tunnel of trees road

6 Most Beautiful Spots Along the Scenic Tunnel-Of-Trees Road in Michigan

Tunnel-of-trees road is not a regular forest, nor a concrete tunnel, but a 27.549 mile state highway lined with luscious trees, extended over Emmet County in Michigan, USA. Starting at Harbor Springs, the ultra-long stretch of M119 highway is just by the panoramic coast of Lake Michigan. Not only is the road a marvel to experience, but there are several stops along the way that have spectacular views and local gems. Take a look at 7 of the most beautiful spots of the scenic Tunnel-Of-Trees.

Petoskey’s Historic Gaslight District

An old cannon adds historic interest to Petoskey's Pennsylvania Park, situated in the city's famed downtown Gaslight District.
An old cannon in Petoskey's Pennsylvania Park, situated in the city's famed downtown Gaslight District in Michigan

Home to the state stone of Michigan, Petoskey area includes over 500 historic places and a downtown area with beautiful views of Little Traverse Bay. The area is lined with boutiques, local shops and fine dining restaurants, wrapped in Victorian architecture. The gas lights on the sides of the road create a soft nostalgic atmosphere, perfect for taking pictures in the day and strolling in the dim-light passageway in the evening.

Devil’s Elbow

Devil's Elbow, M-119 Michigan
Devil's Elbow on the M-119 Highway in Michigan

A strange and said-to-be haunted spot, legend says that the Devil’s Elbow was home to spirits who made their appearance at night. The dried-up ravine creates a path through the woods which sits on a hairpin turn, particularly popular during the fall season when the road gets dressed in hues of orange, yellow and brown. The panorama of the Elbow is postcard perfect with the waters of lake peeking through the trees.

Pond Hill Farm 

Harbor Springs in Michigan
Harbor Springs in Michigan

A fun-filled stop in Harbor Springs, Pond Hill Farm brings together several activities for children such as animal petting, farm tours and ice cream vendors. Adult visitors can enjoy fruit picking, shopping for artisanal goods, indulfging in farm-to-table dining and wine tasting in the evenings. The charm of the farm is not a sight to be missed.

Crooked River

Crooked River at Sunset in Michigan
Crooked River at Sunset in Michigan

Crooked River is a true hidden jewel, a connection between Burt and Crooked Lake near Alanson. The inland waterway is a remarkable landmark for its narrow waters and surrounding natural beauty. Visitors can stop by the lodge, check out the Crooked Vine Vineyard and Winery or choose a river cruise to take in the enchanting feel of the river. Kayaks and canoes are available for rent, especially for those interested in encountering some Michigan wildlife.

Thorne Swift Nature Preserve

Thorne Swift National Preserve in Michigan
Thorne Swift National Preserve in Michigan

Nature lovers will lose themselves in the impressive Thorne Swift Nature Preserve in Harbor Springs. The preserve encompasses three different shorts trails, the Balsam, Cedar and Beach trails, each ensuring a different set of views. The Beach Trail is certainly one of the most frequented as it has direct access to Lake Michigan, going through a pond area on wooden boardwalks. The path leads to a small secluded shore with an incredible view of the trees and the lake.

Bear River Valley Recreation Area

Bear Rive Valley Recreation Area in Petoskey in Michigan

Another must-see in the Petoskey area is the 1.5-mile path along the Bear River banks, offering a variety of outdoor activities such as cross-country skiing, biking and bird watching. The area features a quarter-mile long whitewater course, ideal for adventurers looking for an escape into the wilderness. A local paddling club even organizes events and classes for the public to jump to the water, equipped with the right gear.

The vistas of the stunning Tunnel-Of-Trees are certainly incredible and the drive is all-the-more thrilling with plenty of quaint towns, funky restaurants and natural landscapes. The heritage route along the lake’s coast is a sublime treat to road trip lovers who are ready to witness marvelous greenery and hidden treasures.


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