A Little Bit of Sweden LbNA # 52272
|Owner||Tiptoe & Tonto|
|Placed Date||Feb 21 2010|
|Last Update||Jul 1 2015|
“A little bit of Sweden” can be found in southwest Michigan. Find the bakery on the Red Star Highway in Harbert, MI that gives a nod to the Scandinavian country. Looking south from the bakery sign, you will see Harbert Road across the Highway. Take this east for 1.6 miles to the Forest Preserve parking lot on the right just past the I-94 overpass. Park in the provided parking area. Please make sure boxes are carefully sealed - we had to use several types of boxes - several with screw tops that need to be carefully threaded to keep water out. Thanks for enjoying and taking care of our salute to all things Swedish. We hid these boxes in the snow. Our guess is that it can be muddy and wet in other seasons.
Head south on the trail following signs pointing to the “preserve” that will bring you to a simple pavilion with four benches in about 5 minutes. Standing under the pavilion, take the short path to the east and immediately you will have to make a choice. Go right on the oak trail in search of the great Swedish American poet, Carl Sandburg. Sandburg actually lived in Harbert for 15 years where he wrote most of his pulitzer prize winning account of Abraham Lincoln. You will go up a small embankment and continue heading south until you come to a “T” which shows a sign for the forest trail going in the direction you just came from. Remember this junction - henceforth known as the “Swedish Junction”.
Head right at this junction. Shortly you will approach a “Y”. Take the left leg and follow into the evergreen forest. Follow the trail until you spy a post on the left with a black arrow. Another 48 steps will bring you to a point that a 280 degree reading will point to a 6-trunk evergreen about 20 steps off trail. Carl can be found resting at it’s base.
What’s that singing you hear? Ahhhh... the Dancin’ Queen is calling you to go back to the “Swedish Junction”. Go straight through the junction following the yellow signs for about 5 minutes until you come to a large oak tree on the right with a yellow tipped post coming from it’s roots. Looking across the path you will find the souvenir from the ABBA concert in the middle backside of the fallen one tucked behind a pullout section of the log. Beware there is some barbed wire in the area.
Swedes are known for their beautiful women, and one of the most famous was actress Greta Garbo. Along with this, Swedes love their coffee! What do these two things have in common? Both are quite hot! From the souvenir continue on the trail looping around passing several yellow flagged posts for another five minutes until you spy a 4 foot stump on the left that has been riddled by woodpeckers. Just ahead a few steps will be a post on the right with an arrow pointing to the sky. You will also be surrounded by several giants. Standing at the post, look due south to a large 2-trunk tree. Around back you will find Greta enjoying her coffee. Be careful the coffee pot is hot!
All this walking makes you hungry. Nothing more filling than the famous Swedish smorgasbord - to find the mainstay Swedish meatball follow your nose on the trail until you spy an orange “Private Property No Trespassing” sign on the right. Continue on the trail for 45 more steps to a large tree also on the right. An old metal stake in front of the tree will let you know that dinner is close by. Take a peek behind - nestled in the roots for the savory treat.
Swedes must be natural letterboxers. They are known for their wood carving especially their famous red decorated Dala horse. Continue on the trail and return to the center of the pavilion. Find out what class (year) honored Elizabeth. Take that many (year) steps on the trail to the north. You should be spying the back of a “No Hunting” sign on your right. From that sign take the same (year) compass reading to spy a large 2-trunk tree that is the elusive corral of the Dala. (NOTE: Dala stamp has split in half, but still there)
Continue heading north on the trail back to the parking area.
“A Little Bit of Sweden” will take about 45 minutes to an hour to complete - depending on how quickly you can stamp into the boxes and re-hide appropriately.