Placed by Kazoo Dog and Golden Retrievers Triscuit & Dewar; This box, formerly named Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery was renamed "Are You Going for Fish?" when it was checked and replenished on Aug. 5, 2004, with Triscuit & Chip. Adopted in May 2009 by pale puppy posse.
Very Easy Walking, Wheelchair/Dog Friendly (but dogs not allowed in visitor center)
Located about 8 miles west of the city of Kalamazoo on M-43, Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery, operated by the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources, is more than a fish hatchery. In addition to both indoor and outdoor fish rearing facilities that prodcue steelhead trout and Chinook salmon, lake sturgeon, walleye, northern pike, channel catfish and northern muskellunge, the hatchery has a visitor center and a nature trail system that winds around 11 earthen ponds on the grounds. The ponds range in size from two to 25 acres. The trail system, mostly dirt road-sized walkways (but quite well maintained), provides excellent opportunies for viewing a variety of birds and other wildlife as well as learning more about wetlands and other features of the hatchery. Still undergoing renovation, especially of the visitor center (about 2/3 completed, according to a staff member, Aug. 2004), the hatchery is a real gem for walkers and nature lovers. There is a nice paved parking area and no parking/entry fees (no picnic facilities). Dogs on leash are welcome. The hatchery is open throughout most of the year.
For more information, especially regarding hatchery hours and events at various seasons contact: www.michigan.gov.dnr.
The Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery is 6 miles west of US-131 on M-43 and is on Fish Hatchery Rd., just off M-43 on the south side of the road. M-43, of course, can be reached by driving either north (from I-94) or south (from the Grand Rapids area) from US-131.
Before starting on your quest for this letterbox, do check out the visitor center and the Show Pond (you'll be impressed with the quantity and the various sizes of the fish in this pond) where you can feed the fish (for a price). From the Show Pond sign, follow the curved path in a westerly direction, taking the path that leads a bit south through a small stand of pine trees and past a green-roofed structure on the northwest side of the path. Follow the path past the old fish pond and keep steady on this roadway, stoping now and then to enjoy the wildflowers, trees, birds and sounds of nature. When you reach the place of the dammed, continue in a westerly direction to the place of rest (about 31 paces) and continue westerly to the place where 7 is not heaven; here the road seems to end with choices to go left or right - and right is the way! From the concrete building, proceed to the wheelchair ramp (south side of the road). Walk 24 paces from the end of the ramp to a wetlands sign, continuing in a generally west direction, passing by a pond with a huge stand of cattails. At this pond, you'll find a wheelchair accessible raised platform where you can rest and view the wildlife. Continue westerly on the road from the raised platform. Just beyond the place where you are reminded that "it's a dog eat dog world", a dangerous 18 will jump out at you. Here you will follow the road that goes generally south until you spot 4-78, an unnatural wonder that stands only 3 feet tall; here you should take the right path until you reach the "Y" at the dieing pond. At the place of dieing, it's best not to be right. When you reach the crossroads of ponds, go in a southeasterly direction between two of four, the northwestern one known as a place of rearing, following the road that goes southeasterly until you come upon a still pond of teal. At this pond, read the information about this hidden water and then head generally southeast - about 14 paces - to a path that seems seldom-used (you can head only to your left to keep from walking a circle). Before heading on this forested, grass-covered pathway, make sure to protect against nasty mosquitoes! About 100 paces along this path, you'll discover Michigan's Gold -- but no letterbox treasure. Continue with hope, watching for the the "Y" about 28 paces past the Gold where a pond comes into view to the northwest. Pay no serious attention to that pond (except to enjoy the view), but stay on this grassy, bug-infested trail for about 84 paces more until you come to a bit of a clearing where the westerly path endes and goes either left or right. At this place, look to your right to find the place where about a 4" wide cyclone fence post meets the base of a vine. A camoflage-covered micro-letterbox is placed where the beginning of the vine meets the base of the fence post. Once you've found this letterbox, you can retrace your steps -- or you can walk from the cyclone fence toward the raised viewing platform in following your path back to the visitor center.
Definition: A step is just that, one foot forward; a pace is every other foot forward.
I estimate that this is about a 1-1/2-2-mile walk over easy terrain; do stop to enjoy all the sights.