Shufflin’ off to Osseo

Nothing like a good long hike to end the turkey day weekend. The GG researched today’s trip to a section of the North Country Trail between Hillsdale and Osseo, that would be WSW of us. We were well along the way across US12 before the sun came up. US12 was once the main route between Detroit and Chicago but now we have the I94 18-Wheel Clogway. The plan was to find some sort of breakfast joint in Hillsdale and then locate the trailhead.

As we were driving into Hillsdale we were seeing fast food joints and Google Maps would only give me Subway when I searched for breakfast restaurants on Google Maps. Subway leaves me kind of cold for some reason but that’d be a whole ‘nother post. When we got to the small but beautiful downtown, the GG noticed cars parked on one street and bingo, there was the Palace Cafe. I wasn’t “with it” enough to take a photo but what a fantabulous little place. Fast, friendly, attentive service and I loved my *2*-egg spinach-feta omelet so much that I boxed half of it. You know what I’ll be having for breakfast tomorrow!

The Hillsdale Courthouse (below) is the best I could do to capture the city of Hillsdale. If we ever do that portion of the NCT trail again (and maybe we will), I will reserve some time to wander around the downtown a bit.


The GG had researched where the trailhead for the NCT was located and we had that on the GPS and other devices but we still had some difficulty finding it. We finally found a trailhead for the Baw Beese Trail. It was in the vicinity of the NCT trailhead. It didn’t look like any NCT trail I’ve ever been on but we parked and set off. We began on a big paved path, walking past a couple of lakes and municipal parks (thank you Hillsdale for keeping your municipal park outhouses open). Our trail became gravel and then narrowed and we saw a clumsy blue blaze. Eventually, a couple miles into the trip, we crossed a paved road and saw our first North Country Trail signs. I can’t describe it exactly but it felt like home.


I had been skeptical about actually walking to Osseo. I am embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t familiar with the town of Osseo before today. Osseo is below.


I do not know Osseo’s history in any kind of comprehensive way. Apparently a couple of fireworks factory explosions made the news a while back. When we first encountered this memorial, we were kind of wondering TWO explosions??? Really??? Yes… … …


I am going to guess Osseo has seen better times, maybe when the railroad was running through it. We were walking on a [very old] railroad grade today.

After we walked back to Hillsdale, we drove back over to Osseo and saw from the road this rather rickety bridge that we had walked over during our hike. It was not really all that scary walking over but I was thinking about what our friends in the Hiawatha Shore-to-Shore NCT chapter might’ve thought about that bridge. I loved the portion of trail we walked today but I could hear Stan saying something like, “We need to replace that bridge.”


From there, we took good paved back roads east and north in and out of farm fields and the hills of the Great Lake State’s glacial moraine until we finally merged back onto US12 through the Irish Hills, over to Saline, and up Wagner Road to our loverly home on the northwest side of the Planet Ann Arbor.

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