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.
A boardwalk and gazebo adjoin the hotel, and all 23 guest rooms come furnished with fireplaces and in-room jacuzzis. Lake-view rooms feature balconies facing the marina. Each morning, you can enjoy a spread of fresh pastries and warm waffles.
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.
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.