the hidden lakes of the manistee national forest

While the Manistee is named for the gentle yet dramatic river that flows through it, do you think serene lakes would be left out of the equation? The answer is no and the good news is that they're kinda secret! Which translates to a fun challenge in navigating to these melted glacial pockets.

Take the reins with the map and compass or let your guide take you through the back-country to a number of hidden lakes that dot a region along the North Country Trail. While we can hike along trail for a good portion, many of these lakes are tucked away - it'll be important to keep your head up for landmarks, and to see the beautiful forest that surrounds us.

Bouncing from lake to lake we can make camp at any one. Swim, reflect, explore. There is so much to experience in a place as rich as the hidden lakes its not hard to make a trip out here a weekend to remember...and revisit. 

Deploy: Stay in school, but take Friday off so we can rally at Osmium Coffee, 1117 W Belmont, Chicago. Rise and shine, buck-o! 6:15 a.m. meet, 6:30 a.m. peddle to the metal.

Embark: Discovery awaits the team at 1:00 p.m. Eastern

Return: This one's a double, returning Sunday around 4:00 p.m. Central

Make it a triple and return Monday, 2:00 p.m. Central

$400/person for a two night pleasure journey

$550/person for a rejuvenating three nights of pure natural connection

Includes full outfitting, transportation and trail snacks.