Expanses of pure wilderness are hard to come by these days, but in Little Traverse several areas come pretty close. Feel like you have the place to yourself in one of Little Traverse Conservancy’s 164 nature preserves or get an aerial view of the Northwoods on a thrilling zip-line tour.
Avalanche Mountain Preserve
This heavily wooded, 300-acre gem of a park in Boyne City is interwoven with a disc golf course, hiking and mountain biking trails, and a 462-step staircase to the top of the mountain, with a viewing platform to take in the spectacular vista overlooking Lake Charlevoix. CITYOFBOYNECITY.COM.
Wildwood Rush Zipline Canopy Tours
Explore the Northwoods from a new, unforgettable perspective: the treetops. Michigan’s longest zipline tour will have you wandering along aerial suspension bridges high in the trees, and soaring along lines up to 80 feet off the ground. Located ¼ mile north of Young State Park in Boyne City. 231.582.3400, WILDWOODRUSH.COM.
Nature Conservancy Hikes
Escape to the woods—or the meadows, wetlands, dunes, or shorelines—at one of the Little Traverse Conservancy’s 164 nature preserves. The preserves range from pint-sized (like the less-than-half-acre Shurtleff Preserve in Cross Village, with amazing views of Lake Michigan) to big-time (such as the 750-acre Sturgeon Bay Dunes, a stunning spot to watch the sunset). All offer fantastic wildlife viewing, most have marked trails, and some are even open to kayaking, fishing, horseback riding, and other adventures. Find a full guide with maps and descriptions of each preserve online. landtrust.org.