Ranked one of the most scenic drives in the United States and an iconic, year-round destination in Michigan, the Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route offers spectacular nature views, activities, and historical sites.
If you’re planning to drive the Tunnel of Trees this fall, winter, spring, or summer, be sure to start with our Ultimate Guide to the M-119 Tunnel of Trees Michigan Scenic Drive!
FAQs & Directions to the M-119 Scenic Byway
Where is it located?
With Sturgeon Bay to the north and Little Traverse Bay to the south, the Tunnel of Trees in Northern Michigan runs along the coastal bluff of Lake Michigan.
How Long is the Michigan Tunnel of Trees?
M-119 begins at the north end of Petoskey, but it doesn’t officially become Michigan’s Tunnel of Trees until north of Harbor Springs.
From there, the state highway becomes a very narrow road, running 20 miles along a spectacular bluff overlooking Lake Michigan creating an amazing scenic drive in Northern Michigan.
Directions to M-119 Scenic Byway
Take a look at this Tunnel of Trees map to get a visual of where and how long it is. As you can see, the winding drive in Michigan is about 20 miles long and has more than 135 curves as it winds its way along the coastal bluff of Lake Michigan.
How to Get to the Tunnel of Trees in Michigan?
Make your way to the northwest “corner” of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula using US-131 or I-75. M-119 is accessible from the south at US-31just east of Petoskey and intersects with M-66 on the northern point in Cross Village.
If you want to continue north on M-119 beyond the official Tunnel of Trees route, you can reach Sturgeon Bay at Wilderness State Park.
Where does it start?
Many people search Google wondering, “Where does the Tunnel of Trees start?” It depends on where you are. From the north end, it starts in Cross Village. From the south end, it starts in Harbor Springs.
Where does it end?
Where the Tunnel of Trees ends also depends on where you are. When you start from the north side, it will end in Harbor Springs. When you start on the south side, it will end in Cross Village.
How long does it take to drive through the Tunnel of Trees in Michigan?
At a maximum speed of 45 mph, it takes about 40 minutes to drive the Tunnel of Trees without stopping – closer to 50 minutes if you include the additional 10 miles into Petoskey.
Stopping to visit some of the many attractions along the way, however, makes it easy to spend three hours or longer on this stretch of road.
When is the best time to drive through the Tunnel of Trees?
Although most people tour M-119 to see the brilliant Michigan fall colors, there’s plenty to do and enjoy along this scenic route all year. In fact, the surroundings feel different depending on the season in which you visit.
For example, trilliums cover the ground throughout spring. In the winter, snow cloaks the hardwood trees.
No matter the season, the best time to visit the Tunnel of Trees is during the middle of the week because there’s less traffic on the road. Look out for slow drivers and cyclists as you enjoy the scenery.
20 Places to Visit Along M-119 Heritage Scenic Byway in Northern Michigan
Whether you enter the Tunnel of Trees from the north (Cross Village) or the south (Harbor Springs), there is plenty to do and see along the way. While our list is not comprehensive, we’ve highlighted a few of our favorite stops along the way, starting from the north end in Cross Village.
You can get a better feel for each stop’s location on our interactive Michigan Tunnel of Trees map below.
While our ultimate guide to this scenic drive along M-119 starts in the north at Cross Village and takes you south to Harbor Springs, you’re welcome to start in the south and work your way north instead.
Places to Visit in Cross Village
Often remembered for the giant white cross that overlooks Lake Michigan, Cross Village at the northern point of the Tunnel of Trees is an unincorporated community with a rich, varied history that began in the 1600s. The first residents were Odawa and Ojibwa Native Americans.
In the late 17th century, Jesuit priests visited and established a mission in the area. The town grew throughout the 1800s and flourished in the fishing and lumber industries.
After a devastating fire in 1918, the Cross Village residents rebuilt the town. Now it features many things to do, but here are six places that you can check out as you start the drive south.
Museum of L’Arbre Croche History
Founded in 1995, the Museum of L’Arbre Croche History has a main hall and four rooms of displays that detail the background of the area between Cross Village and Good Hart.
The displays we saw included a range of artifacts from the Native American tribes and early white settlers.
Legs Inn in Cross Village
As one of the few hotels along the Tunnel of Trees in Michigan, Legs Inn is a historic landmark and dining destination. In fact, the MLive newspaper has named it the second-most iconic restaurant in the state.
With rustic stone architecture, this spot serves authentic Polish cuisine in a scenic outdoor garden. There are live music events and rental cottages too.
Cross Village Beach
You can’t miss the view of Lake Michigan from Cross Village Beach. Just a short walk from Legs Inn, it has a boat launch and restroom facilities.
There are lots of hardwood trees and open spaces along the water’s edge as well, making it a must-stop destination along the Tunnel of Trees.
