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Backpacker Magazine – February/March 2013

Trail Mix — Central — March 2013

Your region's go-now guide: Explore ice caves on Wisconsin's Apostle Islands, overnight in peace in northern Missouri, and more.

by: Sarah L. Stewart (From the Field), Paul Chisholm (Secrets), Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan (See This Now), Ryan Pinkard, Rachel Zurer

Nordhouse Dunes Trail (Photo by Lars Jensen)
Photo by BP0313TRIPC_TM_Jensen_Nordhouse_bjk_445x260.jpg
Nordhouse Dunes Trail (Photo by Lars Jensen)
InstaWinner Douglas Cornell: Custer State Park's granite needles (Photo by Douglas Cornell)
Photo by BP0313TRIPC_TM_Cornell_Custer_bjkINSTAGRAM3_445x260.jpg
InstaWinner Douglas Cornell: Custer State Park's granite needles (Photo by Douglas Cornell)

Perfect Days

Grand Rapids, MI
Nordhouse Dunes Trail
Snowshoe this 9.5-mile modified loop through hemlock forest and across wide-open dunes with views of Lake Michigan. Then head to Ludington’s Mitten Bar (; 231-843-7616), which only serves brews made in-state. Trip ID 1996469

Cincinnati, OH
E Trail
This 8.4-mile out-and-back just 10 minutes from downtown connects a handful of wooded hills and stream-carved valleys in Mt. Airy Forest. While you’re in the area, grab a cone and a burger at Putz’s Creamy Whip, an 80-year-old, family-owned stand (; 513-681-8668; opens for the season in late March). Trip ID 8210

Houston, TX
Richards Loop, Sam Houston NF 
Take advantage of mild winter temps to wind through loblolly forest—where you may spot overwintering bald eagles—on this 6.4-mile loop. Then fish for largemouth bass and crappie on nearby Lake Conroe ( Trip ID 32375

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