Families can pedal the day away along the blue waters of the bay from Harbor Springs through Petoskey and on to Charlevoix on the Little Traverse Wheelway. The 26-mile bike path is mostly-asphalt dedicated surface that winds from one downtown to another, with lots of perfect places to stop along the way.
For a fun dinner out: Ride from Harbor Springs to the Bob In Again, an old fashioned frozen custard and burger joint that has a path from the Wheelway to its walk-up or order-in service. Once full, head west to Petoskey’s waterfront park to catch an evening baseball game or burn off food chasing your little one around the playground. On the return trip, swing through the Petoskey State Park and catch a view of a full Lake Michigan horizon.
Date night: Start your evening at East Park near Bay Harbor, and cruise along the breathtaking bluff views of Little Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan. Bring a backpack and pause to snack along one of the trail’s benches, or take the steps to the rocky beach for a quick dip in the lake. Head back toward Bay Harbor for a bite to eat outside at Cava, where you can watch the boats bob and sun start to set in Bay Harbor Marina. The ride back to East Park is quick—just be prepared to head uphill a wee bit.
All day adventure: With a little planning (including delivering a car or planning a ride) you can have a full family day of pedal power magic. Pick up picnic fixings at Scovie’s Gourmet Deli in downtown Charlevoix and head north to Harbor Springs, planning for plenty of trailside pit stops; there is great rock hunting just before Bay Harbor, perfect family photo ops along East Park, and ice cream to be had in Petoskey. Arrive in Harbor Springs in time for a pizza to go from Turkeys, and head to the City Beach to eat and swim until the sun goes down. Added bonus: this trip is almost guaranteed to make small children sleep all night long.