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Jones Landing park and boat launch, Walloon Lake, Bear Creek Township

 

Parks and trails in Emmet County for all to enjoy!

Throughout Emmet County, townships, villages, cities and communities have invested in providing public parkland, trails and open spaces for all to enjoy. There are dozens of parks from the Lake Michigan shoreline and inland into communities like Pellston, Alanson and Carp Lake.

Click the following quick links to go directly to the points of interest below:

Parks throughout Emmet County

Trails

State Parks and Campgrounds

Inland Waterway

Snowmobile Trail Maps


 

Parks: City, township and village

 

Jones Landing,
Gruler Road, U.S. 131 south of Petoskey

Jones Landing in Bear Creek Township along Walloon Lake boasts a covered pavilion, restrooms, parking, picnic area, boat launch and large sandy beach. Jones Landing park is located near the end of Gruler Road off U.S. 131 near Emmet County’s southern border.

 

West Park, Bay Harbor

West Park is located at the western end of the Bay Harbor community. It provides access to Lake Michigan with approximately 600 feet of frontage. The shoreline is all rock and is accessible by a walking trail. Restrooms are located at the beginning of the trail.

 

East Park, Bay Harbor

All-encompassing views of Lake Michigan and Little Traverse Bay can be enjoyed at this scenic park in Resort Township, on the eastern edge of Bay Harbor and along the Little Traverse Wheelway. Restrooms and pavilion available.

The Pavilion at East Park is available for event reservations. The reservation is for the pavilion only; the remainder of the park is open to the public. Reservations are not accepted for holidays. For availability, policies and pricing, call (231) 347-7915 Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays.

 

Spring Lake Park, Bear Creek Township

On M-119 in Petoskey, located across from the Indian Hills Trading Post, Spring Lake Park is a favorite place for fishing, picnicking and observing wildlife frequenting the area. Boardwalks, restrooms. Seasonal operation.

 

Magnus Park, city of Petoskey

Located at the west end of W. Lake Street, downtown Petoskey, along the Lake Michigan shoreline; below the bluff of McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital

A city of Petoskey owned and operated campground

Magnus Park Campground provides 72 sites for tents, towable recreational vehicles and motor homes. The campground sits at the end of West Lake Street along the shores of Little Traverse Bay. Campers staying at Magnus Park have easy access to Bayfront Park, the Little Traverse Wheelway, McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital, and downtown Petoskey.

Magnus Park provides camping facilities as well as day-use amenities. The park has 1,000 feet of shoreline and is equipped with acess roads, utilities, a wooded area, playground and scenic views of Little Traverse Bay. A small overlook area, known as “Wayside Park” on the upper-elevation bluff, adjacent to the bike path, also provides excellent views of the Bay. Free wireless Internet is available throughout the campground. Reservations are recommended for the peak season.

To download a reservation form, visit www.petoskey.us

 

Bear River Recreation Area/Kayak Park, Petoskey

A city of Petoskey owned and operated recreational area accessible off Lake Street and Sheridan Street
(231) 347-2500
www.petoskey.us

This natural expansive park features steep terrain, unpaved and paved trails, forests, and boardwalks. Year round activities include biking, hiking, walking, fishing, picnicking with two shelters, restrooms, events and performance areas, stairs down to the river, a footbridge across the river, nature watching and whitewater kayaking.

 

Bayfront Park, at Petoskey’s waterfront

With its delightful panoramic views of Little Traverse Bay, Petoskey’s Bayfront park and marina area are easily accessed to and from downtown via a pedestrian tunnel. There’s also the Little Traverse History Museum, a softball field, picnic areas and access to the Little Traverse Wheelway, plus a fishing quarry and waterfall. Restrooms, parking.

 

Sunset Park, Petoskey, U.S. 31

Pull over and marvel at the outstanding views of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay, Bayfront Park and across the Bay to Harbor Springs. This park is located on the north side of U.S. 31 on a bluff.

 

Pennsylvania Park, Petoskey

 

In the heart of downtown Petoskey, along the former railroad corridor between Bay and Mitchell Streets. A well-placed commons area where shoppers rest as well as a location for picnic, outdoor concerts and movies, community gatherings, festivals and special events.

 

Zoll Street Park & Beach (dog-friendly beach)

DEER PARK: This a family-favorite stop off Zoll Street at the entrance to Harbor Springs, near the police station and city hall. A fenced area is home to a herd of deer who are accustomed to people visiting them. There is also a feeding station as well as a large area for the deer to run freely.

