Leland- 2014 Michigander City Spotlight

16 04 2014

Cushioned between Lake Michigan and Lake Leelanau, Leland is a striking village located north and west of Traverse City. The charming community is home to unique shops, restaurants, the Leland Marina and historic Fishtown.

Seagulls on the shores of Lake Michigan.  Source: http://www.lelandmi.com

Seagulls on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Source: http://www.lelandmi.com

Northern Michigan is notorious for its roots in commercial fishing and wildlife. Leland’s Fishtown is rich in the maritime history in Michigan. Fishing shanties, smokehouses, docks, fish tugs and charter boats line the Leland River and were once the heart of commercial fishing in the Great Lakes. The shanties of Fishtown date back to the early 1900s when settlers came to Leland. Prior to their arrival, the Native Americans fished the bountiful waters to sustain their livelihood. The shanties are fruitful with unique shops and exemplify a story of endurance, after surviving more than 150 bitter, windy winters in the north.

The Fishtown Marina.  Source: http://www.bonappetit.com/

The Fishtown Marina.
Source: http://www.bonappetit.com/

Riders of the 23rd Annual Michigander can walk the streets and docks of Fishtown and visit the quaint boutiques, galleries and unique eateries. Sugar-sand beaches can be found on both Lake Michigan and Lake Leelanau, where Michigander riders can cool off in the lake or just soak in the scenic views.

The Leelanau Historic Society Museum allows visitors to explore the diverse cultures of the Leelanau Peninsula and the surrounding areas.

Who’s ready to visit Leland? Share your favorite characteristic about the village below!





First Stop on the Michigander: Reed City!

9 04 2014

Reed City, population 3,000, embodies a Michigan small town. Once known as “Michigan’s crossroads” because of the intersection of Michigan’s main North/South and East/West railroads, Reed City is full of history and natural beauty. Reed City is now a “Michigan Trail Crossroads” for two intersecting trails, the White Pine and the Pere Marquette Trails, that show off its vibrant scenery. The fully restored historic railroad depot at the crossroads depicts the history of this town that grew up along these tracks.

The Reed City Depot is located next to the Pere Marquette Trail, just north of the trailhead parking lot.                                                                                    Source: Eye on Michigan http://www.eyeonmichigan.com/guides/reedcity/photos.php

In 1975, Yoplait Yogurt came to the United States, rolling right into Reed City where the plant is still located downtown. Michigander bicyclists will get the opportunity to see the picturesque downtown, pedal along Reed City’s trails, sample the White Pine Trail’s covered bridge over the River, and appreciate plentiful parks.

The intersection of the Pere Marquette Trail and Fred Meijer Pine Trail in Reed City.  Source: Eye on Michigan http://www.eyeonmichigan.com/guides/reedcity/photos.php

The intersection of the Pere Marquette Trail and Fred Meijer Pine Trail in Reed City.
Source: Eye on Michigan http://www.eyeonmichigan.com/guides/reedcity/photos.php





Blessing of the Blossoms: 2014 Michigander Spotlight

2 04 2014

Did you know that Michigan produces 70-75 percent of the tart cherries grown in the United States? With 3.8 million tart cherry trees, the sandy soil on the shores of Lake Michigan allows for cherry production to thrive in Northern Michigan. Dubbed “The Cherry Capital of the World”, Traverse City harvests both tart and sweet cherries, which are used for pies, preserves, jellies, juice, dried fruit and other products.

Cherry production began with missionary Peter Dougherty in the mid-1800s, when he planted cherry trees on Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City. Cherry orchards soon prospered and by the 1900s, processing factories were built to outsource cherries to Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee. In 1998, 228.5 million pounds of Michigan tart cherries went to processors to be sold throughout the United States!

ImageSource: Traverse City True North Blog 

In 1924, a spring celebration titled Blessing of the Blossoms first celebrated the region’s love for cherries. As the years have passed, the festival became the National Cherry Festival, held every July in Traverse City.

The countryside of Northern Michigan is sprinkled with cherry stands, markets and orchards for locals and visitors to satisfy their cherry cravings. Bursting with flavor, cherries are a favorite of local eateries in Traverse City. Cherry pies offer up a little sweet and a little tart with each bite, while dried cherries put a tasty twist on salads, baked goods, and even dishes featuring chicken and pork. A Leelanau County butcher put a healthy twist on the traditional beef burger, creating a hamburger/cherry mix that is a local favorite.

The 23rd annual Michigander route takes riders through Traverse City and the TART Trail. The cherry season will be in full swing—you won’t want to miss it!

Do you love cherries? Sound off below with your favorite cherry recipe!





Detroit Bike City

26 03 2014

Calling all cycling enthusiasts! The first North American Bicycle Week is coming to the COBO Center March 27-28, 2014. Detroit’s growing enthusiasm for non-motorized transportation will help foster the trails and connecting bike lanes, making it an easy and smart commute. For example, the Dequindre Cut Greenway, links walkways between the Riverfront, the Eastern Market and residential neighborhoods in-between. The four-day event will celebrate the culture and healthy lifestyle of cycling. Top bike manufacturers will host demonstrations for their newest gear and cycling gadgets, and Detroit’s top bike manufacturers will display their custom builds.

