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Backpacker Magazine – November 2012

Trail Mix: Great November Hikes in the Central U.S.

Your region's go-now guide: Perfect days in Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and Tulsa.

Wolf Creek Falls (Photo by Joe Mamer)
Wolf Creek Falls (Photo by Joe Mamer)
Devil's Lake (Photo by Donnelly-Austin)
Devil's Lake (Photo by Donnelly-Austin)

Pack Your: Ghost Stories
Take a night hike around a wildlife-haunted lake in Sleepy Hollow State Park, MI

You’re not likely to find headless horsemen riding the trails of this 2,678-acre park two hours from Detroit, but it’s still the perfect setting for a spine-tingling autumn outing. According to Greg Tasker, author of Five-Star Trails Ann Arbor and Detroit, the park is named after an I.B. Crane who lived nearby—a loose association with the hero in Washington Irving’s classic tale. “This wooded oasis was once farmland, so you can see remnants of old homesteads along the trails,” he says. But the adventure isn’t all in the name: This is one of the region’s best areas to see wildlife, including deer, coyote, wild turkeys, migrating waterfowl, bald eagles, and even black bear. Hike an 8.8-mile loop around wooded Lake Ovid, starting from the parking area just outside the campground, which closes for the season on October 20. Leave an hour before sunset to catch wildlife at their crepuscular peak, and so you can finish in the dark. Then gather at the fire ring in the (sure-to-be-empty) East Picnic Area for s’mores and your best creepy tales, made extra eerie by the abandoned campground. Need a boost to your storytelling prowess? See our scary-tale tips at Trip ID 1509233

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