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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Bicycle Trails in Michigan / Fred Meyer Berry Junction Trail, Little Traverse Wheelway, and more

May and June 2017

Little Traverse Wheelway ~ Petoskey, Harbor Springs, SW toward Charlevoix

The bicycle trails in the Petoskey area are some of our favorite ones to ride in Michigan. During this visit, we bicycled from Petoskey State Park to Harbor Springs one day, and from the state park to West Park beyond Bay Harbor the next. There is a short wood-chip trail from Tannery Creek campground to Little Traverse Wheelway. The information in this blog post goes along with previous blog posts about the Petoskey area: bicycle trails, brewery and winery visits, state park September 2015, state park May 2016, and KOA July 2013

View from East Park on Little Traverse Wheelway
It is a little over 20 miles from Petoskey State Park to Charlevoix. We rode as far as West Park, which was almost 11 miles one-way from our campsite. The ride was fairly easy, and there are several parks and benches along the way. You can enjoy a fabulous view of Little Traverse Bay from East Park where there is running water and flush toilets. There are not as many stops between East Park and West Park, as there are between the state park and East Park. West Park is located off the paved trail down a dirt road. This park has vault toilets, no running water, and no view. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Ocqueoc and Rogers City, Michigan: Ocqueoc Falls and underground river, 40 Mile Point Lighthouse, Huron-Sunrise Trail and downtown

June 2017

We visited the following sights from P. H. Hoeft State Park. You can find more information about the state park in my previous blog post

Ocqueoc Falls

Ocqueoc Falls and Little Ocqueoc [underground] River

It is just over 15 miles from the state campground to the falls. There is a state forest campground at the falls; however, we wanted to stay on Lake Huron and near the bicycle trail. Also, the road into the state forest campground is kind of narrow with low hanging branches - not the best situation, if you have a larger camper or 5th wheel.

Ocqueoc Falls

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Rogers City, Michigan / P. H. Hoeft State Park

June 2017, 4-nights, weekend-weekdays, campsites 21 and 121

Sunrise from site 21

Hoeft State Park  is located on Lake Huron about five miles north of Rogers City. There are a few campsites near the lake, although there is not much of a view from most of them. There are hiking and mountain bike trails in the park, and a paved bicycle trail in front of the park. The park also contains a playground, volleyball nets, a pavilion, and beach. You can find more information about amenities inside the park below, and I will have a separate blog post about some of the area sites: 40 Mile Point Lighthouse, Rogers City, Ocqueoc Falls, and Little Ocqueoc Underground River.

Arrival and check-in

The office was staffed when we arrived, and it only took a few minutes to get checked in for our campsite. We wanted to empty our holding tank and get fresh water when we arrived, and the sanitation station was easily accessible on the way  to our site after check-in.

Campsite 121

Campsites 121 and 21

When I made our reservation, I initially looked at the campsites near the water. It did not look like the water would be visible from any of the campsites, and these sites are mostly dirt, so I chose site 121. Campsite 121 is a good sized site, which is sunny, somewhat grassy, and private. There is a small patch of trees between sites 120 and 121. State Park Road runs behind this site, although traffic is not visible from the campsite. The traffic noise was minimal.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ionia Michigan / Ionia State Park Recreation Area, Fred Meyer Grand River Valley Trail, Steele Street Brewing

May 2017

All kinds of last minute trip changes for us this year! We had not planned to stay in Ionia State Park Recreation Area again so soon. Since we did, I am sharing some new travel info about the area. You can find more park details in my April 2017 blog post

Ionia State Park Recreation Area, campsites 77 - 82

We chose a site in the northeast loop near the equestrian campground this time, because the lakeview sites had all been reserved. The sites in this loop are also larger than most of the sites in the lakeview loop.

Site 81
Horse trail behind trees
We stayed on site 81, which was mostly sunny, mostly grassy, and slightly secluded. There are trees/bushes between site 81 and site 79. Site 82 is sunnier than site 81. Site 80 is directly across the road from site 81, although it does not look like it on the campground map. Click on the photo below to enlarge it and see more site details.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Mesick and Cadillac, Michigan / Jeep Blessing and Mitchell State Park

May 2017

We stayed at Mitchell State Park to attend the Jeep Blessing in Mesick, Michigan. This was our third stay at Mitchell State Park, and you can find more campground details in two of my previous posts: May 2016, and September 2014.  

Sunset view from back of campsite 180

Mitchell State Park: sites 174, 176, 179, 180, and 181 

We camped in a new area [for us] of the state park this visit, and I am sharing a few photos and information about some of the campsites in the channel area. Information that I shared previously concerning the facilities and amenities has not really changed any.

Sign at park entrance
We were camping during non-peak season, and there was not anyone working at the ranger station during our stay. The sign at the entrance said we could just proceed to our site, if we had a reservation (which we did). Pictures in this blog can be enlarged by clicking on them. The only new thing I observed about the facilities was a sign by the showers saying that the shower cost is $1 for non-campers. Must be they have a lot of non-campers using the showers!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

White Pine Trail and West Michigan Brewery Experiences ~ Brewery Vivant, Cedar Springs Brewing Company, Rockford Brewery

April 2017

At Brewery Vivant

Brewery Vivant

Brewery Vivant is a pretty cool place. The beer and food we have had has always been excellent, and this visit was no different. We shared the beer cheese pretzels and a "limited time" dessert, because the menu said the dessert paired well with Undertaker beer (which I was having). Everything was delicious, and we had our growler filled before we left. Brewery Vivant is located on Cherry Street near Eastown.

Taken from our table at Cedar Springs Brewing Company

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Interlochen, Beulah, and Lake Ann, Michigan / Lake 'N Pines Lodge, Lake Dubonnet State Forest Campground, and more!

May 2017, Weekend, 1-Night/2-Days

We had several places to visit in northern Michigan, which we decided to do in two days. We stayed overnight at Lake 'N Pines Lodge, we drove through the nearby state forest campground, and we visited Lake Ann Brewing Company and St. Ambrose Cellars. Following is information to assist future visitors.

Sunset from boat dock at Lake 'N Pines

Lake 'N Pines Lodge ~ Angler's Nook

We had a last minute change of plans at the time of our stay, and Angler's Nook was the only unit available at Lake 'N Pines. Pines Nature Suite would have been my first choice; however, that unit had already been rented for both weekend nights. Bay Chalet looks like an amazing unit, although it has a higher price than we would usually pay for a quick overnight (and, it was not available either). Definitely, if you are looking for a special weekend away, Bay Chalet would be the way to go. Angler's Nook is located on the ground floor beneath Pines Nature Suite.

Unexpected and nice surprise in the fridge when we arrived!
I have not included many pictures from our room at Lake 'N Pines Lodge because their website is very detailed and accurate. There is a floorpan for each unit along with several room photos on their website. I am including just a couple of photos showing a few unexpected amenities that I did not see listed on the website.