Source: Detroit Bike City  Visit: www.detroitbikecity.org

Source: Detroit Bike City
Visit: http://www.detroitbikecity.org


The Detroit Bike City Expo at Wayne Hall, COBO Center, on Saturday, March 29 will feature more than 100 vendors and open forums to discuss the regional and national policies and initiatives to inform the bicycling community and industry. The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance will be a vendor at the Expo from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will feature the latest trail and greenways information, as well as discussing the 23rd Annual Michigander “True North” tour. Day and night rides for all ages and experience levels will be a great way for cyclists to get an early taste of the Michigander this July 12-18, 2014! Both the 15-mile Annual Spring Training Ride and Feeder Ride begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 29.

Have you experienced the City of Detroit on a bicycle seat? Share your ride experience in Detroit below!





The Legend of the Sleeping Bear Dunes- 2014 Michigander Spotlight

21 03 2014

The Legend of Sleeping Bear Dunes has captivated children and adults alike for hundreds of years. According to the National Park Service, legend has it that “Long ago, along the Wisconsin shoreline, a mother bear and her two cubs were driven into Lake Michigan by a raging forest fire. The bears swam for many hours, but eventually the cubs tired and lagged behind. Mother Bear reached the shore and climbed to the top of a high bluff to watch and wait for her cubs. Too tired to continue, the cubs drowned within sight of the shore. The Great Spirit Manitou created two islands to mark the spot where the cubs disappeared and then created a solitary dune to represent the faithful mother bear.”

The Sleeping Bear Point Trail
Source: The National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov

Experience the Dunes firsthand during the 2014 Michigander. The Michigander will take riders along the newly- built Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, which spans 27 miles. The trail is paved, wheel-chair accessible and travels 4.25 miles from the Dune Climb to the village of Glen Arbor. A hike up the Dune Climb is a main attraction for kids (and adults!) to climb up and run down the dunes, which overlooks Glen Lake.  Modern restrooms and a bookstore are at the base of the Dune Climb, and riders can climb back up the dune to cool off in Lake Michigan or have a picnic at the bottom of the dunes.

Areas surrounding the Dunes are rich in not only history, but with shops, eateries, galleries, music and wine. One-of-a-kind shops in Leelanau County offer a unique and enjoyable experience, and visitors are greeted with a warm welcome from the local businesses.  If you grab a bite to eat, you can enjoy a dining experience on the waterfront  or outdoor dining to enjoy the scenic views of Leelanau County.

We’ll see you at the Dunes July 12-18 for the 2014 Michigander True North Bicycle Tour!

Have you been to the Sleeping Bear Dunes? Share your favorite memory about the Dunes below!






The countdown is on for the 23rd Michigander Bike Tour – Time to Get Moving!!

14 03 2014

The True North Michigander Bike Tour is gearing up to ride some of Northern Michigan’s best railtrails, roads and bike paths and railways. From July 12-18 riders will experience everything that Pure Michigan has to offer, from world-class sunsets to sandy beaches and picturesque lighthouses. Riders of every age and skill are welcome to bring their mountain, road and hybrid bikes to join in the fun. The Michigander has 2-, 6- and 7- day tours, stopping in Reed City, Mesick, Frankfort, Leland, Traverse City and Cadillac.

The 2-day tour takes off in Reed City, and is a great option for families and new riders. The 6- and 7-day tours extend the adventure, leading riders along the trails of Pere Marquette, the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park, the Betsey Valley Rail Trail and more. Riders can expect to ride 30-57 miles a day, and all tours include camping accommodations, two meals per day, luggage transportation, water stops and family fun entertainment along the way.

2-Day Tour: July 12-13

6-Day Tour: July 13-18

7-Day Tour: July 12-18

Registration is open now and is available online or by mail. You can find registration information and much more here!

Have you participated in a past Michigander? We would love to hear from you! Tell us your story  – include pictures if you can — and you may be featured on our blog! Please Email MTGA Intern Alyssa at Alyssa@michigantrails.org.





Michigan Trails Week 2013

20 09 2013

Join us in celebrating Michigan Trails Week, a week-long campaign highlighting events and volunteer activities happening in communities around the state. Michigan offers a vast and varied network of trails (motorized, non-motorized, and water trails), and you are invited to explore them all. Plus, this year, the week will end on National Public Lands Day, and to celebrate, participating local, state and federal parks in Michigan will offer free admission for the day.

Check out the calendar of events for the week here and find trails and other trail information here, courtesy of Michigan DNR!

Grab your friends and family, find a trail, and let the adventure begin. Welcome to Michigan’s woods and waters!

Jackson bikelanes1








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