Using the wide paved shoulder along M-37, cyclists can ride from Traverse City to Mission Point Lighthouse. The well-traveled route on Old Mission Peninsula is a little over 18 miles one way and offers abundant beautiful scenery. You'll see the two arms of Grand Traverse Bay, rolling hills, vineyards, and farmland along the way.
The route is very hilly, with at least nine significant hills along the way. The views from the hilltops are often rewarding, though. North of Nelson Road, there is a scenic pull-off that offers a pretty view of a large vineyard and the West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay.
The route ends at Lighthouse Park, which has vault toilets and a rocky beach on Grand Traverse Bay. The park is also home to two historic structures:
- The Hessler Log Home was completed in 1856 and was used by early settlers, Mary and Joseph Hessler. The home was moved to the park and repaired during the 1990s.
- Mission Point Lighthouse (Old Mission Lighthouse) was built in 1870. It's located at the 45th parallel, which is half way between the North Pole and the equator. The wood-framed lighthouse is currently a museum.
Traverse City is a beautiful waterfront community. Traverse City State Park, Clinch Park, Sunset Park and West End Park offer sandy swimming beaches and recreational facilities along two arms of Grand Traverse Bay. The city also has a very nice paved trail system
for biking, walking, and jogging.
There are lots of hotels, restaurants and stores in Traverse City, with many located near the waterfront along US-31/M-72. The region is known for tasty cherries and full-bodied wines, as well as championship golfing.
Suttons Bay and the Leelenau Trail
are just northwest of Traverse City.