Happy Trail

Ride the TART Trail

Hop on and roll with the scenery along this well-marked, winding 11-mile paved trail.

By Patty LaNoue Stearns, Photography by Patrick Wellever

The TART (Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation) Trail winds past giant maple trees, wooden bridges, trout streams, the airport, railroad tracks, city neighborhoods, a marina and the beach, and you can get on or off anywhere along this east-west trail and find food, shopping and other urban adventures.

Start on the east end, off Bunker Hill, where you can park, and roll behind the hotels that line U.S. 31. Stop and grab a thick milkshake at Don’s Drive-In (2030 U.S.-31 North, 231-938-1860).

At Mitchell Creek, find a wooden bridge over a trout stream and watch the fish dart below. Several adjacent local and state parks and the Reffitt Nature Preserve (off Aero Park Drive) are yours to explore. Further west, in the historic mahogany-clad train station, sip a cappuccino at the Station Espresso Bar.

Next door, find Roseville pottery and other vintage items at Antiques at Railroad Place (620 Railroad Place, 231-946-6600). Cross Eighth Street and head toward Front Street for a slice of Paesano’s (447 East Front 231-941-5740) white pizza made with herbs, chopped garlic and mozzarella, asiago, and fontinella cheeses.

Find fine art at Belstone Gallery (321 East Front, 231-946-0610), then spin down to Grandview Parkway and the Clinch Park Marina and Zoo. Put your feet in the water at the white-sand beach.

Head up to Darrow Park, near the end of the trail, then cross over and head back toward the Candle Factory (301 West Grandview Parkway, 231-946-2280). If it’s early afternoon—before 4 p.m. weekdays or 2 p.m. on weekends—wolf down a juicy burger at Big Bay Café (223 West Grandview Parkway, 231-932-4690), where you can mellow out watching the sailboats on the azure horizon and contemplate the ride back to your car.