there isn't really Uber or taxis in that region.

Any suggestions, especially ones you've been to yourself, would be much appreciated!
 
5D5 and 59M have hiking nearby. not many services. 5D5 has bikes if you know the Michigan code. KMCD has lots of hiking too. No cars but services are nearby in town. Then there's 6Y1, 6Y3, 2P2 (hike to beach nearby count?), and 4R5. There used to be a guy at 4R5 that left his Jeep for pilots to borrow for a full tank of gas, but worst case there are bikes available at the airport.
 
North Fox Island has some trails and great scenery.
I've heard about this little island chain and it's def on my bucket list. Have you been there? Any advice?

5D5 and 59M have hiking nearby. not many services. 5D5 has bikes if you know the Michigan code. KMCD has lots of hiking too. No cars but services are nearby in town. Then there's 6Y1, 6Y3, 2P2 (hike to beach nearby count?), and 4R5. There used to be a guy at 4R5 that left his Jeep for pilots to borrow for a full tank of gas, but worst case there are bikes available at the airport.
Thanks for these suggestions. I confess that I don't know the Michigan code, unless it's **** Ohio.
 
I've heard about this little island chain and it's def on my bucket list. Have you been there? Any advice?


Thanks for these suggestions. I confess that I don't know the Michigan code, unless it's **** Ohio.

Bring bug spray to North Fox Island. Also, make sure you shut your master off. It's hard to get any cell service on the island.
 
Just hearing North Fox Island gives me goosebumps. On my bucket list...but a bit of sinister history
 
Just hearing North Fox Island gives me goosebumps. On my bucket list...but a bit of sinister history
I hadn't heard about this, but just looked up the history and all I can say is holy hell that is nuts.
 
Just hearing North Fox Island gives me goosebumps. On my bucket list...but a bit of sinister history
Are you scared to go to, I don't know anywhere in the world, as well?

I mean we're talking about **** that happened 50 years ago.
 
Are you scared to go to, I don't know anywhere in the world, as well?

I mean we're talking about **** that happened 50 years ago.
Nope. Said it was still on the bucket list. Most places I don't know the history. So blissfully ignorant.
 
I’m sure there are good and bad times of year for North Fox Is. The time we went there, the approach, landing, and departure were unspeakably cool. So were the people we met. But, man, the mosquitos on the hiking trail were unbelievable. So were the snakes on the runway — the grass fairly undulated with them. I wouldn’t have camped there at gunpoint. But maybe it was just the wrong time of year.

The place would be greatly improved by the introduction of a couple of pairs of foxes, bats, and purple martins.
 
I’m sure there are good and bad times of year for North Fox Is. The time we went there, the approach, landing, and departure were unspeakably cool. So were the people we met. But, man, the mosquitos on the hiking trail were unbelievable. So were the snakes on the runway — the grass fairly undulated with them. I wouldn’t have camped there at gunpoint. But maybe it was just the wrong time of year.

The place would be greatly improved by the introduction of a couple of pairs of foxes, bats, and purple martins.
This is exactly the kind of info I'm looking for, thank you! I can look up the AirNav reports on these runways, but nothing in there will call out "Warning: Island full of snakes".
 
It’s worth noting that there are (supposedly) no venomous snakes in Michigan.
 
It’s worth noting that there are (supposedly) no venomous snakes in Michigan.
https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/education/michigan-species/reptiles/massasauga- unusual to run across. I keep hoping but so far no sightings.

Two Hearted may be a fun camping choice also- https://theraf.org/featured-airstrip-two-hearted-mi/

If I had a float plane, I'd be tempted to pop up to Copper Harbor or somewhere else in that area.

The courtesy car situation in Harbor Springs is completely top notch. We've been able to get their car for both a day of biking at Highlands, and snowboarding (different day of course!) at Nubs Knob. If you found trails nearby, I'm sure getting one of their cars would be fairly trivial.
 
This is exactly the kind of info I'm looking for, thank you! I can look up the AirNav reports on these runways, but nothing in there will call out "Warning: Island full of snakes".
I've walked to the entire Island four to five times and I've seen a total of four snakes - two over by the old burned down remnants and two in the woodpile.

Since the grass gets cut regularly they arent on the runway anymore.

Been there in May June July and October twice.
 
Are you scared to go to, I don't know anywhere in the world, as well?

I mean we're talking about **** that happened 50 years ago.

He didn’t say anything about being scared or not going there, he said goose bumps. Would you not get goose bumps going to, say, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial? Arlington National Cemetery? Would you be whistling a happy tune and skipping thru Auschwitz? Seems like a perfectly normal reaction to horrible events that happened, oh, about the same time u were born ;) (I guess that IS a long time ago)….


I get the heebie jeebiea thinking about it too, but I’d still go.
 
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He didn’t say anything about being scared or not going there, he said goose bumps. Would you not get goose bumps going to, say, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial? Arlington National Cemetery? Would you be whistling a happy tune and skipping thru Auschwitz? Seems like a perfectly normal reaction to horrible events that happened, oh, about the same time u were born ;) (I guess the IS a long time ago)….


I get the heebie jeebiea thinking about it too, but I’d still go.

No. It's not like there is some monument or memorial there. I mean go look at the number of sex offenders that live around (pick any address in the country), but we don't get all weird about that.


Maybe I take it a little because I saw how much my dad busted his ass and how many months and months he had to go through to try to get that open and every time it comes up on here all people do is **** on it.

Every time we go to the South we better get goosebumps and Woe Is Me In The Sky Is Falling because 200 years ago somebody had a slave on some property we drove across thats now an interstate.
 
