MRG reader Tiffany McNally ran the newest stretch of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail earlier this month, on the weekend this 5.5-mile section of the eventual 27-mile pathway opened. “It is awesome … it’s gorgeous,” says Tiffany, who moved with her family to northern Michigan about a year ago. Here’s how she described her run:

I decided I needed a new route for a 10 miler on that Sunday – it was my last longer run before the Charlevoix Half Marathon.

A few weeks prior, I had watched a new path north of Empire being paved. So I searched and found it was opening that Friday!

The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail.
The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail.

I woke up early on Sunday. The weather was a bit chilly and windy, but I was excited to see new sights. I started from the Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitor Center and headed out. I was quickly met with beauty! It was a hilly (in my mind) 5 miles out and back. The path was mostly covered and I could hear the birds chirping and the leaves rustling.

I plan on returning to the path soon in order to run from the path to the sight-seeing areas of Lake Michigan!

When complete, this trail will connect major park attractions and local communities, including Empire, Pierce Stocking Drive, Dune Climb, Glen Haven Historic Village, D.H. Campground, Port Oneida and Good Harbor Beach. To donate or learn more about the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail visit the web site here »


TIffany, at the Jingle Bell 5K in Traverse City this past December.

Tiffany McNally is a northern Michigan runner. She ran this past weekend’s Charlevoix Half Marathon, finishing with a 3-minute PR! “It was a beautiful course and day for a run! It was my first time running Charlevoix and it was amazing – great weather and scenery. The best part was that I was able to see people I went to high school with, people I used to run with downstate, and new running friends in Traverse City because of the out and back course. I ran alone but never felt alone on the course. I ran the North Mitten Half Marathon last month and shaved off 3 minutes, so for Charlevoix I only hoped to shave off a minute and ended up with a 3 minutes PR! I am super excited and looking forward to Cherry Fest.”


Where do you love to run? if you are interested in sharing a beloved Michigan running location, wherever it may be throughout lower Michigan or the Upper Peninsula, email a picture and a description of the area (and why you like running there so much) to: michiganrunnergirl [at] gmail [dot] com (Please try to keep your story/description to 300-400 words). I’d love to feature a variety of routes, from city landscapes, rocky or sandy shorelines, wide open hills and meadows, tree-lined trails…you get the picture. I can’t wait to see your running route!

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