Michigan Trail Tuesday: Petoskey State Park
Michigan Trail Tuesdays is a new feature that will showcase a different trail or trail segment each week. The Mitten State is home to thousands of miles of trails, including the new Iron Belle Trail that runs from Detroit in the southeast to Ironwood in the western Upper Peninsula.
We’ve already shared our love of Petoskey State Park in a post about its camping opportunities and a photo gallery, and today we turn our attention to the park’s trails. Not only does Petoskey State Park provide easy access to the Little Traverse Wheelway (a 26-mile paved trail that runs from Charlevoix to Harbor Springs), it also offers a few miles of trails that take visitors between two campgrounds, to the top of sand dunes, and on the same path that Father Jacques Marquette is believed to have traveled in the 1670s. If you’re camping here, make sure to leave time to hike at least one of the trails. If you’re in the area visiting Petoskey Brewing, Beards Brewery or anything else in Petoskey this makes for a great day hike destination. You can reserve campsites online at http://www.michigandnr.com and check out a trail map at http://www.michigandnr.com/Publications/PDFS/RecreationCamping/petoskey_map.pdf. Some of the trails here are open to cross country skiing in the winter, and there is a bike trail into town from the south end of the Tannery Creek Campground. The three trails at Petoskey State Park are:
Campground Trail – a half-mile wooded trail that is easy to moderate that connects the Tannery Creek Campground (100 sites) to the Dunes Campground (80 sites).
Old Baldy Trail – a half-mile trail that is rated difficult due to its uphill section. This is the most popular trail in the park. It begins with a staircase heading up the dune, followed by another staircase then an observation deck. The rest of the trail is the return trip down the dune, though at a much more spread out and gradual incline.
Portage Trail – 1.75 mile long trail rated hard (shorter route marked as easy) that is mostly forested with some steep sections. It is believed Marquette took a path similar to this one to portage his canoe between Lake Michigan and Round Lake. Can be accessed from the Old Baldy trailhead and at the Tannery Creek Campground.
Other Trail Tuesday posts: