A couple photos from the tunnel of trees - Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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A couple photos from the tunnel of trees

I didn't take many photos because I was having too much fun riding to stop.

MONI has been there, but for those of you who haven't, the tunnel of trees is on M119 north of Harbor Springs, MI to Cross Village, MI. It actually extends on through Sturgeon Bay, and winds around to Mackinaw City, but the "tunnel" part generally refers to the stretch of road that is down to one lane. It is wide enough for two cars to pass, but just barely. Bike traveling in groups are well advised to remain in a single file. There are lots of fender benders because people (cager and biker alike) are looking at everything except for the road in front of them. The road began as animal paths that were followed by Native Americans whilst hunting. The animal paths became a foot path, which in turn became horse trails, then a two track for wagons, then a dirt road, eventually being paved by the state in the middle of the last century.

It is not a road for those in a hurry. Trees, in many places butt right up to the edge of the asphalt. There is no center line, and there is more than one curve that will having you making a 180 degree turn. If you stop for a photo, make sure you get your bike all the way off of the asphalt, because, while it may be out in the sticks, it is a tourist road, and sees 2000 cars per day in the slow season, and over 15,000 during peak seasons. If you're exceeding 55mph (posted limit on the straights is 45) you're gonna become part of the scenery.

I started, like most, in Harbor Springs. There are still a lot of boats in the bay, I was surprised.


Devils Elbow. Slow the hell down. Kinda scary meeting a cager coming the other way.


This is much of what you see (when the trees clear) of the west facing view. Just beyond the bike is a 50ft bluff. There are no guard rails.


The tree branches from either side meet one another over the road. Nearly the whole route is cool and shaded. You can skip the sunblock on this trip.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 05:16 PM
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Thank you for the pics. It is just such a beautiful and relaxing ride if you hit it right and there isn't a lot of traffic. Sounds like you had a great ride.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 05:53 PM
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Looks like a fun ride, but one you take your time on
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 06:10 PM
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Critter it is just too pretty of a drive to hurry. You would miss too much. It is a "scenic" route, not a "run the twisties" route. It is a lot like the Natchez Trace--great road, slower paced and will keep your eyes moving from road to scenery back to road...A Slow down & enjoy it type of road.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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The single lane stretch is twentyish miles.
Even at a leisurely pace, it doesn't take long to run.

The reward is at the northern end of the tunnel in Cross Village. There is a pub/restaurant called Legg's Inn. If you like Polish grub, there is none better. On any given day, the parking lot at Legg's is nearly filled by motorcycles.

Most riders turn back to Harbor Springs, but the real adventure is further north. The road opens back up to two lanes, and is poorly maintained, but about 8 miles passed Cross Village is Wilderness State Park and Sturgeon Bay. Pristine beach and sand dunes make for the ideal summer destination. There are plenty of tourists mid day, but you'll nearly have it to your onsie around sunset and early evening. I've encountered more than one amorous couple out there while working on some lowlight landscape photography.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 04:18 AM
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Just a beautiful one! I am spellbound after looking at these pics!
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 05:27 AM
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Reminds me of most of the secondary roads here in New England!

Especially beautiful in Autumn, when the deciduous trees are creating a multi-colored canopy!!

-Soupy

-Soupy
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“Just because you CAN, doesn't necessarily mean you SHOULD!!" -SDC
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 09:03 AM
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I really want to do that someday...

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 09:20 AM
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Great photos

I've been meaning to get that ride done for the past few years. I've attempted the Lake Michigan loop twice. Once I was forced back by strong thunderstorm system that would have hounded me the entire trip; and the other time I lost my credit card while fueling in Marinette, WI.

I'm trying to make some time in September to get the ride done, with the plan to go over the top and down to Ludington for the ferry back across... fingers crossed for good weather in mid September

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 10:55 AM
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[Sigh]... I can only dream!

Thanks for sharing your adventure for those of us that can't.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 11:21 AM
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Gorgeous! I'd love to ride through there someday.


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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 02:03 PM
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Thanks for the great photos. Here in Washington state there are a lot of nice roads with beautiful scenery also. The ride is wonderful but it is extra special to just to stop and get off and enjoy nature for a spell.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 04:23 PM
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One of my favorite rides!

I've ran that road a hundred times, it never gets old....

Hopefully you stopped at Legs Inn for a burger...

Ridin' Highway 43

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 12:18 PM
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Amazing scenery! I hope to visit those places someday.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 09:44 PM
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Thread resurrection!!

I finally did get my Lake Michigan 1/2 loop done about a month ago. Tunnel of Trees was high on the list of really great roads and memories. If I ever get my laptop fixed, I'll be doing a ride report and video to post.

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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-20-2016, 10:32 AM
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Nice view! for sure it was a great ride
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 11:45 AM
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That was a lovely day for a ride! great pics!
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 07:43 PM
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Garage
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One of my favorite rides!

I've ran that road a hundred times, it never gets old....
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 07:50 PM
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 11:43 PM
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That's a beautiful ride I was unaware of thanks.
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