Maps & Directions to Leelanau County
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If you are driving, drive to the intersection of M-72 and M-22 on the western side of Traverse City and then:
- Turn left on M-72 toward Empire and travel about 14 miles to a blinking light and;
- Turn left to continue on M-72 and travel another 8¼ miles and the visitor center will be on your right.
For more information, visit www.nps.gov/slbe/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.
If you are driving from any location to the south or west of Lake Michigan you should know that Lake Michigan car ferries provide an alternative form of transportation which, in and of itself, adds excitement to the trip. One, the Lake Express, is a newer, high-speed, catamaran style ship which sails between Milwaukee and Muskegon in 2½ hours. For more information, visit www.lake-express.com. The other, the Badger, is an older and larger ship which sails between Manitowoc and Ludington in 4 hours.
For more information, visit www.ssbadger.com. Note that the time changes from Central to Eastern or Eastern to Central in route. For an interesting article on the history of car ferries on Lake Michigan, visit www.carferries.com.
If you are flying to the area, you will fly to Traverse City's Cherry Capital Airport. For information, visit www.tvcairport.com. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore's Philip A. Hart Visitor center is located about 28 miles from the airport. The drive, depending on the time of year and weather, will take 40-60 minutes. To get to the "starting point" in the directions above:
- Take the airport access road to South Airport Road and turn right.
- Drive west on South Airport 1 mile to Garfield Road and turn right.
- Continue north on Garfield about 2¼ miles to Grandview Parkway and turn left.
- Go east on Grandview Parkway about 2½ miles to M-72 and follow the directions above.
"Driving along Lake Michigan's coastline...
one of the top five greatest driving tours in America."
- Rand McNally