BEACH: At the end of Zoll Street is a small public-access beach that is also dog-friendly. This small beach is situated between Wequetonsing and Walstrom’s marina. For a perfect summer swim, hit the water here and swim past the cottages of Weque. many sailors and sailboarders love this beach where dogs are welcome!

 

Zorn Park & Beach, Harbor Springs

Located off Bay Street past the Pier Restaurant, 151 W. Bay Street

Zorn Park and Beach are a popular place on sunny summer days. The park’s sandy swimming beach on Little Traverse Bay includes a square swimming raft that’s tethered offshore within the park’s swimming boundaries. The park has a small bath house, playground, and a nearby mineral well.

 

Middle Village Beach, Good Hart/Readmond Township

An old Native American village, Good Hart is nestled along the Tunnel of Trees (M-119) from Harbor Springs to Cross Village. The pathway from Lamkin Road will take you to Middle Village Beach, great for swimming. Restrooms, parking. Readmond Township.

 

Sturgeon Bay, state beach land

Sturgeon Bay was once a small lumbering community located in Bliss Township on the southern border of what is now Wilderness State Park in the northwest of Emmet County. Today, almost nothing remains of that early lumbering era. However, it is a serene beach especially popular with locals for its secluded sandy shore and rolling dunes. It is one of the area’s best kept secrets (shh! Don’t tell!)

North of Cross Village, about 3 miles from Legs Inn restaurant; Sturgeon Bay Trail, Wilderness Park Drive access points in northwestern Emmet County

 

Center Township Park, Lark’s Lake

This park is located at the Center Township Hall, 981 Van Road, Pellston, MI  49769
(231) 539-8592

 

Pioneer Park, Lark’s Lake

 

A Pioneer Association was formed in 1915 at Round Lake, also known as Lark’s Lake; to preserve the natural beauty of these grounds for posterity and as a memorial to the settlers of northern Emmet County. Annual picnics honoring the pioneers were held until 1932, with programs that featured singing, recollections of early days, speeches, and contests. The association deeded the park to Emmet County in 1950.

 

Pellston Memorial Park and Pellston Pioneer Park

Memorial Park: Located in downtown Pellston off U.S. 31; open spaces, picnic tables

Pioneer Park: Ball field, park area, off Robinson Road/Mill St.

 

Paradise Lake

Paradise Lake is a 1,900 acre body of water within Carp Lake Township (Emmet County) and Hebron Township (Cheboygan County). There are about 700 full-time residents of this small community.

Paradise Lake is an irreplaceable resource that provides fishing, boating, swimming and other recreational opportunities to countless individuals and families who make use of and enjoy the lake. The lake contains bass, pike, walleye, pan fish and is home to numerous wild fowl in the summer months; nesting loons are home here, along with eagles who find the fishing good, too.

Public boat launch off U.S. 31 at Paradise Trail, near the post office.

 

Little Traverse Conservancy properties (public)

(Thorne Swift Nature Preserve)

Mission Statement of the LTC:
The mission of the Little Traverse Conservancy is to protect the natural diversity and beauty of northern Michigan by preserving significant land and scenic areas, and fostering appreciation and understanding of the environment. Our service area includes Chippewa, Mackinac, Emmet, Cheboygan, and Charlevoix counties.

Dozens of preserves are available to the public for exploration. The LTC has developed an App that can be downloaded from Apple and Android app stores that will help guide you in the exploration of these beautiful, public parks and trails.

www.landtrust.org

 

North Central Michigan College nature area

NCMC
1515 Howard Street
Petoskey
(231) 348-6812

Located on the campus of the 195-acre NCMC Natural Area you will find three loops of trails that meander past a variety of unique habitats including a pond, a grassy meadow, a pine and maple stand as well as the Bear River.

www.ncmich.edu

 

Beaches 1 & 2, Mackinaw City

Two public beach sites are operated and maintained by the Village of Mackinaw City. These beaches are located approximately one-half mile west of the Village of Mackinaw City limits along Cecil Bay on Wilderness Park Drive. The Village maintains the lakefront properties at which the beaches are located under lease agreements with Wawatam Township and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Public restroom facilities are available at each site. The beaches are sandy with shallow water.

Accessibility Rating: 2 (some of the facilities/park areas meet accessibility guidelines)
Mackinaw City’s public beaches are largely undeveloped and therefore lack features, which allow for accessibility by those with disabilities. The beaches lack appropriate accessibility in the parking areas, ground surface, and walkways between the parking lots restrooms and beaches.

