Perfect Day-Trip Idea: Pedal the Leelanau Trail from Suttons Bay to Traverse City

Stopping by a newly planted hops field along the Leelanau Trail.

With summer winding down, I strongly recommend doing what you can to soak up summer good times now. That in mind, I did a little research for a perfect daytrip for anybody living in or spending time in Traverse City. It’s simple and fantastic and healthy. 

The flyover: Ride your bikes on the Leelanau Trail from Suttons Bay to Traverse City. Pedal to the new food truck / pub called Little Fleet. Eat and sip a beverage and be happy. Here are a few pics and a few more details to color it all in.

Pedaling a sweet and shady stretch of the Leelanau Trail (maintained by TART Trails — thanks TART Trails! (Maps and more info at

The how to: So, with a one-way bike ride, the car becomes a problem sometimes. Where do you leave it? At the start of the ride? At the end of the ride? Blah blah blah. Anyway, the BATA bus system resolves this issue for you. They not only allow you take your bike on the bus, they actually encourage it. So park your car at the Traverse City bus station, put your bike and yourselves on the bus headed ot Suttons Bay. Hop off the bus there, remembering to grab your bikes. Take a moment to wander Suttons Bay and sip a coffee in a cute outdoor cafe. Then pedal the 17-or-so miles to Traverse City, not stopping until you arrive at Little Fleet, the food truck and pub gathering place. Your car is only about a half-mile away at the bus station. (Of course, if you have multiple cars/drivers you can do the old spot a car at each end approach and figure out the details of shepherding vehicles or if you are stronger riders, you can just pedal back to Suttons Bay after you eat.) Is, as they say, all good.

Ordering at the bar at Little Fleet, which has a full bar and solid microbrew selection. The vibe? One of our party, a Brooklyn resident, said, “this place is really Brooklyn.” 

A sleek, smart look at Little Fleet pub.

Proprietor at Friends With Food food truck. Loved the Johnny Cash on the Pandora stream.

Ordering up at the EZ Cheesy.

Pigs Eating Ribs does its part for the pork renaissance in America.

From Friends With Food food truck, a patty-pan squash stuffed w inventive and tasty goodness. Microbrew noted.

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