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Northern Michigan Vacations: What does a popular ski resort turn into when the snow melts? Challenging terrain and even a man-made obstacle course transform Boyne Highlands Resort into a mountain biker’s paradise. Looking for a little less daring experience on two wheels? Cruise the Little Traverse Wheelway, a mostly paved and non-motorized trail connecting Charlevoix to Harbor Springs.
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. Cross-country 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.
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