Michigan Land Use Institute

Thriving Communities / News & Views / A Summer of Smart Commuting: Hitting the Trail

A Summer of Smart Commuting: Hitting the Trail

An exploration of the Leelanau Trail

Choices | June 19, 2013 | By Zoë McAlear

Recent Posts

MLUI Supports Proposal 1

Transportation | April 17, 2015 | By James Bruckbauer

Michigan’s roads and bridges are in desperate need of repair, yet the funding structure for transportation is broken. The measure on the ballot this May 5 attempts to remedy that. While Proposal 1 is not a perfect fix, the Michigan Land Use Institute firmly believes that the positive changes it would have for our infrastructure far outweigh the negatives. ...

MLUI takes first place in crowdfunding competition

A2TC | March 26, 2015 | By MLUI

The work to bring passenger rail to Traverse City is off to a good start thanks to a quick crowdfunding effort that raised almost $19,000 in ten days. This month, the Michigan Land Use Institute took first place in the Patagonia and Moosejaw “$10,000 Charity Thing,” an annual crowdfunding competition among ten causes nationwide, and took home an additional $5,000 prize for a total of $18,650....

A2TC: Connecting Traverse City and Ann Arbor by Rail

A2TC | February 25, 2015 | By James Bruckbauer

Modern passenger rail service connecting Traverse City to Ann Arbor... it's quite a vision. It would strengthen our regional economy and stimulate development along the route. It would take cars off the highways, with the environmental benefits of cleaner air and less fuel consumption. It would use an existing asset to offer a new transportation option for those of us who live in the Traverse City area and an appealing new way for visitors to come to our area. But what’s most exciting? It can be a reality, and it’s the Michigan Land Use Institute’s goal that within 10 years, regular passenger train service connects Traverse City and Ann Arbor....

I successfully made it out to Suttons Bay this past weekend, and I have some good news and some bad.

The good news is that I managed to ride both ways and feel very accomplished, but the bad news is that I don’t have an experience with BATA to share. So, I’ll save busing for a later article and rave about the TART trails for a bit.

The Leelanau Trail takes you from Traverse City to Suttons Bay by way of the trail along the bay in downtown TC. You quickly leave the city behind and are surrounded by open fields, farmlands, and forested areas. It’s a pretty impressive project to have uninterrupted trail for 17 miles and it provides such a cool opportunity for a bike trip.

There was a wide variety of people out on the trail, from experienced riders in bike jerseys and spandex shorts to families with young children. The trail is paved the entire way and is mostly flat—I realized as I coasted downhill on the way back that it must have been a gradual uphill on the way there. I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of water stations along the trail with a picnic table, water jug, and sometimes a dog bowl. It helped make the trail feel even more comfortable and accessible.

Maybe it’s easy to forget about the trails when they’re right in your backyard, or to feel like they’re not for you, but you don’t have to ride all the way to Suttons Bay to be able to enjoy them. Even just a few miles outside of Traverse City it becomes quite the peaceful ride. They’re worth giving a try. 

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Michigan Land Use Institute

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