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Local attractions

near crystal mountain

Just beyond Crystal Mountain lies a world of adventure. Discover the beauty of Benzie County and beyond!

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - 18 MILES FROM CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN

Sleeping Bear Dunes

This 70,000-acre national park includes 35 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and the North and South Manitou Islands. From the popular Dune Climb to secluded beaches, you are sure to have a memorable time at this year-round national park. Learn more by visiting the National Park Service website or call 231-326-4700.

Philip A. Hart Visitor Center, Empire - 25 miles away
Find a wealth of information about the park and the natural and human history of the area.
Directions from Crystal Mountain to Visitor Center »

Southern Park Entrance, Benzie County - 18 miles away
The southern park entrance on scenic highway M-22 in Benzie County is the closest park entrance to Crystal Mountain. Make a quick stop to get a photo with the national park sign!
Directions from Crystal Mountain to Southern Entrance »

Frankfort, Michigan - 17 miles from crystal mountain

Frankfort Pier

Located on the Lake Michigan shoreline near the southern entrance of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Frankfort's immaculate beaches, sand dunes, lighthouses, and sunsets separate this coastal town from others. Browse local shops and galleries in the charming downtown for your perfect vacation souvenir. Learn more by visiting

Directions from Crystal Mountain »

Point Betsie Lighthouse - 22 Miles from Crystal Mountain

Point Betsie Lighthouse

Built in 1857-58, the Point Betsie Lighthouse has served Lake Michigan mariners for over 150 years at the southern entrance to the Manitou Passage. Now, the lighthouse is enjoyed by rock hounds, photographers, and sunset-watchers alike. Guided tours available. For more information visit

Directions from Crystal Mountain »



This 116-mile stretch of road holds winding turns through beautiful forests combined with awe-inspiring views of Lake Michigan. Taking a drive on M-22 will always be a favorite of tourists and locals, but when the ocean of green leaves fade to brilliant waves of red, yellow and orange in the fall, this drive is a must. It's best described as “Pure Michigan”.
Learn more about M-22 »

Directions from Crystal Mountain »


Arcadia Overlook

Pulling into the Overlook’s scenic turnout, located just north of the village of Arcadia, Lake Michigan dominates the view. Let your eyes wander across the seemingly endless body of water. Hike up the 120 steps (80 vertical ft.) for a breathtaking picture perfect moment! It's easy to see why the overlook is also known as Inspiration Point.

Directions from Crystal Mountain »


The Benzie Area Historical Society & Museum
The museum features permanent exhibits showcasing virtually all aspects of life in Benzie County since its inception in 1869 plus more than 37,000 artifacts in their collection. 

COGNiTiON Science and Discovery Center
COGNiTiON is an interactive science playground captivating the community and lifelong learners. Enjoy a hands-on center full of intimate exhibits that capture big ideas in creative ways!

Oliver Art Center
The purpose of the Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts is to maintain an educational program and facility for the advancement of the arts. The Art Center also works to promote and develop the visual, performing, culinary, and literary arts in Benzie County and the surrounding area. Features a gallery, gift shop, events, classes and more.

Nearby Bike Trails

Local Biking

In addition to on-site mountain biking, Crystal Mountain's trails also connect to the 10-mile Betsie River Pathway. We also recommend a handful of local trails, all within a short drive from Crystal Mountain:

Betsie Valley Trail - This mellow trail is built on the bed of the former Ann Arbor Railroad and showcases the scenic beauty of Benzie County, traveling 22 miles from the village of Thompsonville to the city of Frankfort on Lake Michigan.

North Country Trail - An advanced to expert level trail with climbs and descents in the hills above the Manistee River.

Dry Hill Trails in Arcadia Dunes - Two fast flowing and fun loops, home to the annual Arcadia Grit & Gravel Mountain Bike Race.

Big-M Recreation Area - Approximately 30 miles south of Crystal Mountain, Big-M features 40+ miles of mountain biking trails carved out of the Manistee National Forest.

Local Hiking Trails

Hiking Arcadia Dunes

Our corner of northwest lower Michigan is a hiker's paradise. From secluded wooded pathways to dazzling lakeshore vistas, hikers of all ages will find trails worth exploring again and again.

Our on-property trail system connects to the 10-mile Betsie River Pathway in the Pere Marquette State Forest. Also, the beautiful 22-mile Betsie Valley Trail is easily accessible, stretching from the nearby village of Thompsonville to the city of Frankfort on Lake Michigan. Also, many of the hiking trails in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore are within a scenic 30 minute drive from Crystal Mountain.

Some of our favorite, off-property hiking trails are located just a short drive from Crystal Mountain and are protected by the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. Here are some treasured GTRLC hikes:

Misty Acres: The Borwell Preserve - 4 miles away. Map to Trailhead »
Arcadia Dunes: Pete's Woods Trail - 9 miles away. Map to Trailhead »
Arcadia Dunes: Dry Hill Trails - 12.5 miles away. Map to Trailhead »
Arcadia Dunes: Baldy Trails - 13 miles away. Includes the universally accessible Overlook Trail (pictured above). Map to Trailhead »
Arcadia Marsh Nature Preserve - 14.7 miles away. Map to Trailhead »
Upper Herring Lake Nature Preserve - 15 miles away. Map to Trailhead »
Green Point Dunes Nature Preserve - 16 miles away. Map to Trailhead »
Elberta Dunes South Natural Area - 17 miles away. Map to Trailhead »

Or get adventurous and explore the extensive trail networks of Manistee County, our neighboring county to the south. Local favorites include the Manistee River Trail and Big-M Recreation Area.

Pet rules vary by trail. If you are traveling with a pet, we recommend confirming in advance if furry friends can join your off-property hike.

Nearby Rivers

Local Rivers

Northern Michigan can be best explored by canoe, kayak or tube!

Platte River - The Lower Platte is perfect for your mellow canoe, kayak or tubing trip and a great spot for families. Located 18 miles from Crystal Mountain in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. We recommend reserving in advance through Riverside Canoes.

Betsie River - Swift but steady, the Betsie River is geared for experienced canoe and kayak paddlers. Located 1 mile from Crystal Mountain. We recommend reserving with Betsie River Canoes and Campground.

Big Manistee River - This wide and smooth flowing river is great for both beginners and experienced adventurers. Located 20 miles from Crystal Mountain. For rentals and more info, check out Manistee Adventures and Pine River Paddlesports.

Family Friendly Beaches

Summertime in northern Michigan can't be beat, especially along the Lake Michigan shoreline. These beaches are pristine, expansive, near great places to eat and shop, plus feature playground equipment for the kids!


Nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a beachgoer's delight. But don't forget your Park Pass and to bring along your amenities. Here are a couple of our closest favorites in the park:


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