Michigan’s M-119 Scenic Byway is a breathtaking route that takes you through a magical destination called the “Tunnel of Trees Michigan.” This picturesque stretch of road winds through a forested landscape, providing travelers with an unforgettable experience. As a nature enthusiast or traveler, you wouldn’t want to miss exploring this destination that offers a one-of-a-kind experience.
What We Will Cover
What is the Tunnel of Trees in Michigan Along the M-119 Scenic Byway?
The Tunnel of Trees is a 20-mile stretch of forested landscape along the M-119 Scenic Byway in northern Michigan. This iconic destination draws visitors worldwide, especially during the fall season when the leaves turn from green to red, yellow, and orange. Along this scenic drive, you’ll pass through charming towns, breathtaking vistas, and other attractions highlighting the area’s natural beauty.
The M-119 Scenic Byway was established in 1973 and spanned from Harbor Springs to Cross Village, Michigan. The route was created to highlight the area’s natural beauty and promote regional tourism. The Tunnel of Trees is one of the most popular attractions along the route, and it has become a must-see destination for visitors.
Activities to Enjoy – Take a Trip Through the Tunnel of Trees
There are plenty of activities to enjoy along the M-119 Scenic Byway, including hiking, biking, picnicking, and sightseeing. You can take a leisurely drive through the tunnel of trees, go on a nature walk in one of the area’s nature preserves, or enjoy a picnic in one of the many parks.
One of the best ways to experience the Tunnel of Trees is to take a leisurely drive along the M-119 Scenic Byway. As you wind through the forested landscape, you’ll see breathtaking vistas and charming towns that highlight the area’s natural beauty. Along the way, there are plenty of places to stop and take in the scenery or enjoy a picnic in one of the many parks or nature preserves.
Michigan Tunnel of Trees Map
A Day in the Tunnel of Trees: Itinerary Suggestions
Start your day early with a sunrise view at Harbor Springs, a charming town at the southern end of the Tunnel of Trees route. After soaking in the morning hues, head north on M-119. Make sure to stop at Devil’s Elbow, a scenic overlook, for some quick photos. For lunch, consider stopping at Good Hart, a small town with a general store known for its homemade pot pies. End your day at Cross Village, where you can enjoy a beautiful sunset over Lake Michigan.
Hidden Gems Along the Route
Don’t miss Thorne Swift Nature Preserve, a lesser-known spot perfect for a peaceful walk through nature. Another hidden gem is Pond Hill Farm, where you can enjoy farm-to-table meals and even participate in seasonal activities like pumpkin smashing.
Outdoor Activities for Nature Lovers
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, the Tunnel of Trees won’t disappoint. There are several hiking trails, such as North Country Trail, that offer varying levels of difficulty. Kayaking is also popular in the area, especially around Lake Michigan and Crooked River.
For more outdoor activities, check out Michigan DNR’s list of state parks and recreation areas.
Local Eateries and Cafés
For those looking to experience local flavors, Legs Inn in Cross Village offers authentic Polish cuisine. If you’re in the mood for something lighter, Tom’s Mom’s Cookies in Harbor Springs is a must-visit for dessert lovers.
Seasonal Events and Festivals
The Tunnel of Trees is beautiful year-round, but it’s especially vibrant during the fall color season. Many local towns host fall festivals, and Good Hart has a popular Apple Fest in October. In the winter, the area transforms into a snowy wonderland, perfect for winter sports like snowshoeing and skiing.
How to Get to the Tunnel of Trees in Michigan
The Tunnel of Trees is located along the M-119 Scenic Byway, which runs along the coast of Lake Michigan in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. To reach the Tunnel of Trees, you can take M-119 north from Harbor Springs or south from Cross Village. Both towns have easy access to the M-119 Scenic Byway, and the Tunnel of Trees is marked along the way. If you drive longer distances, the nearest major airports are in Grand Rapids, Traverse City, and Detroit.
The Route Of A Tunnel of Trees – Journey Along The M-119 Scenic Byway
Harbor Springs is a charming town that is a great starting point for your journey along the M-119 Scenic Byway. The town is located on the shores of Lake Michigan and has a rich history dating back to before European exploration and French fur trading in the 1600s. The shore is the historic site of a vast Ojibwa village that the French called L’Arbre Croche. The town’s historic downtown district is filled with quaint shops, restaurants, and galleries that offer a taste of Michigan’s unique culture.
From Harbor Springs, you can head to the Thorne Swift Nature Preserve, which features over 30 acres of pristine natural landscape, including hardwood forests, wetlands, and meadows. The preserve is home to various wildlife, including deer, foxes, and coyotes.
Next, stop at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant, located on the shores of Little Traverse Bay. The restaurant offers stunning views of the bay and serves delicious seafood and another local cuisine. Afterward, visit American Spoon, where you can taste a variety of artisanal jams and preserves made from local fruits.
Explore Good Hart, a quaint town with charming shops and restaurants. The town has a rich history dating back to the 1800s and was once a bustling lumber town. Be sure to stop at The Old Council Tree, a historic landmark where Native American tribes used to gather. The tree was an important meeting place for the Chippewa, Menominee, and Ottawa Tribes in 1763 as they gathered to decide their next move against the British. The tree still stands today as a symbol of the area’s rich history.
