Travel Directions & Area Attractions

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Looking to spend the day hiking, swimming or site seeing? Try these amazing places!

Huron-Manistee National Forest

Huron-Manistee National Forests

Lying between the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron in the northern half of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, is the nearly one-million-acre Huron-Manistee National Forests. The Forests offer year-around motorized and non-motorized recreation opportunities. Most popular are the trails and campgrounds along four nationally designated Wild and Scenic Rivers such as the Pine, Manistee, Au Sable and Pere Marquette.

Arcadia Dunes

Arcadia Dunes: The C.S. Mott Nature Preserve

Arcadia Dunes includes over 15 miles of trail that wind through dunes, forests and many other landscapes. Adjacent working farms have also been permanently protected, ensuring the longevity of this area’s rich agricultural heritage. This incredibly diverse preserve provides a wide range of recreation opportunities and experiences, from hiking to birding to mountain biking and hunting. This preserve is home to the very popular Overlook Trail at Arcadia Dunes, a universally accessible trail that leaves from the Baldy parking lot and takes users to a stunning overlook of Lake Michigan.

Crystal Mountain

Crystal Mountain

Crystal Mountain is many things to many people. It is 58 downhill trails and 36 championship holes of golf. From the Crystal Center to the Park at Water’s Edge, Michigan Legacy Art Park to the Crystal Coaster Alpine Slide, MountainTop to the most recent expansion to the Inn at the Mountain, a pedestrian-friendly village emerged, piece by piece attracting as many, if not more, guests during the summer and fall as it does when the lifts are running the hills are covered in snow.


Elberta Dunes South Natural Area

EDNA is our most recent addition to the Village Parks. Rising to 225′ above Lake Michigan, EDNA rewards hikers with beautiful panoramic views of the Betsie River Wildlife Refuge and the Lake Michigan Shoreline. The hike is moderately difficult and venturing off the path is not encouraged to avoid dune erosion and poison ivy. EDNA is at the southernmost part of the Village and is accessed by a parking area off M-22. ENDA can also be entered by bicycles and pedestrians from the south end of Lincoln Ave.

Betsie River Pathway

Betsie River Pathway

The Betsie River Pathway winds for 8 plus miles along the Bestie River, six miles west of Thompsonville and south of Traverse City. The trail is good for hiking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing and contains two loops. The first of two loops contains mostly flat terrain, is a little bit longer at 6.6 miles and winds through the woods. The second of the two loops is a shorter, 2.8-mile route that contains more varied terrain through meadow and wooded areas. The Betsie River Pathway also connects to Crystal Mountain’s Aspen Trail.

Arcadia Marsh Nature Preserve

Esch Beach

This beautiful beach is located at the mouth of Otter Creek. It is fun to wade in the warm water of the creek. Walk up the creek to see a variety of wildflowers that line the banks. The creek outlet to the lake can move north or south depending on the wave action on the lake. It can look different each time you visit. Esch Road is located about 3 mile south of Empire on M-22. Turn to the west and follow the road about 1 mile to Lake Michigan. You can park along the road and there are bathroom facilities.

Beulah Public Beach

Beulah Public Beach

Beulah Public Beach is located on the northwest side of the village on the shores of Crystal Lake. The beach has several hundred feet of sandy shore, a beach house, tennis courts, a playground, and parking. Swimming is great at the beach with its sandy bottom and safely marked swimming area.

Or maybe you’d like to take a scenic day trip?

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Miles of sand beach, bluffs that tower 450’ above Lake Michigan, lush forests, clear inland lakes, unique flora and fauna make up the natural world of Sleeping Bear Dunes. High dunes afford spectacular views across the lake. An island lighthouse, US Life-Saving Service stations, coastal villages, and picturesque farmsteads reflect the park’s rich maritime, agricultural, and recreational history.

Point Betsie Lighthouse

Point Betsie Lighthouse

Explore a place where Great Lakes maritime history is brought to life. At Point Betsie lighthouse, you’ll learn about daily life as a lighthouse keeper. You’ll see the keeper’s daily routines and feel the danger of a long-ago Lake Michigan rescue. You’ll imagine the loneliness and isolation when the nearest road is 40 miles away – and it could only be reached by boat along the Lake Michigan shoreline. And you’ll look across the water from the lighthouse tower and imagine a hundred vessels a day, loaded with iron ore, wheat, or timber, sailing for Chicago or Milwaukee or Marquette.

Arcadia Marsh Nature Preserve

Arcadia Marsh Nature Preserve

Arcadia Marsh Preserve, located just south of Arcadia, offers visitors access to a Great Lakes Coastal Marsh, a rare and declining natural community found only in Great Lakes coastal areas. It is estimated that over 80% of all original Great Lakes marshes have been destroyed. These marshes are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world, and Arcadia Marsh is one of only 15 or so remaining coastal marshes along Lake Michigan’s Lower Peninsula shoreline.

Interlochen State Park

Interlochen State Park

Located just 15 miles southwest of Traverse City, Interlochen State Park is situated between two well-known fishing and swimming lakes: Green Lake and Duck Lake and adjacent to the National Music Camp.

Fish Hatchery

Harrietta DNR Fish Hatchery

Open at no charge to public. Weekdays, 8:30 am to 4 pm. Weekends, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. To schedule group tours, please call 231-389-2211.

For the Golfer out there

Arcadia Bluffs

Arcadia Bluffs

Arcadia Bluffs features two unique golfing experiences. The Bluffs Course resembles a seaside links course with views of Lake Michigan. The South Course is a tribute to a bygone era in golf course design that few have experienced.

Bear Lake

Bear Lake Highlands

The 18-hole Bear Lake Highlands Golf Course in Bear Lake, MI is a semi-private golf course that opened in 1966. Bear Lake Highlands Golf Course measures 6527 yards from the longest tees. The course features 3 sets of tees for different skill levels.

Chesnut Hills Golf

Chesnut Hills

Enjoy the tree-lined Fairways on 18 wooded holes. Carved out from the woods that border the coast of Lake Michigan in North Manistee County, Chestnut Hills Golf Course has a story as rich as the neighboring farmland.

Crystal Mountain

Crystal Mountain

Crystal Mountain is northern Michigan’s golf destination with two distinctively different, yet equally mesmerizing golf courses. Both the Mountain Ridge and Betsie Valley golf courses have received a prestigious 4-Star rating from Golf Digest magazine and are sure to challenge your skills at every turn.

Champion Hill

Pinecroft & Champion Hill

Pinecroft features undulating terrain, excellent rolling greens, and mature pine and fir trees, combine with the magnificent views of Crystal Lake making for a very memorable golf experience. Champion Hill is distinguished by its scenic, open, rolling, heather lined fairways, large contoured greens and distant views of Lake Michigan, Crystal Lake, and Platte Lakes.