A view of the bay at Michigan's Petoskey State Park

This whole-family bike overnight trip from Charlevoix to Petoskey, Michigan followed the Little Traverse Wheelway along Lake Michigan's Little Traverse Bay. We camped at Petoskey State Park.

When: End of June in 2015.

Bicycle Adventurers: Our family of five went on this trip along with my nephew. This was the first overnight bike trip for my husband, youngest, and nephew.

Accommodations: Camping at Petoskey State Park.

Distance: We did about 20 miles, each way, over two days on the Little Traverse Wheelway along Lake Michigan's Little Traverse Bay.

Bonus tip for this adventure:

  • About nine miles after you leave Charlevoix, when you're hungry and smell food, but can't find it, it's down the big hill in Bay Shore. 
  • When you tell your nine year old that you're having a snack halfway through your ride, make sure she knows you mean approximately half way and stopping hard at exactly the halfway point can cause injury for those behind her.

Day One:

The night before our start, we stayed at Fisherman's Island State Park. In the morning, we drove through Charlevoix to the start of the trail. Crazy traffic due to a marathon on the trail, forced us to park at a church across the street from the trail parking. Police officers near the race assured us it would be done in an hour, so we packed the bikes slowly. You might want to check the date of that marathon.

The trail stays close to Little Traverse Bay and has some amazing views. We stopped in Petoskey for lunch at a small diner, then continued on to our home for the night, Petoskey State Park, where we set up camp and went to the beach. For dinner, my sister and brother in-law brought us hot dogs and birthday cake for my nephew.

Day Two:

The next day, after some jumping off the sand dunes and eating oatmeal, we packed up and headed back toward Charlevoix. We walked out on the piers in Petoskey to enjoy the views yet again, and for lunch, we went to the pancake place in Bay Shore.

I feared I hadn't packed enough band-aids when I watched my nephew ride down the steepest hills with his hands above his head, but it all worked out and we had a great time.

Your favorite local bike shop?
Village Bike an Fitness 5991 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508

We also like Spoke Folks (221 Logan St SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503) It's a great place to work on your own bike and learn a lot.

Bike overnight tips and tricks? 

  1. My 15 year old says if you have extra jelly at the end of breakfast just eat it because it gives you energy. 
  2. Before the trip I exchanged our wide two inch tires for some 1.5" tires with a higher pressure. This made the bikes much more efficient.

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