Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

Home · Articles · News · Features · The Little Traverse wheelway
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The Little Traverse wheelway

Mike Terrell - August 31st, 2009
The Little Traverse Wheelway
Newly-completed 25-mile trail hugs Lake Michigan

By Mike Terrell 8/31/09

The Little Traverse Wheelway, which travels a little over 25 miles from Charlevoix to Harbor Springs, is northwest Michigan’s newest trail-way, and it’s a beauty.
Much of the paved pathway hugs Lake Michigan and Little Traverse Bay shorelines, offering incredible scenic vistas. In addition to the lake views there’s a lot of history attached to the pathway, and much of it is made available at various points along the way; a little history lesson with your pedal.
The last little section, just outside Harbor Springs, is slated to be completed this fall and winter, but presently you can still ride into town via a couple of alternative routes.
The trail starts on the north side of Charlevoix on Waller Road. It passes the MDOT roadside parks on US-31 for your first lake views within about three miles. The panoramic views are outstanding, and the Petoskey stone hunting is even better. Prior to reaching the roadside parks you pass a kiosk that offers a history of the Big Rock Point Nuclear Reactor, which was one of the nation’s first.
The Wheelway passes Bay Harbor, partly along the old rail corridor that used to deposit visitors in these vacation destinations before roads arrived in the area. Cross New England gentility with Nantucket’s harbor-side ambiance and you have Petoskey and Harbor Springs. With downtowns that date back to the days of horse-drawn buggies, steamships and trains, a biking tour is a great way to see them. Both possess a fine collection of Victorian buildings and homes.

OUTSTANDING VIEWS
“What a pathway. The views are outstanding the whole way,” said Frida Warra, who along with her husband Ron, was visiting friends in the area and had decided to ride the Wheelway.
“We heard about it from our friends and wanted to see it for ourselves. Being from the UP, I wish there were a little less traffic noise along some of the segments. It’s really quiet up where we live, but the scenery along this pathway more than makes up the little bit of traffic noise. It’s beautiful,” she added.
She’s right on both counts. There is normally a lot of traffic along US-31, which the Wheelway parallels through Petoskey, but the scenery for me more than made up for the traffic, and the pathway is buffered from the highway much of the way.
The five-mile section along Bay Harbor, mostly a slight downhill, includes an under-road tunnel and spectacular views of Little Traverse Bay and this exclusive community. From Bay Harbor’s East Park to Petoskey’s Magnus Park it hugs a huge bluff that rises above Little Traverse Bay. Busy US-31 is far above you completely out of sight and muffled. The pathway remains about 50 or so feet above the water along the bluff.
This section of trail, called Resort Bluffs, is only about a mile-and-a-half long, but it’s the crown jewel of the pathway. It was just opened earlier this summer, but worth the wait. Other sections of the trail have been open for a few years. There is an overlook platform, hanging out over the lake, with picnic tables that makes a great place to linger and just enjoy this magnificent, beautiful view.

BAYFRONT PARK
The pathway continues through Petoskey along the waterfront. It passes historic Mission Church before crossing the Bear River at Bayfront Park, a spur through a pedestrian tunnel takes you into downtown Petoskey. The Pathway continues by Little Traverse Bay History Museum and follows the original location of a late 1800s trail-way between Petoskey and Harbor Springs.
As you pass through Bay View with its elegant summer cottages adorned with gingerbread trimmed turrets and white pillared porches you might picture people riding the large front wheeled old-time bicycles that you would have found during the Victorian era. The stately cottages and historic Inns recall the graciousness of long-ago summers, and where else can you ride along salmon-colored sidewalks?
The Tannery Creek Trailhead, which you pass leaving Bay View, features a beautiful mural that depicts transportation along the Wheelway corridor at various times throughout history.
Presently the Wheelway hugs M-119 from just east of the state park on into Harbor Springs with a little diversion around the airport before ending unceremoniously at Hoyt Street Community Park. There is a good wide shoulder along M-119.
A more scenic ride into Harbor Springs is a duck down Beach Road shortly after passing the state park. Beachside development has walled in the bay view, but much of the road passes through dedicated nature preserves for the various housing associations; much more peaceful and scenic than along busy M-119. The drawback: if you’re riding with children, traffic can be busy, and there isn’t a shoulder along the road.
Plans call for construction to begin this fall on the last section of the Wheelway, which will take it off M-119, according to Danna Widmar, Executive Director of the Harbor Area Regional Board of Resources, Inc.
“It will be a separate trail that will parallel M-119, but off the highway and buffered by trees and vegetation, kind of like what you have along Bay Harbor. It will be much more appealing,” she added. “We anticipate that the Wheelway will bring people into the area just to ride it. Cyclists have been very enthusiastic.”
It already is.

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