• Jessyca Stoepker

Weekends on the Wheelway


Between our Guinness World Record dinner at Bay Harbor and our huge golf outing fundraiser, I've been quite busy these past couple weeks, so this will be a short post. However, I wanted to tell you about one of my favorite features of my new home: the Little Traverse Wheelway!

Even before I first moved to Northern Michigan, several people were already recommending me to explore the Little Traverse Wheelway: the 26 miles of dedicated trail from downtown Charlevoix to downtown Harbor Springs. So, naturally, my very first weekend alone in Petoskey was spent doing just that--and basically every weekend since!

The Little Traverse Wheelway brings thousands of bikers, runners, and tourists to this area every year. It provides a good balance of lake shore views, natural forest areas, and residential or in-town segments. It's nicely paved the entire way and seems excellently maintained. The route runs through or nearby parks like Bayfront Park, Magnus Park, and East and West Parks as well, which make for easy rest stops every couple miles. There are other cute pit-stops along the way, like stands for sweet cherries and the extravagant Village at Bay Harbor.

Another cool thing about LTW is that it connects to other trails and trail systems up here, including The North Country National Scenic Trail, generally known as the North Country Trail or NCT. It's a footpath stretching approximately 4,600 miles from Crown Point in eastern New York to Lake Sakakawea State Park in central North Dakota. I've heard stories of people hiking this trail for months. Having it connect to the LTW is a great way to connect travelers to different areas of Northern Michigan.

And, did I mention, it's GORGEOUS? I mean, really?! How can these views be free?

Let me tell you, this trail is PERFECT for sunsets.

There are more than 200 nature preserves in the Little Traverse Bay area, and some of those are located along the Wheelway. The segment along Bayfront Park also features a little waterfall and stairways that lead down to free lake access. The segment between Petoskey and Harbor Springs winds you around the small airport there as well.

Here's a map for those of you who need a better spatial understanding.

Probably my favorite thing about where I live is that, even though I'm right downtown, my studio is less than a two-minute walk from the Wheelway access at Bayfront Park. That means I'm not far away from a retreat into nature if (more accurately, when) I need it. I make it a point to take all my visitors along at least part of the trail, so if you ever come to visit you can bet I'll take you, too!

Thanks for reading! I hope to make another post by early next week.

All the best,

Jess

#newhorizons #life #nature #camping #travel #places #petoskey #michigan #northernmichigan #biking #bike #LittleTraverseWheelway #adventure #water #healthandfitness #hiking #trails

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