CraneFest XI  LbNA # 18291 (ARCHIVED)

Ownerpale puppy posse      
Placed DateOct 1 2005
LocationBellevue, MI
Found By weary travlers
Last Found Sep 15 2007
Hike Distance?

CraneFest XI

Due to Vandalism, all boxes are missing. Will be replaced soon

Did you know that the Sandhill Crane is Michigan's largest bird standing 5 feet tall with a wing span of up to 7 feet.
The Kiwanis Club of Battle Creek and the Michigan Audobon Society will provide opportunities to view hundreds to thousands of Greater Sandhill Cranes from 4 to 7 pm every Saturday and Sunday in October.

During these hours, the gates of the Kiwanis Youth Area, adjacent to Michigan Audobon's Baker Sanctuary will be unlocked and open to the public. This will be your only opportunity to get the Cranefest event stamp but the other stamp will remain as they will be placed in the Baker Sanctuary (Baker Lodge and Doty wildflower trail as well as meadow and marshland trail) which is open to the public year round. There will also be a roaming event stamp during the festival on Sat. Oct. 8th from noon till 4 pm or so. Look for someone with the special color of the crane. The festival is from noon to 7 pm on these two days. Lots of nature workshops and an art exhibit. Be sure and check out all the events going on by clicking on Cranefest XI at the beginning of these clues. After CraneFest, the event stamp will be hidden in this area until the end of Oct. when Kiwanis closes the door to the public.

Kiwanis Youth area: From I-69 turn west on N Dr. North (exit 42) Follow N Dr. North .5 mile to the blinker at Cornwell's Turkeyville. Turn North (right) onto 15 1/2 mile rd. Go 3.4 miles, (1 mile past Meadow and Marshland trail entrance) joining 15 mile rd. along the way.

Baker Lodge and Doty Native Wildflower trail: From I-69 turn west on N Dr. North (exit 42) Immediately turn north (right) onto 16 Mile rd. Go 3.2 miles to the sanctuary, veering left on Junction Rd. at the Garfield rd. intersection.

My directions:
Or go to exit 48 Bellevue, go towards Bellevue and not Olivet. Turn left at Ionia rd. Turn left at Junction Rd. The Sanctuary will be on your right. If you go straight instead of turning on Junction, you will come to T Dr. N. which veers right.. stay straight. The Kiwanis Youth area will be on your left.

Go to for a printable map.

Norm needed a hobby. So he decided that bird watching would be a great way to get back to nature.
So he headed out for CraneFest. He had heard what magnificant birds these Sandhill Cranes were and he was determined to spot one. Off he went to the Baker Sanctuary as he had been told that in October you could see them stop here on their migratory route. As he pulled into the driveway he could see what he thought was a house and thought he was in the wrong spot but it was merely the caretakers premises to use when he was there. He saw a turn around at the end of the road and a pavillion in the woods. He got out of his car taking with him all the things he thought he was going to need. Binoculars, bug spray, camera and his cool new hat. He found the beginning of the trail and started his new adventure.
The trail started out with wood chips but changed to a boardwalk further on. As this seemed to be marshy ground he could see why this would be helpful. There were many bird houses and dead trees and such. Great spots for birds to roost but not sandhill cranes. He continued along until he came across two benches. Now which way to go, he thought for a minute and decided he just couldn't go wrong here. He followed the trail past some mighty fine looking trees both alive and fallen rotted ones till he came across one that look like it had been splattered by an exploding pumpkin! He had been told once by someone that if you see two birds, one with bright colors you could probably follow its mate back to it's nest. The bright male was just a decoy. Maybe this could be a nesting spot for a sandhill crane.
Further down the trail he came across two birds who were born a year apart and died a year apart. What kindered spirits these birds must of been. Then across a bridge or two where he spotted a pair on his left and a pair on his right. He had read somewhere that some birds mate for life. He thought these mates where attached for all time. Could these be sandhill cranes?
Then he rounded the corner with four fingers in the air. He was testing to see which way the wind was blowing. Still he has not heard the haunting cry of the Sandhill Crane.
He did see some corn in the field. His friend Barb told him birds like to eat corn and one type like to roost in things that resembles cacti. Do sandhill cranes like cacti?
He was seeing lots of wild life just not the wild life he was seeking.
Getting discouraged he rambled on through a dark forest thinking he was never going to fulfill his quest of finding a Sandhill crane when he came across a connection. He just knew that it was now or never as he was about to head back to the car feeling elated or depressed. You decide.
Then he left to meet a friend at the Kiwanis Youth area. This is where CraneFest was being held. There she told him about the Meadow and Marshland trail. He was determined he would go on that trail next year!

To find the event stamp at the Kiwanis Youth Center go back to 15 Mile Rd and go south. Once there park in the parking area and head towards the buildings and the lake. Find the memorial to Dr. Lawrence Walkenshaw and travel past the Big Marsh Lake lookout. You will be heading on the Blue trail.
Go past the Shagbark Hickory, the White Oak, Red Oak and finally you will find a Quaking Aspen. Go right on the red trail. At the top of the hill next to the stump on your left go 8 steps to the wooden puzzle and find him there.