Oh, Northern Michigan Mother Nature…

Oh, Mother Nature…I started writing this article after the first – or second or third thaw – I’ve lost count now. It was beautiful and springy – my tulips were even peeking out of the ground – and then it snowed for a week.

Oh the riddles of emotions that year-round Michiganders go through in the spring are only for the strong! Last weekend we managed to hit 75 degrees so I am pretty confident that the snow is finally behind us – but then again, this is Northern Michigan so Mother Nature could very possibly surprise us once again! It was warm enough to melt the snow, but still too chilly to enjoy the local sandy beaches but trust me, there are plenty of outdoor activities to partake in regardless of what Mother Nature decides to throw at us!

DeYoung Farm Natural Area

This peaceful little farm in Elmwood Township is great for easy walkers. The terrain is mostly flat – one of the trails leading to Cedar Lake is mostly a well maintained boardwalk. Even in the dead of winter these trails are beautiful. Bring your fishing poles (don’t forget the license) and traverse the short half mile trail to Cedar Lake where a beautiful railed dock awaits you.

 

TART Trail

The trail is finally clear! I cannot tell you how many times I have driven by the opening of the trails and peered down just to see if the snow had melted enough to ride our bikes or go for a run without returning with slushy shoes. FINALLY the time is here where they are clear and dry. The TART Trail winds from Acme, through Traverse City and up to downtown Suttons Bay with various scenic stops along the way.

 

Great Lakes Children’s Museum

If you’ve got littles, this is one place you must visit! The Great Lakes Children’s Museum is a hands on afternoon of family fun! With rotating exhibits about our Great Lakes and local marine life there is always something new and fun to discover for kids of all ages. Water tables, helicopters, ships, slides, oh my!

 

Farmer’s Markets

Starting in May the local Farmer’s Markets will be in full swing! Your northern Michigan vacation is not complete until you taste our delicious local honey, vegetables, fruit and baked goods – oh and trust me, there’s more! You’ll have to stop by and see for yourself. All markets (with the exception of Cedar, see below) are open 9am to 1pm.

Suttons Bay – Saturdays – May 7 – October 29
Lake Leelanau – Sundays – June 12 – September 4
Leland – Thursdays – June 16 – September 1
Northport – Fridays – June 3 – September 9
Glen Arbor – Tuesdays – June 14 – September 6
Empire – Saturdays – June 18 – September 10
Cedar – Fridays – June 17 – September 9 (Open 3pm to 7pm)

This obviously is just a short list of some of the things you can do this spring while we wait for the beaches to reach their splendor. What are activities that you enjoy doing in the area?