Leelanau Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
Visitors Guide
Community Guide
Hiking Leelanau

Take a Hike!
Where to Hike on the Leelanau Peninsula!

Leelanau Hiking Trails

The Leelanau Conservancy

Visit the Leelanau Conservancy Website at www.TheConservancy.com

Map of Leelanau Conservancy Natural Areas and Preserves

Directions to Conservancy Natural Areas and Preserves

Belanger Creek Preserve
This Preserve has no trail system and is best seen on a guided hike. The parking area for scheduled guided hikes is on Peshawbestown Road, just east of where the road crosses Belanger Creek. The easiest way to find the parking area is to take Putnam Road west from M-22 (on the north end of Peshawbestown). Go approximately 0.5 mile and then turn left onto Peshawbestown Road, which is also paved. It is only another 0.5 mile to the parking area. The parking area is in an open field on the north side of the road, just east of the wetland surrounding Belanger Creek.

Cedar River Natural Area
There is no trail system at this Natural Area. You can reach the property only via boat on the Cedar River. Start at the Cedar Village Park. You'll reach the Conservancy property after about 4 miles (1.5 hours paddling).

Chippewa Run Natural Area
Explore a 1-1/4 mile trail here on easy terrain. From the intersection of M-72 and M-22 in Empire, head north on M-22 about 7/10 of a mile. The parking area is located on the left, or northwest side of the street just south of the creek. If the parking lot on M-22 is not plowed, turn onto LaCore street as if heading toward the Empire Museum. Then turn right on Fisher Street and follow signs to recycling bins. Park in recycling area where your docent will meet you or where you can begin your own hike.

Crystal River Natural Area
Although the conservancy helped to protect this land, the land is now part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. We occasionally lead hikes here, but the best way to see the land is by canoe or kayak.

DeYoung Natural Area
The 1/4 mile Cedar Lake Trail is located just across the TART trail. See kiosk. The trail is flat and winding.

From Traverse City: From the intersection of M-72 and M-22 in Traverse City (Tomís West Bay) go north on M-22 1.2 miles, turn left onto Cherry Bend Rd. Go 2.0 miles down Cherry Bend Rd., and look for the barn on your right. Pull into the parking area by the barn.

From Leelanau County: From CR 641 and Cherry Bend Rd. intersection, go towards Traverse City on Cherry Bend Rd. about 2.1 miles, look for the barn on your left. Pull into the parking area by the barn.

Finton Natural Area
This smooth, level two-track connects Northport Rd. to Woolsey Rd. From Northport, take M-201 north (changes to CR 629). Turn right on Northport Point Rd (CR 640). Look for the sign and property across from Paradesia Rd.

Houdek Dunes Natural Area
There are two loops here totalling 1.25 miles that traverse gentle, but sandy terrain. Steep steps lead you from the parking area to the trailhead. Beginning in Leland, drive north along M-22 approximately 5 miles to County Road 626. Proceed another æ mile north along M-22. A sign on the west (left) side of the road marks the entrance to the parking area.

Jeff Lamont Preserve
A short trail is in the works. Please note this area is closed during hunting season. Take M-201 North out of Northport. Bear RIGHT as M-201 becomes County Rd 640 and turns East. Take County Rd 640 for approx. 0.3 mi.PLEASE USE CAUTION to go LEFT onto N. Kilcherman Rd (As a landmark, there is an antique farm windmill on N. Kilcherman Rd., about 100 yards North of the intersection). Take N. Kilcherman Rd approx. 0.9 mi, then the road will bend SHARPLY to the LEFT and become Christmas Cove Rd.Take Christmas Cove Rd approx. 0.6 mi., staying straight/right as you pass Scott Rd on your left. The Jeff Lamont Preserve is approx. 0.15 mi downhill past Scott Rd on your right.

Kehl Lake Natural Area

Take M-201 1.5 miles north of Northport. After 2.5 miles, go left on Snyder Road. Snyder Road ìTîs at Sugar Bush Road. Go right on Sugarbush Road. Sugar Bush Road takes a sharp left turn to the North and becomes Kehl Rd. Stay on Kehl. .2 mi after you pass Ottis Road on your right, see the Conservancy sign for Kehl Lake Natural Area and parking area on left.

Lighthouse West Natural Area
A new trail and steps down to the beach was completed summer 09. Trail can be somewhat rigorous and sturdy shoes are recommended for cobble shore hiking.

From Northport, head north on M-201 through the Village, taking M-201/Mill Street north out of town. M-201 becomes Co. Rd. 640/Woolsey Lake Rd. Stay on Co Rd. 640/Woolsey Lake Rd. Stay straight as Co. Rd. 640/Woolsey Lake Rd. becomes Co. Rd. 629/Woolsey Lake Rd (Co. Rd 640 splits off to the right). Continue on Co. Rd 629/Woolsey Lake Rd for approximately 3 miles when it becomes Co. Rd. 629/Lighthouse Point Rd. Continue on Co. Rd. 629/Lighthouse Point Rd for approximately 2 miles, then go left on Cathead Bay Dr. Parking is approximately 0.1 mile on the right-hand side.

Teichner Preserve
There is a short trail down to the lake but much of this tangled wetland area is best viewed on a guided hike. From Leland, head south on M-22 about 8 miles and turn left on South (East) Lime Lake Rd, near the SW corner of the Kingís Challenge Golf Course at Sugarloaf. Once you turn off of M-22 onto Lime Lake Rd, it is just a short distanceóabout a mileóto the Preserve. Look for our Teichner Preserve sign on the right and park there.