Stop by the Good Hart General Store, a century-old store that has remained unchanged. The store offers a unique shopping experience, selling everything from groceries to souvenirs. The red building, built in 1934, is a fixture in the town and is a popular spot for visitors.
As you continue your journey along the M-119 Scenic Byway, you’ll come across Cross Village, a charming town steeped in history. The town was founded in 1695 and is one of the oldest settlements in Michigan. There are plenty of things to see in Cross Village, including the Museum of L’Arbre Croche History, which showcases the region’s history and culture. The museum is located in a building that dates back to 1825 and was once used as a fur trading post.
Take a nature walk through the Woollam Family Nature Preserve, which features stunning views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding landscape. The preserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including bald eagles, white-tailed deer, and red foxes.
Finally, don’t miss Legs Inn, a unique restaurant that features an eclectic mix of Polish and Native American cuisine. The restaurant’s architecture blends traditional Polish and Native American styles and is a popular tourist spot.
Accommodations and Nibbles Along M-119
Many accommodations and facilities along the M-119 Scenic Byway include camping sites, hotels, and restaurants. Many of these lodgings offer unique features, such as rustic cabins, cozy bed and breakfasts, and fine dining restaurants that offer locally sourced cuisine. Some popular lodging options include the Terrace Inn and Bay View Inn, both offering stunning views of Lake Michigan.
Northwest Michigan Local Culture and Attractions
Northwest Michigan is rich in culture and attractions, including festivals, art galleries, and museums. Be sure to check out the events calendar for the area to see what’s happening during your visit. Explore the area’s art galleries and museums, which showcase the works of local artists and the region’s history and culture. The area is also home to several music festivals, including Blissfest and Traverse City’s National Cherry Festival.
Conservation Efforts To Keep Michigan’s Tunnel of Trees Preserved
Conservation efforts have been put in place to protect the Tunnel of Trees and its surrounding natural areas. The area is home to various plant and animal species, and ongoing efforts exist to maintain and preserve their habitats. Visitors can learn about these efforts and how they can support conservation initiatives. Additionally, any environmental education or sustainability programs available for visitors, such as guided nature walks or educational exhibits
Webcams Near M-119 and the Tunnel of Trees Right Now
If you plan a trip to the iconic Tunnel of Trees along M-119 or want to experience its beauty from the comfort of your home, live webcams can offer real-time views of this scenic route and its surroundings. Whether you’re looking to check current weather conditions, catch a glimpse of the fall foliage, or enjoy the tranquil landscapes, these webcams provide a unique way to connect with this beloved Michigan destination.
Petoskey Marina Looking North-West From Mouth of Bear River Webcam
Saint James: Paradise Bay, Beaver Island Webcam
Mackinac Bridge Webcam
Tunnel of Trees Michigan FAQs
If you’re planning a trip to the Tunnel of Trees, you may have some questions. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you plan your trip:
Where does the M-119 Tunnel of Trees Scenic Byway start and end?
The route starts in Harbor Springs and ends in Cross Village, Michigan.
When is the best time to drive through the Tunnel of Trees?
The best time to drive through the tunnel of trees is during the fall season, from late September to mid-October.
How long does driving through the Tunnel of Trees in Michigan take?
Driving through the Tunnel of Trees takes about an hour, but you’ll want to stop at some of the many attractions along the way.
Where do you stop on the Tunnel of Trees in Michigan?
There are plenty of places to stop along the M-119 Scenic Byway, including nature preserves, charming towns, and parks.
Is the Tunnel of Trees worth it?
Absolutely! The Tunnel of Trees is one of Michigan’s most beautiful destinations, offering stunning views of fall foliage, charming towns, and natural attractions.
What highway in Michigan is the Tunnel of Trees on?
The Tunnel of Trees is located along the M-119 Scenic Byway.
Where is the best place to stop for pictures in the Tunnel of Trees in Michigan?
There are many great places to stop for photos along the M-119 Scenic Byway, including Thorne Swift Nature Preserve, Stafford’s Pier Restaurant, and the Woollam Family Nature Preserve.
Video – A Drive Along M-119 Tunnel of Trees Michigan
Weather Conditions Along M-119 And Tunnel of Trees
Final Thought on the Tunnel of Trees Michigan
Exploring the M-119 Scenic Byway and the Tunnel of Trees in Michigan is an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts and travelers. The route offers stunning views of fall foliage, charming towns, and natural attractions that highlight the area’s beauty. Whether you’re driving, hiking, or picnicking, there are plenty of activities to enjoy.
From Harbor Springs to Cross Village, you’ll pass through various attractions that showcase the area’s unique culture and history. Take a nature walk through one of the area’s nature preserves, stop at a historical landmark such as the Shay Hexagon House, or dine at an amazing restaurant that offers locally sourced cuisine.
Many accommodations and facilities along the M-119 Scenic Byway include rustic cabins, cozy bed and breakfasts, and fine dining restaurants. The area also has several music festivals, art galleries, and museums highlighting the region’s culture and history.
In conclusion, the Tunnel of Trees along the M 119 Tunnel Of Trees Michigan is a must-see destination for nature enthusiasts and travelers. The area offers a unique experience you won’t find anywhere else, from the stunning fall foliage to the charming towns and natural attractions. Plan your visit today and explore this beautiful destination for yourself.