Getting your steps in or achieving your next fitness goal couldn’t be easier when visiting Traverse City.
The TART Trails provide the perfect opportunity to take in the beauty of the Grand Traverse Bay and a great start to getting your steps. Also known as the TART in Town trail, you will start at West End Beach and make your way along the shoreline to Clinch Park. From there, you’ll start your journey of exploring downtown Traverse City.
Crossing over Grandview Parkway to Front Street can be tricky, so we suggest using the Clinch Park Tunnel for easy access to downtown. The best part about this walkway is the Native American artwork painted along the walls of the tunnel.
Downtown is the perfect place to take a leisurely walk while enjoying a little bit of shopping. As you make your way down Front Street, don’t forget to stop in for a cup of coffee at Espresso Bay, grab some cherry goodies from the Cherry Republic, and pick up a T-shirt or sweatshirt from the M22 store. A morning spent walking around town while taking in glimpses of the Grand Traverse Bay is a great way to start achieving your goal.
If all of the walking and shopping is making you thirsty for an adult beverage, you’re in luck! From Front Street, make your way down Cass Street to Traverse City Whiskey Company where you can experience a selection of products to get the true “Up North” experience. On your walk there you’ll see the small neighborhoods that makeup Traverse City.
SPEND THE DAY AT THE VILLAGE
Take a step back into the history of Traverse City by visiting the old State Hospital, also known as The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Shopping, dining, and hiking trails? What more could you ask for?
Stop in for a one-of-a-kind retail experience featuring local shops and boutiques. The Village campus also features a wide variety of dining options. From a winery to a brewery, to fine dining and grab n’ go, you will get exactly what you want before taking on the many trails in the area.
A TRIP TO SLEEPING BEAR DUNES
Here’s your sign to head over to Sleeping Bear Dunes to experience the mountains of northern Michigan, sand mountains that is. A couple of trails we would suggest are the Empire Bluff Trail and the Pyramid Point Trail.
The Empire Bluff Trail is 1.5 miles that lead you to a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. Make sure to grab a self-guiding brochure at the start of the trailhead to help with your journey along the trail. The Pyramid Point Trail is 2.7 miles long with a lookout point high over Lake Michigan 0.6 miles from the trailhead. Be prepared before taking on this trail because it does feature hilly terrain.
As always, for your safety, please do not descend the bluffs on both trails but DO stop to take in the beautiful blue water.
CATCH VIEWS OF THE BOARDMAN LAKE
Another TART trail to check out that is connected to downtown is the Boardman Lake Trail which will one day circle the whole lake. The 4-mile trail is heavily wooded and is a great place to spend a couple of hours or even the whole day. Don’t forget to rest for a moment at the 15-acre Medalie Park at the south end of the trail.
The Boardman Lake Trail has easy access to the library, the sailing center, and other local businesses. All that exercise means it's time for a good meal, you can stop along the trail at The Filling Station, Raduno, or Right Brain Brewery for a quick stop. The future loop around the lake will provide connections to other businesses making it the perfect outing filled with plenty of places to check out.
EXPLORE A TRAIL WITH ARTWORK
Open every day, year-round, the Michigan Legacy Art Park offers an opportunity to get out and get moving. The Park has two miles of beautiful hiking trails where you will discover art along the way.
How much art should you expect to see? You will discover 50 sculptures and over 30 poetry stones while taking in the beauty of northern Michigan.