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Bear River Trail - Petoskey

As you travel through Petoskey, look for the Bear River Trail when you cross the Bear River bridge. This short, enjoyable l.J-mile paved trail runs south through a steep ravine and natural area along the Bear River rapids. The rapids plunges 75 feet through the ravine and was modified with large boulders to create a thrilling whitewater experience for paddlesports. The Bear River Trail begins at Mineral Well Park on Lake Street (where the Little Traverse Wheelway crosses the Bear River) and ends at the Sheridan Street Trailhead.

Little Traverse Wheelway

One of the most popular trails in all of Michigan, the 26-mile Little Traverse Wheelway takes you from Charlevoix to Harbor Springs with stunning views of Little Traverse Bay all along the way. Stop at some of the many scenic overlooks to shoot a few photos and savor the glorious views.

The Wheelway's history dates back to the late 1800s when locals used it as a bicycling and walking path. The Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad and the Chicago and West Michigan Railway eventually developed tracks along the route. The Wheel way was reclaimed as a bicycling and walking path in the 1990s after the railroad was abandoned.

The paved asphalt trail travels over a mostly flat, occasionally hilly terrain running parallel to the bay. Resort Bluff, west of Petoskey, offers some of the most spectacular scenery on the trail. It runs between the trail's mid point at Magnus Park in Petoskey to East Park. Other trail highlights include a long boardwalk through a wetlands area east of Charlevoix and the roadside park at Nine Mile Point where you can relax, picnic and explore the rocky beach along Little Traverse Bay. You'll pass through a tunnel near Bay Shore, an exclusive, upscale resort on a hilly section of the trail. East of Petoskey, you can check out Bay View's historic Victorian cottages and the sandy beach and dunes of Petoskey State Park.

At Tannery Creek Trailhead you'll see a huge painted mural depicting the modes of transportation on the Wheelway corridor throughout its history. The mural is located on the north side of the supermarket facing the trailhead parking area.

The Little Traverse Wheelway is easy to access with many parks and staging areas along its course. From downtown Charlevoix, you can reach the west end of the trail by following a marked bike route on McSauba Road and Waller Road, passing through Shanahan Park.

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Trail Resource Guide

Accommodations & Lodging
Apple Tree Inn Apple Tree Inn
915 Spring Street
Petoskey, MI 49770
(231) 348-2900
Web Link
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Holiday Inn Express & Suites
1751 US 131 Sourth
Petoskey, MI 49770
1-888-497-0105
Web Link
Stafford's Bay View Inn Stafford's Bay View Inn
2011 Woodland Avenue
Bay View, MI 49770
1-800-258-1886
Web Link
Stafford's Perry Hotel Stafford's Perry Hotel
100 Lewis Street
Petoskey, MI 49770
1-866-548-0700
Web Link
Bicycle & Fitness Shops
High Gear Sports High Gear Sports
1171 US31 North, Suite A
Petoskey, MI 49770
(231) 347-6118
Web Link
Latitude 45 Bicycles & Fitness Latitude 45 Bicycles & Fitness
476 W. Mitchell
Petoskey, MI 49770
(231) 348-5342
Web Link
Touring Gear Touring Gear
108 East Third Street
Harbor Springs, MI 49740
(231) 526-7152
Web Link
Food/Restaurants/Ice Cream
Stafford's Pier Restaurant Stafford's Pier Restaurant
102 E. Bay Street
Harbor Springs, MI 49740
(231) 526-6201
Web Link
Stafford's Weathervane Restaurant Stafford's Weathervane Restaurant
106 Pine River Lane
Charlevoix, MI 49720
(231) 547-4311
Web Link
The Drawbridge Bistro The Drawbridge Bistro
100 Michigan Avenue
Charlevoix, MI 49720
(231) 758-3801
Web Link
Trail Groups and Developers
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Michigan Department of Natural Resources
525 W. Allegan Street
Lansing, MI 48909

Web Link
Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance
PO Box 27187
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 485-6022
Web Link
Top of Michigan Trails Council Top of Michigan Trails Council
1687 M-119
Petoskey, MI 49770
(231) 348-8280
Web Link
Tourist Information
Emmet County Parks Emmet County Parks
200 Division Street
Petoskey, MI 49770
(231) 348-1704
Web Link
Trail Supporter
DTE Energy DTE Energy



Web Link
League of Michigan Bicyclists League of Michigan Bicyclists
416 S. Cedar Street, Suite A
Lansing, MI 48912
(517) 334-9100
Web Link
Michigan Brewers Guild Michigan Brewers Guild
225 W. Washtenaw, Suite C
Lansing, MI 48933

Web Link
Sinas Dramis Law Firm Sinas Dramis Law Firm
3380 Pine Tree Road
Lansing, MI 48911
(517) 394-7500
Web Link

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