oUtdoor adVentUres avalanche Mountain Preserve this heavily wooded, 300-acre gem of a park in Boyne city is interwoven with a disc golf course, hiking and mountain biking trails, and a 462-step staircase to the top of the mountain, with a viewing platform to take in the spectacular vista overlooking lake charlevoix. cItYofBoYnecItY.com.
Wildwood Rush Zipline Canopy Tours explore the northwoods from a new, unforgettable perspective: the treetops. michigan’s longest zipline tour will have you wandering along aerial suspension bridges high in the trees, and soaring along lines up to 80 feet off the ground. located ¼ mile north of Young state park in Boyne city. 231.582.3400, WIldWoodrush.com.
Nature Conservancy Hikes escape to the woods—or the meadows, wetlands, dunes, or shorelines— at one of the little traverse conservancy’s 164 nature preserves. the preserves range from pint-sized (like the less-than-half-acre shurtleff preserve in cross village, with amazing views of lake michigan) to big-time (such as the 750-acre sturgeon Bay dunes, a stunning spot to watch the sunset). all offer fantastic wildlife viewing, most have marked trails, and some are even open to kayaking, fishing, horseback riding, and other adventures. find a full guide with maps and descriptions of each preserve online. landtrust.org.
Little Traverse wheelway: This turn-of-the-century former railway, stretching more than 26 miles along the bay between Charlevoix and Harbor Springs, now serves as one of the region’s most scenic nonmotorized trails—a haven for recreational riders. The wide, paved pathway makes it especially friendly for families with small children. The “East Segment” in Petoskey is a lovely section; start at the Little Traverse History Museum, and continue northeast along Bayfront Park (note: a perfect picnic spot) and through the gorgeous Victorian-era community of Bay View. Map available online, TRAILSCOUNCIL.ORG.
Boyne Highlands Resort: Hop the chairlift for a ride to the top of the mountain, where you’ll find a range of trails suited to all levels of riders. Crosscountry mountain bikers can test their skills on scenic downhill runs; for experts, there’s the experts-only Bike Park, where obstacles like ramps and jumps will challenge even the most aggressive riders. Bike rentals available on-site. HARBOR SPRINGS, 231.526.3000, BOyNE.COM.
wilderness state Park: This 10,000-acre park west of Mackinaw City has a vast network of trails, many of which are former two-tracks open to mountain biking. The terrain is mostly flat—great for beginner riders and those more interested in scenery than an adrenaline rush. For an easy 11K loop, follow these trails in succession: Swamp Line to South Boundary to Nebo to Wiikenhas. Maps and other loop suggestions available at the ranger station. CARP LAkE, 231.436.5381.
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