Tranquil Lakeside Hotel near Hart-Montague Trail State Park
Hart-Montague Trail State Park spans 22 miles of orchards, farms, and a portion of Manistee National Forest as it proceeds down Michigan’s western coast to the town of Montague. At one section of the trail stands one of the world’s largest weathervanes—a 48-foot sculpture of a Great Lakes schooner that sank in 1901. This piece serves as the namesake for The Weathervane Inn. Overlooking the placid White Lake and just steps from the Hart-Montague Trail, the inn embodies the tranquility of the area, which is far removed from the busier ports farther south.
All of the guest rooms have been recently renovated with flat-screen TVs, new towels, carpet, headboards, bedside tables, and paint jobs. They also come with fireplaces and in-room hot tubs, as well as complimentary WiFi to catch up on news from back home. Lake-view rooms feature balconies facing the marina. Each morning, enjoy a complimentary breakfast consisting of fresh pastries and waffles. Weathervane Inn guests can also use the America’s Fitness Centers facilities at no extra charge.
Montague, Michigan: Quaint Lakeside Town with Seasonal Snowmobiling and Sledding
Located a few miles east of Lake Michigan on Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, the small town of Montague overlooks White Lake’s north shore. Montague and the neighboring town of Whitehall charm visitors with their cluster of gift shops, art galleries, and boutique stores. A nice after-dinner activity is to stop by the Book Nook & Java Shop for some light reading paired with a cup of coffee. While you’re in town, make sure to visit the corner of Dowling Street and Water Street, home to the world’s largest weathervane.
In fall, visitors bike down the Hart-Montague Trail, pedaling past farms and orchards blossoming with cherry, peach, and plum trees. Warmer months also draw out-of-towners to White Lake’s shores to canoe, sail, and fish for yellow perch, smallmouth bass, and walleye.
During the winter, the Hart-Montague Trail is part of 175 miles of snowmobile and ski trails. About 20 miles south, at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, sledders can careen down a family-friendly luge at up to 25 miles per hour. Coaches are on hand to help beginners navigate tricky sections of the track and dodge jaywalking snowmen. The complex also includes an outdoor skating rink and wooded cross-country ski trails.