Three Pines Studio
Before you leave the town, check out Three Pines Studio. This unique art gallery features works by more than 40 artists from across Northern Michigan.
We enjoyed browsing ceramics, woodwork, glass, metalwork, paintings, jewelry, and more. There are also beautiful sculptures in the outdoor garden, perfect for a photo shoot.
Woollam Family Nature Preserve
Just 1.5 miles outside of Cross Village, the Woollam Family Nature Preserve stretches for 69 acres. It has 3,300 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline, and if you have enough time, you can walk the 0.5-mile trail through the woods and to the beach.
It’s a perfect place to enjoy a picnic or to stretch your legs!
The Old Council Tree
History comes alive as you enjoy more than just the scenic drive along M-119.
With a highway marker about 1.5 miles south of the preserve and about 4 miles north of Good Hart, you can see The Old Council Tree. It’s the location where Native American tribes once held councils.
A meeting between the Chippewa, Menominee, and Ottawa Tribes in 1763 is one of the most legendary. They gathered to decide their next move against the British.
Must Visit Attractions in Good Hart
Positioned about halfway between Cross Village and Harbor Springs, Good Hart is an unincorporated community with rich Native American history.
Some tribal citizens originally called it “L’Arbre Croche,” which referred to the huge, crooked tree nearby. Others called it “Opit-awe-ing”, which means “halfway.” Later, white settlers called it Middle Village and then Good Hart, which became permanent in 1827.
As a resort area, the Good Hart community relies on tourism and has several interesting attractions. Below are eight places that are worth exploring as you drive toward Harbor Springs through Good Hart.
Readmond Township Beach Reserve
With a sign visible from the road, Readmond Township Beach Reserve is located off M-119 on Lamokin Drive.
Carry-in boat access, a picnic area, and restroom facilities are available. Plan to spend a few hours enjoying this beautiful reserve.
St. Ignatius Mission Church and Middle Village Park
Before you return to M-119, backtrack on Lamokin Drive, and turn south on Lamkin Road to St. Ignatius Mission Church. It was built in honor of St. Ignatius of Lyola.
Interesting Fact: The current building is the third to be erected after the first two were burned down.
A Native American burial ground sits next to the church. Also next to it is a pathway with an observation deck that leads to Middle Village Park.
At Middle Village Park, there’s a beach for swimming, restroom facilities, and boat access.
A Studio Shop
When you’re ready, head north on Lamkin Road to return to the scenic drive along M-119. You’ll notice the red roof of your next stop on the right: A Studio Shop.
With fun finds and one-of-a-kind items, it’s a seasonal boutique with accessories and gifts. You can only visit the shop from Memorial Day through October, so be sure to plan a drive along the Tunnel of Trees during the summer or early fall months!
Just over 100 feet away is Primitive Images, which is the perfect shop for buying antiques and rustic furniture. We enjoyed browsing its handmade jewelry, rugs, and other items, too.
In addition, the Good Hart & Soul Tea Room offers tea tastings and beverages, which are served in the garden and on the outdoor deck. Be sure to plan enough time to stop and sample its offerings!
Good Hart General Store
Right next to Primitive Images, you can’t miss the Good Hart General Store. This must-visit, authentic 1934 shop is a red building.
It’s the area’s bakery, deli, grocery, and post office. You’ll enjoy the homemade baked goods, especially the famous (melt-in-your-mouth) potpies. (We’re drooling just thinking about them!)
The store has Good Hart-branded clothes and gifts as well which are fun souvenirs to help you take your visit home with you!
Good Hart Glassworks
Are you interested in blown glass? Stop at Good Hart Glassworks during your Tunnel of Trees driving tour.
The art studio and gallery is about 2 miles from the general store and off the scenic road. We enjoyed the offered educational demos and lessons about glass blowing.
Watching professional glassblowers at work is both mind-blowing and relaxing – such a finetuned craft!
Once you get back on the Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route, Devil’s Elbow is an infamous hairpin turn with a historical marker just 0.5 miles south.
According to the legend, an evil spirit lived in the ravine and haunted the local Native Americans after dark. Former residents reported hearing sounds and voices coming from the ravine.
Have you ever experienced the Devil’s Elbow after dark? We’d love to hear your stories!
Explore the City of Harbor Springs
Harbor Springs is a popular vacation destination in Northern Michigan. Although it’s situated at the southern end of this Michigan scenic road trip on M-119, the city is a great place to visit.
Full of culinary talent, it has a quaint waterfront on Little Traverse Bay and a plethora of activities, including gallery exhibitions, theater performances, swimming, hiking, and more.
Here are just a few of our must-visit places to stop and experience on the south end of M-119 in Harbor Springs Michigan.