 

Mackinaw Heritage Village

Entrance off Central Avenue west of downtown Mackinaw City

In a rural setting reminiscent of the 1880 to 1917 era, the Mackinaw Area Historical Society is gathering buildings from our past and assembling them in order to tell our grandparent’s and great grandparent’s stories. Visit a Pest House and learn about medical problems and care at the turn of the 1900 century. Visit our original one-room school or a Mennonite church. If you come for one of our Vintage Base Ball games you can be a “crank” who gives a “huzzah” for the winners. Or come for a festival and watch the 100-year-old sawmill sliver boards out of trees. It is a step back in time saved by volunteers of Mackinaw.

The Heritage Village/Nature Park was purchased as part of the Headlands Park transaction funded by the DNR Trust Fund, Emmet County, The Shotz Foundation, Little Traverse Conservancy, the McCormick Foundation and the Village of Mackinaw City in 1995. The property was deeded to the Village in 2006. The Heritage Village/ Nature Park is a unique facility that is designed to provide the recreational opportunity to experience the culture and history of the straits area while providing facilities and programs to enjoy wildlife and plant viewing.

 

No admission fee; self-guided cell phone tour available.

 


 

Trails

To request complimentary trail maps, contact Emmet County Communications at (231) 348-1704 or email info@emmetcounty.org

The Little Traverse Wheelway

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wheelway conservancy photo

 

The Little Traverse Wheelway is a spectacular asset that spans Emmet and into Charlevoix County along the Lake Michigan and Little Traverse Bay shoreline. This 26-mile nomotorized paved path skirts the water’s edge from Charlevoix through Bay Harbor, Petoskey and into Harbor Springs.

Watch a video shot along the Little Travese Wheelway by clicking here

 

Little Traverse Wheelway Map

 

The North Western State Trail

M-119 to Alanson, to Mackinaw City

The North Western State Trail is a 32-mile route from M-119 to Mackinaw City; the newest portion completed spans 7 miles from M-119 to Alanson and is paved, smooth and relatively flat for all levels and ages of riders.

 

WEB NW3 WBE NW 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Western State Trail Map

 


 

Campgrounds and State Parks

Petoskey State Park

Petoskey State Park & Beach
2475 M-119
Petoskey, MI  49770
(231) 347-3211
(800) 447-2757

Recreation Passport Required: Yes

Petoskey State Park, located on the north end of Little Traverse Bay, is situated on 303 scenic acres and offers a beautiful sandy beach on the bay. The park has two separate modern campgrounds. Tannery Creek offers 100 campsites, and Dunes offers 80 camp sites.

The park is located between Harbor Springs and Petoskey, both known for their shopping districts, local arts and crafts shops, shows and restaurants. There are no boat launch facilities in the park, but Harbor Springs and Petoskey each have several launches that provide access to Little Traverse Bay. Many nearby inland lakes also have boat launches.

http://www.dnr.state.mi.us/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?id=483&type=SPRK

 

 

Magnus Park

Located at the west end of W. Lake Street, downtown Petoskey, along the Lake Michigan shoreline; below the bluff of McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital

A City of Petoskey owned and operated campground

Magnus Park Campground provides 72 sites for tents, towable recreational vehicles and motor homes. The campground sits at the end of West Lake Street along the shores of Little Traverse Bay. Campers staying at Magnus Park have easy access to Bayfront Park, the Little Traverse Wheelway, McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital, and downtown Petoskey.

Magnus Park provides camping facilities as well as day-use amenities. The park has 1,000 feet of shoreline and is equipped with acess roads, utilities, a wooded area, playground and scenic views of Little Traverse Bay. A small overlook area, known as “Wayside Park” on the upper-elevation bluff, adjacent to the bike path, also provides excellent views of the Bay. Free wireless Internet is available throughout the campground. Reservations are recommended for the peak season.

To download a reservation form, visit www.petoskey.us

 

Camp Petosega

CAMP PET-O-SE-GA
11000 Camp Pet-O-Se-Ga
Alanson, MI  49706
Reservations: (231) 347-6536
CampPetosega@emmetcounty.org
Owned and operated by Emmet County

About the Camp

Camp Pet-O-Se-Ga’s facilities include 90 campsites with electricity and water, modern restrooms and showers, five rental cabins (open year round), playground equipment, and open field game areas. The park also has a recreation hall/multi-use building which can accommodate family reunions, weddings, receptions, and meetings.

More info: emmetcounty.org/petosega/

 

Wilderness State Park and Campground

Wilderness State Park
903 Wilderness Park Drive
Carp Lake, MI  49718
(231) 436-5381

Recreation Passport Required: Yes

Wilderness State Park offers visitors a variety of year-round recreational activities within its over 10,000 acres including 26 miles of beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline, numerous trails, six rustic cabins and three rustic bunkhouses.

