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Hiking & Biking


Little Traverse Wheelway

Pump up your tires and hit the trail! The Little Traverse Wheelway is a 26 mile, non-motorized paved path that extends from Charlevoix to Harbor Springs. It has been the topic of news features, and it continues to be a regional draw for vacationers and residents. This stretch of paved trail extends from Charlevoix to Petoskey to Harbor Springs and draws thousands of walkers, bikers and in-line skaters each year, with some of the most breathtaking scenery to accompany them. This trail offers a unique boardwalk bridging a wetland area rich with wildlife, and direct water access at several points along the Lake Michigan shoreline, including two MDOT roadside parks that are perfect for a picnic or scenic resting spot. Spearheaded by The Top of Michigan Trails Council and host to local and national rides, the free trail has been an effort of several area organizations and municipalities. Trail Map | Bike Rentals

Nature Trails

Charlevoix County Nature Preserves
The Little Traverse Conservancy encourages outdoor enthusiasts to use the many nature preserves located around Charlevoix County. Whether you are interested in hiking, wildlife, nature study or photography, the natural beauty of Charlevoix cannot be beat!

Preserves include:

Fisherman Island State Park
Fisherman's Island State Park is not actually an island, but a 2,678-acre park with five miles of unspoiled Lake Michigan shoreline. The park encompasses a tiny island, Fisherman's Island, located a short distance offshore from the picnic area. Located just south of Charlevoix, it features a rustic campground with some of the sites nestled in the dunes along the lakeshore. The park road travels through the campground to the picnic area with access to the beach and miles of hiking trails. The interior terrain consists of rolling dunes covered with maple, birch and aspen broken up by bogs of cedar and black spruce.
Jordan River Pathway
An 18-mile loop upstream in the Jordan River Valley which winds through some of the most diverse terrain in northern Michigan. Called the Jordan River Pathway. The trail begins at the base of Dead Man's Hill. Backpacking the entire pathway is a two-day hike. The Pinney Bridge Campground is where you should plan on spending the night. For those with only one day to spend, a shorter three-mile loop is available.

Charles A Ransom Preserve
The Charles A. Ransom Preserve on Maple Grove Road north of the city and the Sleepy Hollow Preserve off of M-66 south of town are two other easily accessible nature areas. The 80-acre Ransom Preserve is a northern hardwood forest with marked trails and an accompanying pamphlet keyed to designate nature study stations. It also features a panoramic view of the Lake Michigan shoreline from the Leelanau Peninsula to Beaver Island.
Raven Ridge
140 acres and one-and-a-half miles of trails adjacent to the Raven Hill Discovery Center near East Jordan.

Sleepy Hollow
More than one mile of easy walking trails meander through this 55-acre property that includes a spring-fed trout stream emptying to the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix. Beautiful second growth forest of maple, beech, hemlock and ash.

Susan Creek
A one-and-a-half mile trail system allows you to explore these 223 acres which include a mile of frontage on Susan Creek and nearly a mile along US 31.
Mount McSauba and North Point
For hiking, cross-country skiing, nature studies, nature photography or just a quiet commune with the wilderness, several protected natural areas near Charlevoix are difficult to match. A 28-acre dune and wooded area at North Point features wood chipped trails and wooden viewing platforms where one can sit and watch the waves roll in on Lake Michigan. Mount McSauba is the highest of the steep sand dunes north of Charlevoix and the centerpiece of a 50-acre recreation complex owned and operated by the city. In the summer, Mount McSauba becomes a city-operated day camp for boys and girls.

Avalanche Mountain
Avalanche is a 300 acre nature preserve where you may fine berries, mushrooms, and much, much more ... Hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails, skating, sledding, jogging and snowmobiling, and disc golf. Ungroomed trails range in difficulty from flat terrain for novices to steep inclines for experienced skiers.