Leelanau Trail

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Leelanau trail
Map showing the location of Leelanau trail
Map showing the location of Leelanau trail
Location within the state of Michigan
LocationLower Peninsula, Leelanau County, Michigan, USA
Nearest cityTraverse City, Michigan
Suttons Bay, Michigan
Coordinates44°46′31″N 85°38′31″W / 44.775369°N 85.641886°W / 44.775369; -85.641886Coordinates: 44°46′31″N 85°38′31″W / 44.775369°N 85.641886°W / 44.775369; -85.641886
Governing body
Leelanau County Road Commission
Length17 mi (27 km)
TrailheadsTraverse City, Michigan
Suttons Bay, Michigan
UseCycling, Hiking, XC skiing
WebsiteOfficial site

The Leelanau Trail is part of U.S Bicycle Route 35, but also an all paved non-motorized recreational rail trail of 17-mile (27 km) in length that extends from the west side of Traverse City, Michigan to Suttons Bay, Michigan.

This trail passes through the eastern side of Leelanau County, a fast-growing section of the Traverse City metropolitan area. Most, but not all, of the trail follows early 20th-century roadbeds of the former Manistee and North-Eastern Railroad and Traverse City, Leelanau and Manistique, later reorganized as the Leelanau Transit Company.

The Leelanau Trails Association purchased most of the 15-mile (24 km) trail right-of-way in 1995. Prior to this purchase, the railbed had been operated as Leelanau Scenic Railway. In 2004, the Leelanau Trail was connected to the TART Trail at the junction of M-22 and M-72 on the northwest edge of Traverse City. The trail will be part of the Grand Traverse edible Trails project. The idea of an edible forest is while on the trail you can pick of fruit from vines and or orchards, however with this project will take time to become a full-fledged forest.[1]

The Leelanau Trail passes through a key segment of the Leelanau Peninsula AVA, part of the Michigan wine country. Riesling grapes are grown here.

Points of interest along the trail include:

  • Beaches
  • Downtown Suttons Bay
  • Wineries
  • Regional Transportation (Bay.Area.Transportation.Authority)
  • Bike shop (Suttons Bay)
  • DeYoung Nature Area on Cedar Lake

Trail heads[edit]

Suttons Bay, Michigan Parking surface Amenities:Near trail Coordinates
4th St. Paved Banks,Subway,Public transit and Local medical clinic 44°58′15″N 85°39′04″W / 44.970860°N 85.651171°W / 44.970860; -85.651171
Leelanau County,Michigan Parking surface Amenities:Near trail Coordinates
Fouch Rd Dirt None 44°49′35″N 85°40′56″W / 44.826346°N 85.682217°W / 44.826346; -85.682217
DeYoung Natural Area Dirt Restroom(Summer) 44°48′34″N 85°39′13″W / 44.809569°N 85.653500°W / 44.809569; -85.653500
Cherry Bend Rd. Paved Party store and Restaurants 44°47′37″N 85°38′44″W / 44.793509°N 85.645568°W / 44.793509; -85.645568
Riesling grapes.