Whaleback Natural Area
The Whaleback trail is well-groomed and easy to follow, however, the trail quickly gains in elevation which can be rigorous. Wear shoes suitable to hiking. Beginning from the junction of M-22 and M-204 (3 mi S. of Leland), take M-22 north approx. 1 mile. A sign on the west (left) side of M-22 marks the entrance to the parking area. Continue straight for a few hundred feet on the gravel road entrance to the parking area. Follow the marked trail through private property to the natural area.

PLEASE NOTE: If you approach from the north, the sign is difficult to spot, so look carefully as you approach 3 miles south of Leland.

Leelanau State Park of Leelanau County, Michigan

8.5 miles

A small section of the trail is ADA accessible.

M-22 from Traverse City N. to M-201 through Village of Northport to County Rd. 629 to Park Entrance
15310 N. Lighthouse Point Rd.
Northport MI 49670-9717
Phone Number: (231) 386-5422

Motor Vehicle Permit Required: Yes
Approximate Size: 1350 Acres

Leelanau State Park is located at the tip of Leelanau Peninsula. The park offers 8.5 miles of hiking and skiing trails within the 1,300 acre state park. Included within the park is the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, a rustic campground, two mini cabins and a picnic area.

Visit www.LeelanauStatePark.org for detailed trail maps or

The Michigan DNR Website

The Leelanau Trail

15.5 Miles

The Leelanau Trail connects Suttons Bay to to Traverse City. The Leelanau Trail runs through the last of Leelanau Peninsula's former railroad corridor. The non-motorized trail winds through rolling hills, lush forests, picturesque orchards, calm meadows and past numerous streams, lakes and ponds. You will find it is the perfect environment for transportation, recreation and environmental education.

The paved 8.5 miles of the trail are from M-72 West in Traverse City to Lakeview Road in Elmwood Township and picking up again from Revold Road in Bingham Township to "The Depot" (the law offices of Wright Penning & Beaamer) in Suttons Bay. The remaining unpaved 7 miles of the trail is a hard-packed dirt two-track.

During summer months there is a portable restroom along the trail at the DeYoung Natural Area about 1 mile north of the Cherry Bend Road parking lot.

In Suttons Bay, public restrooms are available seasonably at the Village Marina. The restrooms at the Inland Seas Education Association (the Schoolship) are available all year. ISEA is conveniently located at the trail's end, across M-22 and next to Boone's Prime Time restaurant. ISEA is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm with plenty of bike parking available at the lower level entrance.

For a printable PDF format Leelanau Trail Map visit the Leelaanu Trail (TART) website http://www.traversetrails.org/trails/leelanau/

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore


100 Miles - 13 Trails

Each trail has a trailhead with a parking area. Hiking trails on the dunes are marked by blue-tipped posts.

A Park Pass is required for all trail use within the Lakeshore.

There are also hiking trails on North Manitou Island and South Manitou Island. (see below)

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore encompasses a 35 mile stretch of Lake Michigan's eastern coastline, as well as North and South Manitou Islands.

Each trail has its own unique beauty and challenges. Some have beautiful views from high vistas overlooking lakes, hills, or dunes. While others take you through fields of wildflowers with views of fields and lakes or forest in the background. Others take you through the sand dunes to explore the hardy vegetation and wildflowers that flourish in this harsh environment.

Alligator Hill Trails
9 miles
Beech-maple, fields, pine plantation
Several loops, Overlooks of Lake Michigan and Glen Lake. Horses are permitted.

Bay View Hiking Trails
8 miles
Beech-maple, fields, pine plantation
Panoramic view of Lake Michigan and fields of wildflowers

Cottonwood Trail
1.4 miles
Rolling Dunes
Grasses, shrubs, wildflowers of the dunes
Loose sand - strenuous views of Lake Michigan and sand dunes

Dunes Hiking Trails
6.8 miles
Steep, rugged dunes
Grasses, shrubs and wildflowers of the dunes
Strenuous hike through dunes leads to Lake Michigan 2-4 hr round trip

Duneside Accessible
0.9 mile
Field and beech-maple, white cedar
Wheelchair accessible

Empire Bluff Trail
1.5 miles
Beech-maple, fields, dune plants
Overlook on a high bluff over Lake Michigan

Good Harbor Bay Loop
2.8 miles
Flat, wet in places
Wooded, some dunes
Boardwalk over creek

Old Indian Trails
2.5 miles
Flat to gently rolling with a few sections of steep hills
Evergreens and hardwoods
Trail leads to a view of Lake Michigan

Platte Plains Trails
14.7 miles
Mostly flat
3 views of Lake Michigan

Pyramid Point Loop
2.7 miles
Beech-maple and fields
Overlook of Lake Michigan

Shauger Hill Hiking Trail
2.4 miles
Crosses Shauger Hill Rd and Scenic Drive

Scenic Drive Ski Trail
8 miles
Unplowed Scenic Drive and Shauger Hill

Shore-to-Shore Trail (220 miles)

Sleeping Bear Point
2.8 miles
Rolling Dunes
Grasses, shrubs, wildflowers
Loose sand, views and access to Lake Michigan

Windy Moraine Loop
1.5 miles
Beech-maple, old fields, pine plantation
Views of Glen Lake

North Manitou Island of Leelanau County, Michigan
Over 25 miles
North Manitou Island is managed as wilderness with the exception of a 27 acre area around the Village. Visiting the island is a primitive experience emphasizing solitude, a feeling of self-reliance and a sense of exploration. The primary visitor activities are backpacking and camping. Travel in the wilderness area is by foot only.

South Manitou Island of Leelanau County, Michigan

22 miles

The Best Nature Escape in the Midwest!

For Trail Maps please visit the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (U.S. National Park Service) Official National Park Service website www.nps.gov/slbe/