Motorcycle Route Author
Written DirectionsThe 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.
SceneryThis 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 EnjoymentThe 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 OpportunitiesSmall 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 .
Photo Gallery of Manistee to Traverse City; Lake Michigan Shore Tour (18 Photos)
Interactive Views Along This Route