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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Petoskey, Michigan / State Park Tannery Creek Campground & Area Information

May 2016, Weekdays, 3-nights, Site 164

View from site 164
I shared information about our stay when we camped in Petoskey State Park on lots 138 and 168 in September 2015. In this post, I am providing information about site 164, and additional area information, such as Bay Harbor, Oden Fish Hatchery Visitor's Center, Little Traverse Wheelway, and North Western State Trail. You can find more park information and bicycle trail maps at the following links: September 2015 - Petoskey, Michigan Facebook albumSeptember 2015 - State Park post, and  September 2015 - bicycle trails post.

Arrival and check-in

Someone had site 164 reserved the day before our arrival, so we were not sure how early the site would be available. Check out time is 1:00 p.m., and we arrived around 1:00 p.m. When we checked in via the yellow telephone, the employee told us that check-in time was not until 3:00 p.m., and that we could not set up until the previous campers had completely vacated the site. Fortunately for us, the site was available by the time we got to it. The check-in process took several minutes, and it took several more minutes to get to Tannery Creek Campground from the entrance. We checked in at the first park entrance booth because we had seen check-in information posted there. I noticed staff members were working at the second entrance booth in front of the campgrounds the day we departed.

Site 164 (and others) - Tannery Creek Campground

Site 164 is the only site in Tannery Creek campground that is close to the water, and is described as accommodating a 30' RV. The only other two sites with similar criteria are sites 166 and 167. Site 166 is on the opposite side of the loop, so the camper door and awning would not be facing Little Traverse Bay after parking. The camper would be facing the bay on site 167; however, this site is at the end of the loop, so the road runs between the site and the beach. Sites 133 and 137 also look like good choices for this kind of setup, although they are only listed as accommodating a 25' camper. We thought both sites looked big enough for a 30' camper, and the site lengths are listed as 35' and 40'. I am not sure why they are designated for only 25' campers.
View of site 164 from beach area

I imagine it is difficult to get site 164. We were visiting during the week, and we had made our reservation as soon as the site became available for our dates of travel, six months ahead of time. This site is private, shady, and there is a great view of the water and sunset. One thing I did not like about this site is that it was very dirty with no grass. It was also very cool, since it is so shady. This is probably a great feature in the middle of the summer, although I would have preferred the sunshine in May.
View of site 164 from behind - taken from the area next to site 135
The length for site 164 is only listed as 30', and there was not much room to park our truck in front of the 5th wheel. We fit the truck on the site by parking it sideways. When we camped in this park September 2015, we had seen vehicles parked partially in the road when we walked by. There is not much room for vehicles or RVs to drive around the loop, if any portion of a vehicle is in the road. Especially, when there are also campers on site 165 across the road. We would have parked in the overflow parking lot at the end of the road, near the dumpsters and restrooms, if we had not been able to completely fit our truck on the site. 
Path to beach from site
View from inside

The wind came off the water during most of our stay, which contributed to the cool temperature at the campsite. This also meant that smoke from the campfire would blow toward the camper. The fire pit was a good distance away from the RV, so sparks were not a concern.

There were trees between site 164 and the sites next to it (135 and 163), so this site is private on all sides. The power is 30/50 amps.

Sanitation Station

Fortunately, there was no one else departing when we did, as there is only one dump drain at the sanitation station in this park. I remember trailers had been lined up down the road waiting the last time we stayed here. This time, we noticed a slight incline when parked at the drain, which we did not recall from our last stay. This made it difficult to drain our tank completely.

Recreation from park - Little Traverse Wheelway, North Western State Trail

We rode our bicycles on the Little Traverse Wheelway to Bay Harbor. Viewing the trail maps and online information before our trip, I thought we would be riding down to Bay Harbor from the trail along US-31. When we arrived at East Park, just east of Bay Harbor, we discovered there is a paved connecting trail along the water that goes directly to Bay Harbor. This trail is visible on the East Park map; however, I had not researched East Park before our ride.
View from a stop along Little Traverse Wheelway
The round-trip ride from Petoskey State Park to Bay Harbor was around 15 miles. It was an easy and beautiful ride. We made this trip because we needed to visit a business in the Village of Bay Harbor. We have previously stayed at the Inn at Bay Harbor (Marriott Renaissance), and we have dined and shopped in the village.

View of Bay Harbor from East Park
View from trail between Bay Harbor and East Park

We passed several parks on Little Traverse Wheelway, stopping at a couple of them. We rode through Magnus Park Campground west of town because we wanted to see what the camp sites looked like. Some of the sites along the back hill looked like decent sites; however, this park is located next to the city sewage station, and we could smell sewage odor at the west end of the park. I suggest staying away from sites 18 through 26 west of the restroom building, as the odor diminished after we rode past the building.

We bicycled North Western State Trail from Petoskey to Alanson. We enjoyed this trail, too, although it does run alongside M-31 for a greater distance than we had realized. Just glancing at the trail map, we had expected better views and stops along the lakes than there was. We thought the best stop along this stretch of trail was Oden State Fish Hatchery. In addition to fish viewing, this stop has walking trails, a picnic area, and flush toilets. There was no charge to visit. Another great stop, which is very close to Petoskey State Park, is Petoskey Brewing--great service, beers, and warm pretzels!

Oden State Fish Hatchery
Both trails were paved with excellent trail signs. The short stretch to exit and enter the state park was a dirt trail covered with wood chips. More photos and bicycle trail information can be found in the Facebook album titled Petoskey, Michigan Bicycle Trails.

Petoskey State Park Recreation

During this stay, we did not do any hiking inside the park or visit the beach area. You can find information about the park beach and trails in the September 2015 blog post.

View of beach by site 164

Let me know if you have any questions, and feel free to share this post!

One more sunset photo!