Have you ever heard of the Tunnel of Trees? It is a 20 mile drive along Michigan’s west coast along Lake Michigan. Located just north of Harbor Springs, it draws people through this windy road offering spectacular photo opportunities and views.
I have drove in the mountains in several states, including horrible roads in Hawaii. The Tunnel of Trees is a drive that I found enjoyable and not white knuckle.
Tips to Know Before You go Through the Tunnel of Trees
- Bring a Friend. If you are driving up and down the Tunnel of Trees, you’ll want to have a friend so one can drive going one way. Then you can get out and the other person can drive the other way. It allows you both to get some beautiful photos and actually enjoy the drive.
- Spend some Time – It is a 20 mile drive, but you are only going at the most 45 mph. And honestly, you’ll want to drive slower, to take it all in. And there are some shops to stop and enjoy too, so you will want to spend some time there, or have lunch. You will also see wild life (lots of deer), so drive carefully too.
- Fill your tank – there is not a gas station in the Tunnel of Trees, so make sure you gas up before you go.
- Drive with caution – there are a few areas that have sharp curves. There are animals. The road is barely 2 lanes. Drive with your lights on.
- Snacks – bring a few snacks with you if you get hungry or have kids. It’s a lot of looking at nature and the gorgeous sun over the water. Kids might not find the beauty in it.
- When to drive through? – Any time of day is a great time in the Tunnel so plan an hour before sunset to start your journey through if only going through one way.
- Stop in Good Hart – A small town with a general store and another store that offers gemstones and wood crafts for purchase. If you go early and late at night like we did, they were closed. But Good Hart is worth the stop.
- Quick way through – If you only want to go through once (not both ways), you can take State Road from Harbor Springs and it will get you to the top (or bottom) on your journey, so you have a quicker route (C77).
- Map – I found this map to be very helpful in providing details of where I was. If you decide you have had enough, there are several roads to take you to State Road and get you out of the Tunnel.
- The Road – Once you get into the tunnel, there is no middle line. It becomes a tight 2 lane road. Just slow down for oncoming traffic.
- Hotels near Tunnel of Trees – best place to stay nearby is Harbor Springs Michigan. The Tunnel of Trees starts in Harbor Springs Michigan from the south and ends in Cross Village Michigan in the north. You can also stay in Cross Village.
- No Rest Stops – There are maybe 2-3 places to pull off the road and take pictures. There are no rest areas to use the bathroom. Go before you go.
- Restaurants – There are places to eat in Cross Village once you make the trip through the trees.
- Bicyclists – Be on the look out for people traveling on bikes. With the narrow roads and sharp curves, you need to stay alert.
- The Tunnel of Trees is one of several arboreal tunnels (where the trees grow over the road) located in Michigan.
- If you want to leave the Tunnel of Trees, the map from #9 shows you where the roads are to get back to your destination.
Watch the videos going through the Tunnel of Trees from Harbor Springs to Cross Village. Or Cross Village to Harbor Springs Count the deer along the route!