Hangin’ in Hammocks: A Michigan Guide
The new millennial trend, hanging a hammock between two trees, is changing the way Michiganders relax, camp and sleep. Have you tried one yet?
Now-a-days it’s hard to walk through a college campus or public park without seeing one or two of these swinging seats hanging from the trees. The hammocks, which are comprised only of a thin nylon sheet and two paracords that stretch around the trees, are an easy and cheap way for everyone to “hang” outside.
Using time outside to read, do puzzles, chat with friends or even take a nap on your hammock are all simple ways to get outside and connect with nature. You can take your hammock anywhere that has trees: backpacking, a park, nature centers or your own backyard. Relaxing outside can also decrease stress and reduce anxiety, one of the reasons why hammocking has become so popular.
Sleeping in hammocks is so beneficial for your health, that some people have ditched their camping tent altogether. In comparison, tents often take a longer period of time to set up and can be a hassle to carry, where hammocks offer you flexibility and convenience. On average, it only takes about 8-10 minutes to tie up. Hammocks are even showing up at music festivals and weekend camping sites as an easy alternative.
The natural slope of the hammock has helped people sleep better but also helps individuals fall asleep faster and for longer amounts of time. Dr. Steven Park, a head and neck surgeon and member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, says ideal sleeping position is lying on one’s back, with the head slightly elevated about 10 to 30 percent, which is the natural position of a hammock. This sleeping style also optimizes blood flow to the brain and provides an unobstructed breathing pathway to your lungs.
Check out some of these Michigan parks that have scenic views as well as plenty of trees for you and your hammock:
- Adams Street Landing, Holland
- Bald Mountain Recreation Area, Lake Orion
- Bond Falls Scenic Site, Paulding
- Clark Lake, Watersmeet
- De Tour Peninsula Nature Preserve, De Tour Village
- Gilmore Park, Wiedman
- Huron-Manistee National Forests, Cadillac
- Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, Kalamazoo
- Luton Park, Rockford
- Maybury State Park, Northville
- Rainey Wildlife Area, Manistique
- Riverside Park, Ypsilanti
- Sharp Park, Lansing
- Sleepy Hollow State Park, Laingsburg
- Zemmer Park, Columbiaville
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What cool places in Michigan have you hung your hammock? Comment below.
Photo Credit: Andrew Malone (feature), Dana Blankenship, A Healthier Michigan (inset)