Between the apricots and cherries (sweets and tarts, mind you), the spring blossom season is a spectacular time to take an afternoon drive or bike ride to witness the area’s vast orchards of flowering fruit trees. We’ve mapped 4 Northern Michigan cherry blossom tour routes that highlight the spectacular Northern Michigan outdoors during bloom time—from Traverse City to Leelanau County to Antrim County, these travel ideas will have you familiar with one of Northern Michigan’s favorite food items.
Take A Video Tour Of Northern Michigan Orchards During Bloom:
1) Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City
Old Mission Peninsula is a premier agricultural area in Northern Michigan, and the heirloom orchards along M37—also known as Center Rd—and beyond are breathtaking against the backdrop against West and East Grand Traverse Bay. Take a drive up M37 north from Traverse City and explore some of the less-well-traveled (but still paved) back roads on the following 30 mile route. Along the way, visit the Old Mission Tavern for a bite, and Chateau Chantal and Chateau Grand Traverse for wine tasting.
Filled with vineyards, hop-yards and cherry orchards, Leelanau County is a pastoral wonderland. The following route will lead you to some of the most scenic orchards near Lake Leelanau, and with a lunch break at Fischer’s Happy Hour Tavern near Gills Pier Rd and a visit to Boathouse Winery in Lake Leelanau to cap off the adventure, your tummy and your camera’s memory card should be full after this 19-mile tour. A return drive along the sinuous Lake Leelanau Dr is short on orchards, but not on scenery.
3) Elk Rapids
Between US31 and Elk Lake sits acres—and I mean acres—of rolling cherry orchards. Take the following 14-mile circuit, which starts and ends in Elk Rapids, to get the most bang for your buck this bloom season. Cyclists: try to stay of US31 —it’s a busy, fast road. At Angell Rd, double back on Monroe, turn right on Townline, and return to Elk Rapids on Elk Lake Rd.
4) Eastport, Central Lake and Torch Lake
The following 17-mile route takes tourers from Eastport to beautiful King Orchards, through Central Lake, and back along the northeastern edge of Torch Lake.