May… that means some of my favorite things: trillium, morels, school winding down (online, this year) and temps that stay consistently above 50.  I’m looking forward to, well let’s be honest, mostly I’m looking forward to leaving the house when life returns to normal! From there, first and foremost, I want to see my kids and grands. I’m really not sure how grams and gramps made it without Facetime, texts and unlimited minutes, and I’m ready for the real thing. Of course, everything now is based on being safe, but I am hoping with all my heart to see those smiling faces in person soon.

With the Governor’s “Stay in Place” order hopefully ending on May 28, I will be ready to get out and about. But let’s face it, I won’t be alone in still wanting to keep some distance between myself and others for a bit. One of the many cool things about the Petoskey Area is the number of trails and places where you can do just that – keep your distance and still enjoy the day.

I can’t wait to head to Boyne City and hike Avalanche Mountain. Once I get my bike tuned up, I’ll hit the North Western State Trail and ride to the Oden State Fish Hatchery. And Thorne Swift Nature Preserve is definitely calling me to meander through its 30 acres of boardwalks, cedars and Lake Michigan shoreline. I love the variety of landscapes available on the Little Traverse Conservancy Trails, and riding to Young State Park on the Boyne City to Charlevoix Trail. Some exciting news from April – the former Little Traverse Bay Golf Club is going to be a conservancy now! This is definitely a loss for golfers, but now many more people will be able to see those “Ahhhhh” vistas and explore the rolling hills. And though I’m saddened, like many others, at the loss of a small section of the Little Traverse Wheelway, riding other parts of the trail will still be doable and fun.

When the travel ban is lifted and our lives feel a little more normal, I think hiking and biking will be a good place to get the wheels turning towards happier days. Alone or with the family, this is one way to social distance and appreciate the scenic beauty for which our areas are known.

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About the author

Diane Dakins is passionate about all the lakeside communities that comprise the Petoskey Area of northern Michigan: Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor and Boyne City. As assistant director of the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau, she has “been there – seen that” when it comes to virtually every area attraction. Her blogs give potential visitors the scoop on planning a northern Michigan vacation.