Pond Hill Farm
About 5 miles north of downtown Harbor Springs, stop at Pond Hill Farm. For more than 20 years, it has ensured that couples and families have a great time. The farm is home to Harbor Springs Vineyards and Winery as well as Tunnel Vision Brewery. Both offer tastings and a wonderful escape for adults.
During your visit, you can walk across grassy fields and through the woods on miles of groomed trails. Winter is a great time for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on the trails, or you can cruise a sled down Vineyard Sled Hill.
Additionally, Pond Hill Farm offers a Gnome Scavenger Hunt all year. There’s even a Garden Cafe that serves seasonal dishes and a market where you can purchase fresh produce and homemade goods. The property features a livestock barn, playground, and special events throughout the year too. If you’re visiting in the fall, here are more things to do in the area.
Thorne Swift Nature Preserve
Only about 2 miles south of Pond Hill Farm, Thorne Swift Nature Preserve is spread across 30 acres with 950 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline.
You can explore the Elizabeth Kennedy Nature Center, which is full of information about the surrounding animals and plants. Afterward, you can walk the 1.5-mile trail to the dune and pond observation platforms.
Harbor Springs Lyric Theatre
On Main Street in Harbor Springs, the Lyric Theatre is a nonprofit movie theater that offers entertainment all year.
Stop by for a classic, family, or foreign movie to wind down after your day of traversing this popular scenic drive.
Stafford’s Pier Restaurant
If you’re looking for one of the best places to eat along the Tunnel of Trees, Stafford’s Pier Restaurant tops our list of restaurants in Harbor Springs to frequent. Part of a historic complex, this seafood spot has 3 distinct indoor spaces & an outdoor deck.
This Harbor Springs restaurant pays homage to its maritime heritage by providing waterfront dining on original pilings over the harbor. The Pier’s main dining room has a view of the historic yacht basin and serves fresh seafood, Great Lakes fish, steaks, and traditional Northern Michigan dishes.
Stafford’s Pointer Boat Tour
The Pointer Boat provided passage for residents of Harbor Point to the village of Harbor Springs as no cars were allowed on the point from 1930 to 1962. In 1990, the last of the three yachts was restored and put on display outside of Stafford’s Pier Restaurant.
Now guests can enjoy a fun and relaxing boat tour on a 12-passenger yacht-like boat tour hugging the shoreline of Harbor Springs’ Little Traverse Bay, Harbor Point, and Wequetonsing from the Pointer Boat. The tour runs approximately one hour and fifteen minutes from late May through the end of September.
A family in Northern Michigan opened a storefront kitchen in 1982 and began making preserves. Even after all these years, the well-trained staff still hand-prepares fruit and cooks it in small copper kettles with care.
They collaborate closely with a group of hardworking Michigan farmers and foragers who cultivate and collect the unique fruit varieties that they adore and which have been prized for their unmatched flavor and character for generations. This small, family-run business seeks out, captures, and preserves flavors that can’t be found anywhere else.
Their unique Harbor Springs storefront is tucked into a tiny cottage on Main St. on the Northern shore of Little Traverse Bay. Harbor Springs’ American Spoon store is a great place to pick up some Northern Michigan preserves – for yourself or to give as a gift to a friend.
More to Discover Along Michigan’s Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route on M-119
Above are only 17 of the stops that we think you should make on the drive between Cross Village and Harbor Springs. It’s possible to spend multiple days exploring everything there is to see and do.
Vacation Rentals Near Michigan’s Tunnel of Trees
There are a few hotels near the Michigan Tunnel of Trees, so you can turn your adventure into a weekend getaway. Aside from Legs Inn in Cross Village (mentioned above), Blisswood is just 2 miles north of Good Hart and Birchwood Inn is less than 1 mile south of Thorne Swift Nature Preserve in Harbor Springs.
There are hundreds of amazing vacation rentals along the Tunnel of Trees in Michigan, but here are a few of our favorite recommendations of places to stay near Cross Village, Petoskey, Good Hart, and Harbor Springs…
- 12 Superb Petoskey Michigan Hotels & Other Lodging Options for Your Getaway
- 12 BEST Harbor Springs Hotels, Inns, Rentals, & Campgrounds
Swift Cottage is a beautiful cozy artist beachfront cottage just a few steps from Lake Michigan that offers incredible private beach and waterfront living. Just a few minutes North from downtown Harbor Springs MI off of M-119 the "tunnel of trees" in Michigan, this recently remodeled cottage was first built/developed by a famous local artist to Harbor Springs. Truly a magical place with a rich artistic history offers you and your family a wonderful private beach experience!
Regularly adored by many travelers as a favorite cottage along this magnificent stretch of road, this storybook log cabin paints a lovely picture! Like the original Bliss log homes that align this famous route, this rustic full log retreat is a holiday delight.
