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This Is Quite Possibly The Most Scenic Route In All Of Michigan

A scenic drive no matter the time of year!

As we shift into “summer mode” here in the Mitten we look forward to plenty of outdoor time and lake time, but don’t forget about travel time.

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Between construction season and families headed “Up North” the roads will no doubt be congested! In my opinion it’s always better to take the scenic route. Which do you think is the most scenic drive in Michigan?

m-22 store traverse city michigan

M-22 Store, Traverse City – Google Maps

I’m sure we’ve all seen those M-22 stickers, t-shirts, and coffee mugs at every local gas station and gift shop. While the stretch of road that winds along the lakeshore in northern Michigan is no doubt deserving of the hype, let’s travel a bit further north, shall we?

Tunnel of Trees

The picturesque stretch of M-119 known as the “Tunnel of Trees” runs about 20 miles along the Lake Michigan lakeshore between Harbor Springs and Cross Village.

tunnel of trees m-119 michigan

Tunnel of Trees M-119 – Canva

The road itself is a destination all its own. Of course it’s most popular during autumn when fall foliage colors are at their peak, but it’s worth the drive no matter the time of year! I myself have a trip planned to Petoskey this summer and I’m looking forward to driving a bit further north to experience the tunnel for my first time.

In researching the route I discovered the M-119 Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route guidebook which features notable landmarks, future development, and roadway safety and etiquette, as the route is popular among bicyclists.

The road is narrow and winding and is characterized by its namesake “Tunnel of Trees”.  Historically, this section of M-119 started out as the primary north/south trail for Native Americans, trappers, and traders and then for the settlers and loggers.  Today, it serves the local residents and visitors.

Noteworthy stops along the Tunnel of Trees include:

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Anna Harden

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