Manistee to Traverse City; Lake Michigan Shore Tour

Average Rating - This road has been rated by 7 visitors

State: Michigan
Date Submitted: February 1, 2005
Submitted by: Randy Lee
Motorcycle Road Length: 115 Miles

Written Directions

starting point for this route is in the town of Manistee,
Michigan. Take 31 North out of Manistee, just about a
mile or so outside of town turn left onto 110 North. This
is Lakeshore road and is very fun. Take this about 10
miles as it travels around portage lake and it will intersect
with 22 (AKA the Orchard Hwy). Follow 22 north from the
town of Onekama. 22 is very scenic and runs past Sleeping
Bear National Lakeshore, into the Leelanau Peninsula.
Stop at Sleeping Bear Dunes and at Leland for sightseeing
opportunities and continue up to Northport. North of Northport
is the Leelanau
State Park
and the old Grand Traverse Lighthouse.
From here, go back to Northport continuing on 22 toward
Traverse City (this may be called 22 North, yet is heading
south at this point).

I'm calling Traverse City the end point of this route
but if you like what you've seen so far and want more
I recomend the following bonus trips:

      - Out of Traverse
City try 37 (Peninsula drive) for more wineries. 37 takes
you straight up into the narrow finger peninsula that
splits Grand Traverse Bay into two bays.

      - Or continue on 72
E to 31 North because if you've gone this far you must
do the Tunnel of Trees run north
of Harbor Springs.

On my ride I include the entire trip from Manistee to
Mackinaw along the lakeshore, this is definitely the best
riding anywhere in Michigan's lower peninsula.


This is a very nice route which is mostly wooded and hugs the Lake Michigan shoreline for most of the trip. On this route there are many scenic outlooks, Sleeping bear dunes, lighthouses (including the Grand Traverse lighthouse which you can tour). There are nice small towns on bays and inland lakes, farms, wineries, ski slopes, and be sure to stop in Leland on the Leelenau Peninsula for a historic fishing village. There is a good chance to see some wildlife especially whitetail deer along the way as well. Left: Grand Traverse Lighthouse sign; Right: View from Grand Traverse Lighthouse

Road Quality  

The roads have a lot of nice sweeping turns and some hills due to following the shoreline, and at some places it gets more exciting. They roads have decent to good surfaces and occasional stops in the small towns along the way. Left: Leland - fishing village along the river; Right: Legs Inn Restaurant, Cross Village, MI (Polish Food)

Roadside Amenities  

Small towns get a lot of tourists (camping and many cottages) during summer weekends, so there are plenty of convenience stores. Some towns have many art shops and tourist traps that are fun to look through. If you plan to visit a State park or other campground on a weekend, try to phone ahead to reserve a spot. There is also a Casino along 22 between Northport and Traverse city. Along the way you'll see and travel through Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Pere Marquette State Forest.

Additional Info

- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather .

Nickname (optional) Randy Lee



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Reviewed by Guest on September 4, 2009
(2 out of 2 members found this review useful.)
Creator: james
motorcycle_year: 2003
motorcycle_make: Buell
motorcycle_type: Sport
Comment: I have done this route several times. I have to say the the most fun you will have in Leelanau is off of M22. One on my favorites is county rd 637 (jelinek) to or from Setterbro, tons of decreasing radius and switch back turns, only down fall is you bypass Omena, home of the Leelanau cellars. I think its more fun going west to east(Jelinek to Setterbro) because going east to west there is a long winding uphill stretch, I like doing them down hill more. You can also do this as a little extra loop via Putnam rd( newly paved this year) to Omena rd to 637.
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Reviewed by nihao76 on August 3, 2015
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Nihao76
motorcycle_year: 2013
motorcycle_make: Yamaha
motorcycle_type: Sport-Touring
Comment: Just road up from Ludington. This is a great road once you get over along the lake. I like it as much as tunnel of trees
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Reviewed by Guest on June 24, 2008
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Robert Greenawalt
motorcycle_year: 2006
motorcycle_make: Honda
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: This was one of my favorite rides, and as Area Rep for MI-GWRRA- Chapter N it was an annual ride. Along the way is one of the best restaurants in the country, Boone's Long Lake Inn. It is a must if you even get close to the Long Lake area. Along rt. 22 be sure and stop at all the look-out points because the views are breathe taking!!
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Reviewed by Guest on December 28, 2012
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: LS
motorcycle_year: 2010
motorcycle_make: Harley CVO
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: I ride this road a lot. Great riding all through the Leelanau area. Don't miss the west coast on M22, it's as good as the east side. Also take the road around Glen Lake as well.
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Reviewed by Guest on February 9, 2011
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Micah Maziar
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: Yamaha
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: Did this trip with a couple of buddies. Did a short video series of the trip: Get roads and scenery!
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Reviewed by Guest on January 23, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Scott
motorcycle_year: 2009
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
Comment: I live right in the middle of this route about a mile off M-22. Even though I have traveled these roads thousands of times, I never tire of it on the Harley. It has some decent curves to keep the ride interesting, but not so twisty to take away from the relaxing side either. Alot of woods and water, and in the summer alot of Motorcycles too. Riding this road makes me realize I live in a pretty beautiful part of the country.
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Reviewed by Guest on August 13, 2009
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Geno
motorcycle_year: 2009
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: Started in Traverse City and rode this going the other direction, good ride good scenery. I could ride it again but not soon; to many other places to ride and see first.
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