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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Frankfort, Michigan / Marina, Stormcloud Brewing Company, Betsie Valley Trail, and more

July 2017, Weekday-weekend, 2 nights

Sunset over the pier in Frankfort, Michigan

We stopped in Frankfort on our way south from Suttons Bay, as we wanted to visit Stormcloud Brewing Company and do some biking on Betsie Valley Trail. We ended up staying for two nights!

Frankfort beach, boat launch, and marina

It is about a half mile walk from boat slip #2 at the municipal marina to the beach. Lake Michigan was warm enough for swimming, and the water and beach were both packed even though we visited on weekdays. I took the photo below when we walked on Friday morning. We passed many people heading to the beach already on our way back to the marina. 

Frankfort beach in the morning
The cost to slip our 25' boat overnight was $40, and the launch ramp fee was not included. Most marinas we have stayed in comp the boat launch fee when staying overnight (Suttons Bay and Muskegon municipal, for example). When I asked about this, I was told that the boat launch is separate, so they could not do anything about that. I thought that was odd, since they are both run by the City of Frankfort. The boat launch fee is $7 per day. Frankfort municipal had the best price for gasoline on the water that we saw this week; $3.60 a gallon, and it had been closer to $4 a gallon everywhere else.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Suttons Bay and Traverse City, Michigan / boating, Leelanau Trail, wineries, breweries, dining...

July 2017, Weekend-weekdays, 6-nights

Beautiful clear aqua colored water in Suttons Bay and Grand Traverse Bay!

Suttons Bay Marina, north slips 

We made a reservation at the marina for Friday and Saturday night in advance. You can do this online, and then pay online, or you can mail in a check. We opted to mail a check because there is a service charge to pay with a credit card at this marina. Our home port marina (Muskegon) also charges a service fee to pay with credit card, which is new this year. We did not make an advance reservation for our next stay, as this was during the week, and we were not sure exactly which day we would be returning. Harbormaster Edie was very easy to work with.
View from picnic table in front of slip 68
We stayed in slip #34 for two nights when we arrived. This slip is located in front of the harbormaster office near the boat ramp. It was surprisingly quiet, although there is no view from this slip. When we returned, we stayed two nights in slip #67, which is located farther down on the north side. There is a nice view from this location, although the hike to the restroom is a bit farther. The marina facilities are located in the same building with the public restrooms next to the marina entrance from Front Street. The facility was always well maintained and clean.

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.