Here’s what one blogger had to say about Wilderness: “A single narrow, pitted dirt road leads into the park, providing access to a handful of rustic cabins, trails for hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing, and beaches. The park’s 26 miles of coast on Lake Michigan’s Sturgeon Bay and the Straits of Mackinac are not as flashy as Sleeping Bear Dunes or Pictured Rocks, but are notable for their quiet beauty. Most of the length is not even accessible by formal trail, including the two large islands off the western tip of the mainland, making it easy to get away. (And easy to get lost – the State’s web page advises visitors to carry a map and compass when venturing off the main trails.)”

http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?id=509&type=SPRK

Colonial Fort Michilimackinac

Colonial Fort Michilimackinac
102 Straits Ave.
Mackinaw City, MI  49701
Just west of the Mackinac Bridge

(231) 436-4100

Recreation passport required: No

Fort Michilimackinac was an 18th-century French, and later British, fort and trading post in the Great Lakes of North America. Built around 1715, and abandoned in 1783, it was located along the southern shore of the strategic Straits of Mackinac connecting Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, at the northern tip of the lower peninsula of the present-day state of Michigan in the United States. The site of the fort in present-day Mackinaw City is a National Historic Landmark and is now preserved as an open-air historical museum.

Life here continues much in the way it did in the 1700s. Watch the smoke billow from the cannon and muskets fired by British soldiers and help colonial women prepare food or tend the garden. Join French voyageurs and Native Americans as they demonstrate their way of life – the past and present blur into a fascinating and unmatched experience at Colonial Michilimackinac.

The fort grounds also contain the foot of the Mackinac Bridge, Old Mackinac Point Light, which is an 1892 lighthouse, and a day-use park with a view of the Mackinac Bridge and Mackinac Island.

 


 

The Inland Waterway

Including Crooked Lake, Crooked River, Indian River, Burt & Mullett Lakes, Cheboygan River

 

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The Inland Waterway is Michigan’s longest chain of rivers and lakes, spanning 38.2 miles through Pickerel Lake, Crooked Lake and the Crooked River, and moving northeasterly to Burt Lake (partially in Emmet and Cheboygan counties), and through the Indian River, Mullett Lake, the Cheboygan River and eventually into Lake Huron at Cheboygan.

The waterway can handle boats up to 65-feet long with up to a five-foot draft; though navigation on the Crooked River generally limits boats to 25 feet. The route features two locks: the Cheboygan River Lock and the Crooked River Lock.

At the waterway’s north end, boaters are just 15 miles from Mackinac Island and about 18 miles from the Mackinac Bridge. Water flows from Crooked Lake to the Cheboygan River and into Lake Huron.

History

The Inland Waterway was originally used by Native Americans to avoid the strong waves around Waugoshance Point on Lake Michigan. Consequently, at least 50 Native American encampments have been discovered along the shores of the Inland Water Route. One such encampment, located in Ponshewaing, revealed artifacts dating back over 3,000 years.

This historical marker can be found at Burt Lake State Park:

“The glaciers of the last Ice Age retreated to the north some 25,000 years ago, leaving behind the lakes that rank as Michigan’s most notable and geographical feature. Among the state’s largest inland lakes is Burt Lake, named after William A. Burt, who, together with John Mullett, made a federal survey of the area from 1840 to 1843. By following the Cheboygan River, Mullett Lake, and Indian River to Burt Lake, then up Crooked River to Crooked Lake, Indians and fur traders had only a short portage to Little Traverse Bay. Thus they avoided the trip through the Straits. Completion of a lock on the Cheboygan in 1869 opened this inland waterway to the Cheboygan Slack Water Navigation Company, whose vessels carried passengers and freight until railroads put it out of business. Day-long excursions over these waters became popular with tourists.”

The Inland Water Route Historical Society Museum is located downtown Alanson, off U.S. 131, and includes many historical displays about the history of this unique Michigan asset. www.iwrhs.com

 

inland_waterway

 

 


 

Snowmobile Trail Maps

 

Click here for a map of Petoskey-area snowmobile trails, including trails in Emmet County and in next-door Cheboygan County. (Map from the Petoskey Snowmobile Club)

Click here for a map of the Harbor Springs-area snowmobile trails. (Map from the Harbor Springs Snowmobile Club)

The PDFs below can be printed as well for your convenience.

Snowmobile Trail Map Petoskey area

Harbor Springs area snowmobile map

Emmet County, Michigan
200 Division Street, Petoskey, MI 49770
231-348-1702 | Contact Us