3484 KRAUSE ROAD
PETOSKEY, MI 49770
Ready to really stretch your legs? Petoskey’s Skyline Trail features several switchbacks and steep hills, but the view of the Bear River Valley can’t be beat. Depending on how far you’d like to go, there are two possible hikes here.
◯ ALL DAY
▷ SOME PARKING ON-SITE
▷ NO PAVED TRAILS
▷ MANY SWITCHBACKS AND STEEP RIDGES
◯ SMALL FEE
◯ REC PASSPORT
Hike out to the observation deck! The Petoskey Skyline Trail takes you deeper into the Bear River Valley and has beautiful views year-round. As you hike, you’ll travel through stretches of red pine and reach the main observation deck around 0.7 miles in. Prepare for the trip back to the parking lot, though: It will require navigating some switchbacks.
For an educational twist, consider learning about the history of the area before you go! The Bear River Valley was a major industrial center in the mid-1800s, and was home to five dams that have since been removed.
WHAT TO BRING – Water, sunscreen, bug spray, snacks.
TIP: For the clearest view from the observation deck, hike in the spring, fall, or winter when there’s less foliage.
The easiest trip is to hike to the observation deck and back — but the trail does continue west for another 1.1 miles after the observation deck. If you want to hike the full 1.8 miles, consider leaving a car parked along Brubaker Road to drive back to the main parking lot later (or retrace your steps and go 3.6 miles)!