Meridian-Baseline Historic State Park (again)

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On Sunday, October 11 a historic marker was dedicated at the Meridian-Baseline Historic State Park as part of a 200th anniversary celebration of the surveying of Michigan.

I had done a ride to this park in November 2009 and wrote about it in an article titled Baseline-Meridian State Park.  At the time it was described as a landlocked park. There was no way to reach it without going through private property.  Since then the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has acquired land for a parking lot off of Meridian Road on the east side of the park, and for a path to the two surveyor markers where the meridian crosses the baseline(s).

It wasn’t going to be practical to ride my bicycle to the October 11 event, so instead I did a ride to the park on the Wednesday preceding.

In the corner of the Lee Township Hall parking lot

In the corner of the Lee Township Hall parking lot

On the way I stopped to take photos of the township halls in Lee Township, Calhoun County, and in Springport and Tompkins townships in Jackson County. These locations are indicated from left to right on the above map.  I currently don’t have my records organized enough to know how many township halls I have visited so far in 2015, but the ride to the state park was 62 miles, giving me 1686 miles for 2015 as of October 7.  (The total as of today is 1903.)

The wind was more or less in my favor on October 7.  All of the miles were on paved roads.

View from the Meridian-Baseline Park, facing east towards the entrance on Meridian Road.

View from the Meridian-Baseline Park, facing east towards the entrance on Meridian Road.

I arrived as the sun was going down and didn’t go beyond the parking lot, but it didn’t matter because four days later, on Sunday, we drove there for the program and got to see the park when the sky was bright and clear.

The piles of gravel were among the signs that the parking lot wasn’t quite ready yet for Sunday’s event.

Meridian-Baseline Historic State Park

Meridian-Baseline Historic State Park

There was no sign indicating that this was a state park.  But there was a DNR sign indicating that it was a State Recreation Area.  When we returned on Sunday the gravel parking lot had been made smooth and orderly, and there were prominent signs at the entrance indicating that this is indeed the Meridian-Baseline State Park.