Overall Route Rating
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3.86 out of 5 Rider Rating 3.86
10 Reviews

Manistee to Traverse City; Lake Michigan Shore Tour

Motorcycle Route Author

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By Guest (0 McR Points) on Feb 01, 2005

Rider Reviews

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Guest
September 4, 2009
I have done this route several times. I have to…
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nihao76
17 McR Points
August 3, 2015
Just road up from Ludington. This is a great…
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Written Directions

The 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.

Scenery

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

Drive Enjoyment

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)

Tourism Opportunities

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.

Motorcycle Road Additional info

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

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Guest
September 4, 2009
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Sport
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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nihao76
August 3, 2015
17 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Sport - Touring
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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Guest
June 24, 2008
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Touring
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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