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I've walked to the entire Island four to five times and I've seen a total of four snakes - two over by the old burned down remnants and two in the woodpile.

Since the grass gets cut regularly they arent on the runway anymore.

Been there in May June July and October twice.
That’s good to know. We were there in 2019, and saw dozens of snakes and lots of snake-attributable grass movement. Hopefully it’s better now.
 
No. It's not like there is some monument or memorial there. I mean go look at the number of sex offenders that live around (pick any address in the country), but we don't get all weird about that.


Maybe I take it a little because I saw how much my dad busted his ass and how many months and months he had to go through to try to get that open and every time it comes up on here all people do is **** on it.

Every time we go to the South we better get goosebumps and Woe Is Me In The Sky Is Falling because 200 years ago somebody had a slave on some property we drove across thats now an interstate.

Nobody said anything about the effort your dad and others put in there. I’m pretty sure everyone who knows the work they do is extremely grateful for it. I understand your point but I haven’t heard a single person say they weren’t going there due to its history, and pretty much dropped it after saying some form of “eww”.

If I’m going somewhere new I always research it. Learning about the history of places is part of the journey.

Ok when’s the north fox island fly in?
 
Dammit! Now I’ll just flour bomb the place when u guys are there. Oh and drop a lot of snakes over your tent.
Real talk:
A sizeable group from 6Y9 usually makes the hop over to North Fox.

Now, what they do there, I don't know...
 
A friend of mine, her family has a parcel on Detroit Island. I think I've finally convinced her flying would beat driving, so planning a trip to 2p2 this summer.
 
For the record, I did say North Fox was on my bucket list. The effort that was put into places like that is not lost on me and I'm eternally grateful for people that sacrifice to keep things around or bring them back for the rest of us to enjoy.
 
Bring bug spray to North Fox Island. Also, make sure you shut your master off. It's hard to get any cell service on the island.
PIREP: On verizon the service got usefully better in the past year. Used to be I would have to walk to the Beaver side of the island to get any signal. Last summer I was getting two bars, enough to actually make a phone useful, from the fire ring.

For the bugs, yeah, they are sometimes so bad that they might carry you off, so bring deet. However, having been there probably 15 times, I'll say that the bug pressure has only been bad enough to make it un-fun on one occasion.

The snakes are there and you'll see them. I think it's pretty cool that they are so successful once given a space to live where they aren't getting dispatched by a shovel every time a human sees them.

Just hearing North Fox Island gives me goosebumps. On my bucket list...but a bit of sinister history
Yeah, if it bleeds it leads. Everyone knows the story and seems to feel they have to talk about it. I will say, the most mature thing I've ever heard on that subject was from a teenager who heard an age appropriate version of it around the campfire, sighed deeply and said, "well, it wasn't the islands fault. I'm still glad to be here."

I’m sure there are good and bad times of year for North Fox Is. The time we went there, the approach, landing, and departure were unspeakably cool. So were the people we met. But, man, the mosquitos on the hiking trail were unbelievable. So were the snakes on the runway — the grass fairly undulated with them. I wouldn’t have camped there at gunpoint. But maybe it was just the wrong time of year.

The place would be greatly improved by the introduction of a couple of pairs of foxes, bats, and purple martins.

I've heard about this little island chain and it's def on my bucket list. Have you been there? Any advice?


Thanks for these suggestions. I confess that I don't know the Michigan code, unless it's **** Ohio.
Yep. I've been there a bunch. I've probably stayed there a total of a couple months. Last few years I've been bringing my internet connection and telecommuting from there for a week at a time when I can. Something that hasn't been mentioned yet is that there are multiple shipwrecks visible while flying around the island.




 
A friend of mine, her family has a parcel on Detroit Island. I think I've finally convinced her flying would beat driving, so planning a trip to 2p2 this summer.
I just went to 2P2 Thursday and Friday. Longest trip from home for me so far. Used a folding bike to ride me and my camping gear to Jackson Harbor and spent the night on Rock Island. Washington Island is ok, but Rock Island was very neat. After the last evening ferry it gets pretty quiet.

The airport was fine, big grass runways, tie down spots near picnic tables, two courtesy bikes I did not use, courtesy van I did not use, and a $15 per night tie down fee.
 
Not sure if Two Harbors (KMTW?) Is too far. Just north of Duluth. Last we were there they had 2 cars and you could call ahead to reserve one for the day. Nice long runway too. Then various hiking spots along the North Shore via the car.

Madeline Island also seems to be popular.
 
If you want something more urban, we have very good hiking trails on Rib Mountain in the state park here in Wausau, with abundant hotels and restaurants nearby. You can easily get an Uber or Lyft ride from the airport (KAUW). There is also the relatively level Mountain-Bay Trail from Rib Mountain to Green Bay, about 85 miles of former railroad track, and also the very wooded Ice Age Trail. It's not Fox Island or Washington Island, but it is not Grand Island or Manhattan Island, either.

And well within your range.
 
Define "hiking." We have a 20+ mile walking trail that goes right by my airport in central IL.
 
I'm looking for some recommendations on locations within 400 nm from Chicago that are close to hiking (or have courtesy-cars that could drop off/pick-up at trail heads nearby). As an example, I like to hike/camp in the Porkies in the UP, and there's a small airport nearby in Ontonagon, but I don't know the kind of transit options from that airport and there isn't really Uber or taxis in that region.

Any suggestions, especially ones you've been to yourself, would be much appreciated!
Plenty of hiking in the close vicinity of the Lake of the Ozarks airports. KAIZ and K15 both have trailheads within a 5 minute drive of the airport. You may also enjoy Ha Ha Tonka, down a little closer to KOZS.
 
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