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Petoskey, Michigan Parks, Trails, Strawberry Lake, Attractions & More





Located on sparkling Little Traverse Bay, Petoskey is a picture-perfect community, with a magnificent waterfront area, an active downtown shopping district, and many historic locations. No matter the season, Petoskey is a relaxing destination with plenty to offer.

Petoskey State Park

Petoskey State Park is northeast of downtown Petoskey, off M-119. It features a large, picturesque beach on the beautiful blue water of Little Traverse Bay. The park has hiking trails and offers access to the Little Traverse Wheelway, which is used by cyclists, joggers and walkers. Petoskey State Park also has modern camping facilities and a small playground. For campground reservation information, visit the DNR's web site.

Petoskey Area Parks

Near downtown Petoskey, Bayfront Park is home to Little Traverse History Museum, Ed White Field, Petoskey Marina, and much more. In the marina area, there is a boat launch, a nice playground, and a unique clocktower. The park is a popular spot for picnics on sunny, summer days. The park is connected to Sunset Park by wooden stairs.

Sunset Park has a magnificent view of the harbor and, like its name suggests, is a great spot to watch the sunset. It is located on the north side of US-31, on a bluff overlooking Bayfront Park and Little Traverse Bay.

Arlington Park and Gardens is located near downtown, south of US-31. The park has a gazebo, gardens, and a scenic view of Little Traverse Bay.

Mineral Well Park is located near Bayfront Park and features a small mineral spring.

Harbor Refuge Park is west of Bayfront Park and provides a scenic view of the Petoskey Light Station and the marina area.

Another great spot to watch the sunset is Magnus Park. The park has a modern campground with access to Little Traverse Bay and the Little Traverse Wheelway. Magnus Park's rocky beach is the best spot in Petoskey to find a Petoskey Stone, a rock that contains fossilized coral and is Michigan's state stone.

During the winter months, Petoskey's Winter Sports Park is an excellent spot to go sledding, snowboarding, and ice skating. The park has an outdoor hockey rink and a nice warming building to get out of the cold. The Winter Sports Park is open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and from noon to 9 p.m. on weekends. Limited skate rental is available. In February, the park hosts the annual Petoskey Winter Carnival.

Washington Park features a ball diamond and a small playground.

Lockwood Park is home to Bob Woodruff Field and a basketball court.

Curtis Park has a large green space and picnic areas.

Trails in the Petoskey Area

The Little Traverse Wheelway is one of the most popular trails in Northern Michigan. The paved recreational trail is used for biking, hiking, jogging and roller-blading. Extending from Charlevoix to beyond Petoskey State Park, the route is very scenic, providing excellent views of Little Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan.

Petoskey and Harbor Springs are connected by a portion of the Little Traverse Wheelway and a bike route along M-119. You'll want to use caution when riding next to the road.

The Mackinaw City - Petoskey Trail is primarily used for snowmobiling, but can also be used for rugged mountain biking and hiking.

Petoskey State Park has hiking trails that pass through wooded areas and offer glimpses of the Little Traverse Bay.

Bike Routes

Using the wide road shoulder along US-131, cyclists can ride between Petoskey, Boyne Falls and Cadillac. Be alert and obey traffic laws when riding on the road shoulder or the outer edge of the road. It's also a good idea to pack water, food and supplies before heading out on your ride.
  • Petoskey - Boyne Falls Bike Route (16 miles) - You'll need to ride on the outer edge of outside lane on US-131 in Petoskey until the road narrows past Walmart and Meijer and the paved road shoulder appears.

  • Petoskey - Cadillac Bike Route (90 miles) - Using the wide road shoulder along US-131, cyclists can ride between Petoskey and Cadillac, passing through Boyne Falls, Mancelona, Kalkaska, and Manton. The route passes rolling farmland and offers many scenic views.

Before you go, it's a good idea to check the State of Michigan's construction database to make sure there will not be any construction on the road that can interfere with your ride.

Petoskey Stone

Michigan's state stone is the Petoskey Stone, and you can find the unique rocks in a few spots around Petoskey. Each stone contains fossilized coral in a distinctive pattern. The fossils are fragments of a coral reef that dates back approximately 350 million years ago. They can range in size, from tiny pebbles to larger rocks.

Magnus Park in Petoskey is the best location to search for Petoskey Stones, but the rocky beach at Bayfront Park and Petoskey State Park are also good locations.

The best way to find a Petoskey Stone is to search in the shallow water, and when you see a stone that might be a Petoskey Stone, pick it up and examine the rock. It's a lot easier to tell when the rock is wet, so if you start sorting through dry rocks, it's best to dip a rock in water to see the patterns or markings of the stone.

Boating

Petoskey Municipal Marina is located at Bayfront Park, southeast of the concrete breakwall in Petoskey's harbor. It is open from May to October and offers diesel, gas, pump-out service, water, ice, electrical service, laundry, and wireless Internet service.

The marina has 144 boat slips, with 72 seasonal slips. The marina has a waiting list for seasonal slips. The remaining 72 slips are for transient dockage, and the marina accepts reservations for transient slips up to six months in advance. Petoskey Marina is a Harbor of Refuge and will not refuse dockage; marina staff will raft vessels if necessary. For reservation details and other information, visit the Municipal Marina's web site.

A boat launch is provided at Petoskey Municipal Marina, with parking for vehicles and trailers nearby.

The marina is within walking distance of downtown Petoskey's shopping district and is very close to the Little Traverse Wheelway.

There are other marinas available across Little Traverse Bay at Harbor Springs.

Lighthouse

The Petoskey Pier Light is located at the end of a concrete breakwall at Harbor Refuge Park, near the marina at Bayfront Park. The cylindrical shaped steel tower is topped with a red light.

Historic Locations

Petoskey has many noteworthy locations and historical markers. Please see the Historic Locations and Attractions for more.

Ernest Hemingway & Petoskey

During his boyhood, Ernest Hemingway often spent summers with his family in Northern Michigan at Walloon Lake. Later, as a young author, he spent time at several places in Petoskey, including the Perry Hotel, Jesperson's Restaurant, the Carnegie Building, and City Park Grill. In 1921, he married Hadley Richardson in nearby Horton Bay.

Hemingway wrote two dozen short stories involving a fictional character named Nick Adams. The stories were based in Petoskey and other nearby locations. The author also chose Northern Michigan as the setting for his novella The Torrents of Spring.

The Michigan Hemingway Society remembers the Nobel Prize-winning author each year in Petoskey with its annual Hemingway Weekend in October. Speakers, readings, exhibits, and tours of Northern Michigan locations where Hemingway spent his boyhood summers are part of the festivities.

More About Petoskey

Beyond its recreational parks, Petoskey has a vibrant downtown with many unique shops, art galleries, and restaurants. There are also many restaurants and stores located along US-131 and US-31. Meijer and Walmart are located on US-131 near the southern edge of Petoskey.

During the summer, the Farmer's Market is hosted along Howard Street near Mitchell Street.

In August, the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual Festival on the Bay. The celebration includes live music, running/walking events, activities for children, an arts & crafts show, and much more.

For lodging, Petoskey has several options. For memorable stays at historic locations, Stafford's Perry Hotel (1899) and Stafford's Bay View Inn (1886) offer elegance and hospitality. Larger chain hotels can be found along US-31 and US-131.

Odawa Casino Resort is located on the south side of Petoskey, just off US-131 at 1760 Lears Rd. It features over 1,500 slot machines and dozens of table games.








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