Harbor Springs, the Tunnel of Trees, and the NCT by Bliss

With only 20 miles to go for my goal of 100 miles on the North Country Trail, I came up with an amazing plan to get in some great miles up by Mackinaw and Wilderness State Park.

Before I could start hiking, I had to get there.  For me, getting there can be some of the fun.  I had never been to the coast SW of Wilderness State Park and Google Maps referred to State Road 119 as the “Tunnel of Trees”.  It would just happen to put me close to a couple of trailheads for the NCT.  Yup, sold.

I drove to Harbor Springs, where my love of small towns forced me to have a second breakfast and to walk around.  Harbor Springs is a cute little town, but perhaps a bit upscale for me.  There was a harbor with a large number of expensive boats.  Where were the people who owned them though?  Perhaps they drive up from Petoskey?

It was a cold day and there was a constant mist/drizzle thing going on, so I had to use some warmer gear.  I found a suitable diner and knew that I had the right place when I noticed Batman hanging around!

After fueling up, I drove on to the Tunnel of Trees.  The “Tunnel of Trees” is just 119 going from Harbor Springs to Cross Village.  It is an interesting drive, scenic on this very narrow road.

I was surprised to see the number of houses on this tiny road, and there was almost nowhere to pull over to stop.  There was a small coffee shop that I whizzed by before I knew it was there, a small (packed) general store at Good Hart and Legs Inn at Cross Village.

Legs Inn was an impressive-looking building, but the parking lot was overflowing and I had just had second breakfast.

This was a fun drive, but very busy.  Maybe the cold rainy weather had forced people to do more indoor and car-related activities, or maybe this drive is just that popular.  I would not make the trip up there just to see the Tunnel of Trees, but if you are in the area I would recommend it.

I then went looking for a suitable trailhead to park and get hiking.  I first went to the Sturgeon Bay Trailhead, but it was basically parking on the side of the road.  Lakeview Trailhead was much nicer; with a large parking area, outhouse, and water pump.

Before Starting, I walked out to see Lake Michigan.

Then I got to the trail, where I did not complete nearly as many miles as I had planned.  The trail was great, but the weather was not.  I planned on checking in to my hotel and making plans from there.

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