Updated: Nov 14
Winters in the UP can be harsh, but on the few days that the sun peaks out, I pack up my snowshoes and head outside. Tory's Woods offers a serene escape from the crowds and loud multi-use trails of Marquette. Here, the trees above my head hang with boughs of glittering snow and ice while my feet avoid meandering puddles where the wetland makes itself known. Peering to the slushy pools, I can see a glimpse of spring leaves and moss sitting in suspense. A welcoming archway appears a few yards from the trailhead and I enter into a tunnel of conifers. Following the yellow trail markers, I see I share this path with deer and hares as their tracks appear pressed alongside mine. Deeper into the forest, I marvel at massive trunks littered with lichens and excavated by woodperkers. The cool air is fresh, the winter wind is soft, and at times, I think I can hear Lake Superior crash about half a mile away. Every January, this place is my paradise. I'm so grateful for the Parlins and UPLC, who recognized the magic of this land and protected it. It gives me peace of mind to know that no matter what happens in our lifetime, there is a place like Tory's Woods quietly refuging wildlife and growing taller and more wild.