Spring – a time for renewal and regrowth. Trees are greening and flowers are blossoming. It’s a beautiful time in northern Michigan (as all of our seasons are) and it’s also a great time to go hunting – Petoskey stone hunting, that is.

Not familiar with Petoskey stones? They are interesting looking pieces of fossilized coral, remnants of a time when shallow seas covered the earth. The story has it that as slow-moving glaciers came through, these creatures were swept up and their remains deposited at the bottom of Lake Michigan when the ice age ended.

Here we are some 350-million years later and many guests to the Petoskey Area love to spend time along the water’s edge in search of these historic prizes. Though you can find the stones any time of the year, spring is prime hunting season.  When the ice is just melting on Little Traverse Bay, the shoreline opens up to show off her treasures left by the fury of winter storms before the bay froze.

Spring also tends to be a quieter season here in northern Michigan. Many times, you can find a small stretch of shoreline along Petoskey State Park or Magnus Park to call your own, if only for a short time. That seldom happens in the summer months. And because it’s quieter, rates at the hotels, inns and condominiums in Petoskey, Alanson, Bay Harbor, Boyne City/Boyne Falls and Harbor Springs are generally far lower than the peak season of June through October.

When you’re not actually hunting for the stones, you can spend time in cute little shops (many of them SELL Petoskey stones and stone polishing kits) or on paved pathways just starting to be walked and ridden. Check out the intimate wineries of the Petoskey Wine Region, along with the breweries and trendy distilleries in the area. Enjoy a relaxed and delicious meal in one of the many restaurants just waiting to cater to you.

Remember to bring a bucket or bag to take home your catch. Just like fish, there’s a limit on how many stones you can take home – 25 pounds per year. We’d love it if you share pictures of your finds on our social networks, too! #PetoskeyArea

Want to know more? Check out this Petoskey stone wisdom from our friends at Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts where you’ll find polished and unpolished stones for sale, too!

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