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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. 

View from bench near airport between Petoskey and Harbor Springs
The ride to Harbor Springs is hilly, and it is about six miles one-way. There are a couple of stops when you can rest or hike along the way--Martha Cameron Nature Preserve, and the airport overlook--although I did not observe any restrooms until we got to the parks close to Harbor Springs. 
View toward Harbor Springs from Arbor Street just outside of town.
The hill is much steeper than it looks in this photo!
We observed a sign along the trail near Hoyt Street Park with an arrow toward Harbor Springs; however, the route to town was unclear after we rode through the park. After turning the wrong way (we initially turned right on Hoyt, and then started left on Lake), we then took Hoyt Street south to Main Street. The ride into town was very steep, so we decided to take Arbor Street from 3rd Street when we left. Even though Arbor Street has a slight curve, the incline was not less than it had been on the way into town.

We chose Bar Harbor for lunch in Harbor Springs because some of the seats have a partial view of the water. The service was good; however, the food was pricey and not very good. I thought the Women's restroom was comical; it gave new meaning to visiting the restroom in pairs. One locked door opened to two open stalls. 
Women's restroom in Bar Harbor
If you are visiting Harbor Springs during non-peak season, I suggest packing a picnic lunch to enjoy on the beach in town. Some of the restaurants were not open for lunch when we visited on a weekday in early June.

Sign along trail near state park campground.
I bet this works better than "no trespassing!" Yes, that is poison ivy.

Fred Meyer Berry Junction Trail ~ McMilan Trailhead to Whitehall

This was our first time on this trail, and we absolutely loved it! The ride was 10 miles one-way, and it was super easy. We are excited that connector routes are being completed that will connect this trail to Muskegon State Park and Muskegon Lakeshore Trail. We transported our bicycles from the state park to the trailhead for this ride.

Screenshot of trail map showing proposed routes
There are several stops along the trail between Muskegon and Whitehall, although there are not many near the half-way point. We passed a stopping point about every mile until after we had ridden 5 miles, and then started to look for one. We finally stopped in an open area west of Durham Road to stretch. After we continued on, stopping points and parks became frequent again. There was a portable toilet along the trail after we crossed Whitehall Road, and before we passed the library. This trail was in great condition, and the scenery was beautiful. It connects with Hart-Montague Trail at White Lake.

Sculpture near library in Whitehall

Let me know if you have any questions or information to share. Feel free to share this post for others!