For this hike, I walked from the park to where the NCT crosses M-119. Starting there, I walked the portion that runs concurrently with the Little Traverse Wheelway (LTW) to Petoskey.
Rejoining the LTW, I walked back to M-119 and crossed it. At this point the NCT is no longer on pavement but is an actual trail. The NCT proceeds in almost a straight line to a road connector portion near and in the town of Conway. There is also another short trail portion which ends at N Conway Road.
At that point, I was fortunately close to a nice cafe where I had lunch. Then, I returned by the same route to M-119.
The trail descriptions are made in the NY-to-ND direction.
Petoskey: Bear River at US-31 to M-119 South of Petoskey State Park
Eventually, the NCT/LTW leaves the park, but is it's own path until it arrives at US-31 (now Bay View Road), where it runs alongside as a sidewalk. The NCT/LTW leaves Petoskey and enters Bay View (an unincorporated community originally founded by a group of Methodists as a retreat). Many of the houses are named.
The NCT/LTW leaves US-31, turning left onto Division Road. The trails remain as a sidewalk until after a couple of cross-streets they become their own path again. The NCT/LTW are somewhat secluded from the surrounding neighborhood by the trees lining the route, until the houses end a short way further on. There is also good parking on the northeast side of this neighborhood, as there is a parking area for the LTW (with a shelter) accessible from Rice Street (off M-119/US-31) behind a shopping plaza.
Eventually, the NCT/LTW approaches M-119, where the trails diverge from each other. The NCT proceeds northeast across M-119 while the LTW continues north toward Petoskey State Park and further around Little Traverse Bay.
M-119 South of Petoskey State Park to ConwayAfter crossing M-119, the NCT continues northeast through Conway. (Conway is an unincorporated community in Little Traverse Township.) The trail is very direct, almost a straight line until it arrives at Powell Road (southwest of Conway), where a road connector starts and continues through Conway. The road connector proceeds on Hiawatha Trail, enters Conway on Rosada Street, turns onto Heydey Street, and then crosses W Conway Road to return to trail. This next trail section is short, and ends at N Conway Road. At this point, there is a 1.9 mile road connector to the Mackinaw State Forest.
Please note that the road connector at Conway is a deviation from map MI-07, which shows trail. The trail exists but the NCT is blazed away from it, so I assume that there is a good reason for it (such as, permission has not been given to cross, for example).
There are no listed parking areas, but I'm sure you could park along a street in Conway without any trouble.
Picture infoSee the attached album. The picture order and time/travel order are not the same:
ND direction: 20100809 1110a, 1111, 1112, 1114 museum, 1128, 1130, 1149, 1152a, 1205, 1206, 1209, 1235, 1239, 1240, 1242, 1245, 1252, 1302, 1320, 1327, 1332, 1336, 1338, 1339, 1340, 1346
NY direction: 20100809 1347, 1421, 1422a, 1424, 1426, 1429, 1430, 1435, 1447, 1501, 1506, 1509, 1510, 1511, 1004, 1007a, 1012, 1015, 1022, 1027, 1029, 1039, 1044 sign, 1047, 1052 LTW, 1056, 1107 river, 1108 sign, 1110 construction
Scenery pictures are as follows (all 20100809):
- 1013 LTB: Little Traverse Bay
- 1016 shelter: This is a nice shelter with a map of the Little Traverse Wheelway trail system.
- 1043 LTB: Little Traverse Bay
- 1052 LTW: This is a sign for the Little Traverse Wheelway
- 1058 flowers: I think this is actually at Sunset Park (within Bayfront Park).
- 1104 museum: This is the sign on the Little Traverse Historical Society History Museum.
- 1107 river: This is the view looking up the Bear River from the footbridge in Bayfront Park.
- 1114 museum: Here is a view past the Little Traverse Historical Society History Museum.
- 1123 LTB: Little Traverse Bay
- 1131 LTW sign: There is a plaque attached to the Little Traverse Wheelway archway sign, describing its significance.
- 1159 B&B: This is the Gingerbread House bed & breakfast in Bay View - nice flowers!
- 1238 bench: Nice people on M-119 put in a bench and water fountain for weary hikers and bikers.
- 1247 sign: South Round Lake Nature Preserve sign
- 1415 cafe: Parks Place Cafe is a good place to eat in Conway, but it's only open for breakfast and lunch (until 2 pm).
- 1442 lake: Round Lake