Superbly positioned only seven miles north of downtown Harbor Springs, there is excellent shopping, boating, and golf with several fine dining restaurants in the area. Recreational activities in the immediate area include biking, hiking, wildlife viewing, and horseback riding. It is an easy drive to the ferries of Mackinaw City for a wonderful trip to Mackinac Island. The lakeside communities of Petoskey, Bay Harbor, Cross Village, or the inland waterway are quick trips, too.
Completely remodeled 2 bedroom, 2 bath main house and newly remodeled and expanded adorable 1 bedroom, 1 bath cabin. Sleeps 8 people. This property has a beautiful deck overlooking Lake Michigan and comes with 130 feet of private beach frontage. Enjoy some of the most amazing views of Lake Michigan from this property!
Rare "Cliff House" built on a high bluff with incredible views of Lake Michigan and over 200 feet of private frontage. Watch bald eagles fly, look out over the islands, and take in a nighttime view of Charlevoix to the south.
The Cliff House offers a wide-open floor plan with incredible Lake Michigan views from almost every room. Modern and comfortable furniture throughout. Plenty of room to spread out, with room to sleep 14 people in beds! Enjoy the views and use of a powerful telescope that allows you to see the Beaver and Fox Islands clearly as well as Charlevoix to the south. Private main floor bedroom, upper loft bedroom space, and a spacious downstairs give plenty of room for families to spread out.
Nearly 2,000 sq. ft., the house features beautiful sunset-facing, Lake Michigan views from most rooms. Four bedrooms, three full baths - including a master bedroom with a king-sized, luxurious pillowtop bed, high-quality towels and bed linen, walk-in closet, and adjoining full bath. Contemporary finished basement and game room with a hide-a-bed and 3rd bathroom with a shower. The home can be used as a remote and secluded home office. high-speed internet, a printer, and some office supplies are provided. Have Lake Michigan as your view!
Photos of Michigan’s Tunnel of Trees: Gorgeous in Any Season
No matter what time of the year you visit the Michigan 119 Tunnel of Trees scenic route, you’re in for a beautiful drive!
From snow-covered boughs in the winter to leafy greens in the spring and summer to the brilliant colors of fall, a drive through the Tunnel of Trees needs to be on your list of things to do in Michigan!
Tunnel of Trees in Fall
The M-119 Tunnel of Trees was recently included in a list of the best fall scenic drives in the United States!
romanpiekosz, TripAdvisor review
Winter on M-119
This is an original Native Trail from Little traverse Bay which goes up the shoreline through Cross Village to to the top west side of the State. There is a white painted line to mark the edge of the pavement and just grass, brush, and forest.
It is not really a 2 lane paved road but has space for about one and a half cars, no dividing line, no drainage ditches, no bike lane, and no shoulder to pull over on. The road is sloped slightly away from the center in a rounded crest style which prevents water from accumulating in most areas during wet weather. For these reasons, large vehicles, campers, and trailers are difficult to pass on the opposing traffic side, so be very careful!
It’s basically 22 or more miles with no passing zone. In good weather with little traffic it is possible to go maybe 45 mph safely, but with traffic, motorcycles, and bikes, it is more reasonable to be doing more like 25 or 30. In most places there is no guard rail and a 200 foot sand dune on limestone bluff drops off near the side of the road on the west side.
All this being said it is just a beautiful ride, winding along like the native trail that inspired this road, traveling up the coast through some gorgeous nature preserve lands and past several of beautiful log cabins. There are some private summer estates that look out across the lake toward Beaver and Garden Islands in the distance.
Sunsets are breathtaking, and the slow churn of the big waves rolling by is peacefully hypnotizing. Mid to late fall is a knockout of color and scenery. Winter is spectacular with snow drifts and ice flows on the lake. Spend some time slowly rolling by and take a moment to explore and treasure one of the most amazing places in this wonderful Northern Country.Too Y, TripAdvisor review
Spring Scenic Drives on M-119 Tunnel of Trees
What a pleasure to drive the tunnel of trees M119 during off season when there wasn’t much traffic and one could enjoy the sights and peace of Gods beauty. the road is narrow but I drove slow and pulled over if others were in a hurry. highly recommend you do this any time of the year. I’m sure it’s more beautiful in fall, but then a lot more traffic also.forhimtoo, TripAdvisor review
Summer on M-119
The M119 is an iconic drive. If you are traveling from the Mackinac City area done toward Charlevoix take the time to take this route. We went in June and hardly saw a car in either direction. I can only imagine though what it might be in peak summer or fall season. It can be curvy and narrow in areas but we were glad we did it. There are a few little gift shops to stop at as well as Pond Hill Farms to sample delicious wines and farm-to-table foods.Palomino922, TripAdvisor review