Best Biking Trails
Betsie Valley Trail
This 11 mile stretch of trail that runs between the old train depot in Beulah and Frankfort is a favorite of ours. The trail is mostly paved and runs along Crystal Lake, the Betsie River and the Betsie Bay as you enter the towns of Elberta and Frankfort. The trail is an easy ride as it’s very flat. It’s less than an hour ride into Frankfort and the return trip usually comes with a westerly breeze at your back! While in Frankfort, take time to park your bike and walk down main street and check out the Frankfort Beach and pier.
Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail
The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is a hard-surfaced, non-motorized, multi-use trail planned to span 27 miles from the northern end of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore at County Road 651 to the Leelanau/Benzie County line at Manning Road south of Empire. Currently the trail runs almost 22 miles between Empire and Bohemia Road, connecting to park attractions and the town of Glen Arbor along the way.
CLICK HERE for more information about the Heritage Trail.
This 17 mile trail starts in Traverse City and heads north to Suttons Bay. As a general rule the trail has a very slight incline for the first half of the trip and a very slight decline as you ride into Suttons Bay. The trail is a former railroad corridor and features forests, fields, vineyards, lakes and ponds. The trail is paved the entire way. If you’re not up to riding 17 miles, there’s several parking spots near the trail that can be utilized to shorten your trip. The BATA bus system offers a Bike-n-Ride” program so you can ride one way and return on the bus. Click here for more information about the Leelanau Trail.
TART Trail – This 10.5 mile trail extends from Bates Rd. in Acme Township at its most easterly point and runs along East Grand Traverse Bay, behind Traverse City State Park and into downtown Traverse City before it leads out to West Grand Traverse Bay and runs through the Clinch Park and marina district. The trail connects with the Leelanau Trail on its most westerly point. This trail is highly used trail used by bikers, runners and walkers. Click here for more information about the TART Trail.
Best Kayaking Rivers
Lower Platte River
This is a 2 hour trip at the most. It’s an easy family friendly paddle that begins near M-22 at Lake Michigan Road and goes through Loon Lake. Most of the trip is in 2 to 3 feet of water. The trip ends at Platte River Point where there is a beautiful park along with swimming areas in the Platte River and Lake Michigan. You can also take a hike across the river towards some lake shore sand dunes. Click here for more information about kayaking the Lower Platte.
Upper Platte River
This is a 4 hour more aggressive trip that is best with a kayak. If you take a canoe, plan on tipping over a few times! Intermediate level and experienced level kayakers will really enjoy this trip. The current moves fairly fast and there are some sharp turns and overhanging branches. The trip starts at Veterans Memorial State Park located along US 31 just west of County Road 669. Park your pick up vehicle on Deadstream Road at the bridge just east of the Platte Lakes. Click here for more information about kayaking the Upper Platte.
This 2 – 3 hour family friendly trip begins in Glen Arbor. The trip through waters that are mostly 2 – 3 feet deep and runs through a beautiful section of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Click here for more information about kayaking the Crystal River.