This is the entrance to the tree farm off the Bloody Antler Trail. After nearly three miles of being under a thick canopy of trees, we emerged into a Christmas tree farm that was set in an open field quite close to the old Elk Highway. That is a seldom used dirt road in the Manistee National Forest.

The kids of the Hoffman Estates Boys Club began exploring the field and were also amazed at all the stars they could see in the heavens above. Now there was no canopy of trees to block that view. The field itself was about two hundred yards long before the Bloody Antler Trail resumed under another thick canopy of trees on the other side of the field.

Chris and Alan searched for any form of animal life but with all the noise the boys were making not many animals could be found. I told the boys we were not all that far away from Bear Swamp and the kids were not too excited about going there. At the tree farm I did tell them a bear story but then we headed back out the way we came because it was just after midnight and we still had a two hour hike back to our property.

Some day I may take a full day’s hike down the Elk Highway to where it intersects with Free Soil Road and then back to Big Bass Lake Road. That would be an interesting hike to consider on future trips.