From the parking area, proceed west (parallel to Seven Lakes Drive) on a woods road that goes through a picnic area, following the yellow blazes of the Menomine Trail. Just beyond a cable barrier, the trail turns right, climbs a slope, crosses a paved road (the entrance road to an abandoned parking area for the former Silvermine Ski Area) and enters a pine grove. On the right is a stone...
From the parking area, proceed west (parallel to Seven Lakes Drive) on a woods road that goes through a picnic area, following the yellow blazes of the Menomine Trail. Just beyond a cable barrier, the trail turns right, climbs a slope, crosses a paved road (the entrance road to an abandoned parking area for the former Silvermine Ski Area) and enters a pine grove. On the right is a stone marking the grave of James H. (“Scobie Jim”) Lewis, who once farmed the area now covered by Lake Nawahunta.
Follow the Menomine Trail as it crosses Seven Lakes Drive and continues ahead on a woods road, known as the Nawahunta Fire Road. After passing a cellar hole (believed to be the remains of the Lewis family home) on the left, you’ll come to a fork. Here, the yellow-blazed Menomine Trail bears left, but you should take the right fork, leaving the blazed trail and continuing on the unmarked woods road.
In another 700 feet, you’ll notice a small cairn on the right side of trail and an unmarked trail leading to the right. Here, in about 50 feet, is a rock cut angled into the hillside which marks the Lewis Mine (there are also scattered tailings – small pieces of discarded rock – in front of the mine). After exploring this interesting feature, continue ahead on the pleasant grassy woods road (built by the park as a fire road in 1954). The road climbs gradually for about a mile, then descends for a quarter of a mile.
At the base of the descent, turn sharply left (south) onto the aqua-blazed Long Path (heading north, the Long Path joins the fire road). Follow the aqua blazes through a low-lying area, with some wet sections. The trail crosses an underground stream, then begins to climb steadily.
After reaching a high point and descending a little, you’ll cross a relatively level area. A rock ledge marks the end of the level area. Here, on the left is the Stockbridge Cave Shelter – a natural rock overhang, with a stone fireplace built in.
The Long Path steeply climbs the ledge, levels off briefly, then climbs a little more to reach the northern summit of Stockbridge Mountain (elevation 1,320 feet). Just beyond, you’ll descend slightly to reach the stone Stockbridge Shelter, built in 1928. The Long Path now steeply descends a rock ledge and continues down to a level area, where a triple-yellow blaze marks the start of the Menomine Trail.
Turn left onto the Menomine Trail, which descends on an old woods road. It soon bears left and levels off, then turns right and resumes its descent. After leveling off, the trail passes through a pine grove and crosses the outlet of Lake Nawahunta. The trail briefly parallels the lake, then bears right onto the Nawahunta Fire Road, which it follows to Seven Lakes Drive.
Now retracing your steps, follow the yellow blazes across the road and back to the parking area where the hike began.Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 04/09/2009 updated/verified on 04/12/2020
This loop hike passes remains of an old settlement and a shaft of an iron mine and climbs to the Stockbridge Shelter atop Stockbridge Mountain.
Whether you are going for a day hike or backpacking overnight, it is good practice to carry what we call The Hiking Essentials. These essentials will help you enjoy your outing more and will provide basic safety gear if needed. There may also be more essentials, depending on the season and your needs.
Hiking Shoes or Boots
Water - Two quarts per person is recommended in every season. Keep in mind that fluid loss is heightened in winter as well as summer. Don't put yourself in the position of having to end your hike early because you have run out of water.
Map - Know where you are and where you are going. Many of our hiking areas feature interconnecting network of trails. Use a waterproof/tear-resistant Tyvek Trail Conference map if available or enclose your map in a Ziplock plastic bag. If you have a mobile device, download Avenza’s free PDF Maps app and grab some GPS-enhanced Trail Conference maps (a backup Tyvek or paper version of the map is good to have just in case your batteries die or you don't have service). Check out some map-reading basics here.
Food - Snacks/lunch will keep you going as you burn energy walking or climbing. Nuts, seeds, and chocolate are favorites on the trail.
Sunscreen and insect repellent
Rain Gear and Extra Clothing - Rain happens. So does cold. Be prepared for changing weather. Avoid cotton--it traps water against your skin and is slow to dry. If you are wearing wet cotton and must return to your starting point, you risk getting chills that may lead to a dangerous hypothermia. Choose synthetic shirts, sweaters and/or vests and dress in layers for easy on and off.
Compass - A simple compass is all you need to orient you and your map to magnetic north.
Light - A flashlight or small, lightweight headlamp will be welcome gear if you find yourself still on the trail when darkness falls. Check the batteries before you start out and have extras in your pack.
First Aid Kit - Keep it simple, compact, and weatherproof. Know how to use the basic components.
Firestarter and Matches - In an emergency, you may need to keep yourself or someone else warm until help arrives. A firestarter (this could be as simple as leftover birthday candles that are kept inside a waterproof container) and matches (again, make sure to keep them in a waterproof container) could save a life.
Knife or Multi-tool - You may need to cut a piece of moleskin to put over a blister, repair a piece of broken equipment, or solve some other unexpected problem.
Emergency Numbers - Know the emergency numbers for the area you're going to and realize that in many locations--especially mountainous ones, your phone will not get reception.
Common Sense - Pay attention to your environment, your energy, and the condition of your companions. Has the weather turned rainy? Is daylight fading? Did you drink all your water? Did your companion fail to bring rain gear? Are you getting tired? Keep in mind that until you turn around you are (typically) only half-way to completing your hike--you must still get back to where you started from! (Exceptions are loop hikes.)
Check the weather forecast before you head out. Know the rules and regulations of the area.
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
- Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
- Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
- Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
- Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
- Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
- In popular areas:
- Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
- In pristine areas:
- Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
- Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
- Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
- Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
- Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
- Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
- Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
- Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
- Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
The Trail Conference is a 2015 Leave No Trace partner.
(c) Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.