Cyclists tackle heat to travel from Lake to Lake



Photo: Lake to Lake Tour participants cross the Tower Pond on the North Eastern State Trail.

Twenty cyclists braved the hottest, most humid weekend of the year to ride from Alpena on Lake Huron to Petoskey on Lake Michigan. The first “Lake to Lake Tour” took place Friday, September 22 to Sunday, September 24.  The tour, presented by Top of Michigan Trails Council (TOMTC), made use of four of the multi-use trails in the Council’s network.

The completion of the North Western State Trail in 2016 made it possible to travel from lake to lake in on dedicated bicycle trails for the first time in the state of Michigan. After dipping their rear wheels in Lake Huron at the marina in Alpena, the group took the Alpena Bi-Path to the start of the North Eastern State Trail (NEST). After a stop in Metz for lunch (along with a presentation on the devastating Metz Fire of 1908), the group rode to dinner and lodging at Nettie Bay Lodge, a hunting and fishing lodge located two miles from the NEST near Hawks. On Saturday, the group stayed at the Best Western in Cheboygan, and traveled by pontoon boat down the river to Pier 33 where they enjoyed dinner and a presentation on Cheboygan’s history. On Sunday, the group cycled from Cheboygan to Mackinaw City on the North Central State Trail, and then south on the North Western State Trail to the Little Traverse Wheelway, which led them to the Petoskey marina where they dipped their front tires in Lake Michigan.

Reviews were overwhelmingly positive for the tour. One rider from Traverse City wrote, “I want to thank you and the team for making the Lake to Lake tour so pleasurable…. All the support made us very comfortable, knowing we wouldn’t be left in the woods.  You also had little extra side trips, the pontoon rides to see the loons, the pontoon ride on the river to dinner, the historians telling us about Metz and Cheboygan, and the cheering when we arrived at Petoskey with cokes and cookies…. Thanks for a very organized and well-run trip.  It was great fun with great people (even though it was a little warm).”

TOMTC board member Jim Conboy planned the event, with help from committee members Jim Schroeder, Steve Biggs, Anne Belanger, Bill Prall and TOMTC director Jeff Winegard. For more information about upcoming tours, contact the Trails Council at 231-348-8280 or email

For photos of the inaugural Lake to Lake tour, click HERE.