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Skyline Trail

Krause Road
Petoskey, MI
Phone: 231-347-0991
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Emmet County
Lat: N 45° 19' 37.59"
Lon: W 084° 53' 4.09"
Distance: 1.5 miles round-trip
Trail Type: Foot path
Terrain: Steep wooded ridge
Difficulty: Moderate
Nearest City or Town: Petoskey

Located just southeast of Petoskey, the Skyline Trail is a short hike to an observation deck with a view of the rolling country of Emmet County and Lake Michigan. The first half of the hike is a steady downhill trek of only 0.75 mile to the deck. You then turn around and climb the steep ridge back to the trailhead off of Krause Road.

The land was acquired by the city of Petoskey with help from the Little Traverse Conservancy and a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Land Trust Fund. The trail has since been incorporated into the North Country Trail so it’s possible for the energetic to hike much further in either direction.

Skyline Trail is also open to mountain bikers and makes an interesting adventure in the winter on snowshoes to obtain the best possible views from the observation deck.

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The trail departs the parking area and immediately comes to a junction with the North Country Trail. Head right and begin the descent. You pass underneath a power line, where it pays to keep an eye out for blackberries and wild raspberries in late summer, and then enter a red pine plantation.

The descent gets more serious now and the trail even uses switchbacks, something you don’t see too often in Michigan, to drop down the side of this commanding ridge. At Mile 0.5 you arrive at a bench. The trail continues to descend via switchbacks and within 200 yards arrives at a second bench where just beyond it is a posted junction.

The North Country Trail continues straight while a short spur heads left to the observation platform perched on the side of the ridge at 1,072 feet and reached at Mile 0.75. Trees and their foliage block part of the view for much of the year but you can still look out over rolling farm fields, other ridges and a large slice of Little Traverse Bay.

The return is an uphill hike back to the trailhead, gaining almost 200 feet in elevation. Be thankful you’re not following the NCT and have to shoulder a backpack along this stretch.

There are no vehicle fees for the Skyline Trail.

There are no vehicle fees for the Skyline Trail.

From US-31 in Petoskey head east on Mitchell Street for 1.7 miles and then south (right) on Division Street for 0.8 miles. Turn east (left) on Atkins Road and 0.5 miles turn south (right) on Cedar Valley Road. Follow Cedar Valley Road for 0.5 miles and turn east (left) on Greenwood Road and follow it for 1.5 miles as it around a curves to the south and comes to a four-way intersection. Continue south onto Brubaker Road and in a mile turn west (right) on Krause Road. Within a mile the trailhead parking area will appear on the right and be marked by a North Country Trail sign.

For more information contact Little Traverse Conservancy (231-347-0991; www.landtrust.org) or the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau (231-348-2755, 800-845-2828; www.petoskeyarea.com).

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