Route: Tawas Bay Pathway + Alabaster Arboretum (MI)

Submitted by Kathryn Burt on Sat, 04/24/2021 - 06:17am
Michigan, US
14 mi
Vertical Gain
93 ft

This scenic journey along Lake Huron consists of three sections: Alabaster Arboretum, Tawas Bay Trail, and Tawas Point State Park. The trails are part of Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail, a bike path that spans the length of Michigan. 

The 6.5-mile Alabaster Arboretum starts near Brown's Landing and is an asphalt trail featuring a collection of over 150 labeled trees along the edge of the trail. It travels along an abandoned rail line and remnants can be seen along the path. Alabaster is another word for 'gypsum' which is mineral used to make drywall. Gypsum mining is still active in the area and you can see an old offshore loading facility on the trail along with beautiful views of Lake Huron. Keep running on the path until the trail transitions to sidewalk by the Rose City RV. Don't forget to lookout for deer. 

The 6.9-mile Tawas Bay Path is a sidewalk that follows US-23 and goes right through downtown and ends at the beautiful Tawas Point State Park. Stay on the sidewalk that follows along Lake Huron. You will pass by Gateway Park, which has a Saturday morning farmers' market, and Tawas City Shoreline Park, home of Tony's Tacos. Once you get to the Big Boy, stay east to follow the road. The sidewalk becomes an extended shoulder. Once you pass by Jerry's Marina and the Coast Guard, the shoulder goes away. Be careful as you are close to the road. 

You are around 0.6 miles from the Tawas Point State Park. Once you get into the park, follow signs for the Lighthouse. Your run ends at the classic red and white Tawas Point Lighthouse that was in operation from 1876 to 2016. Tours are still available today. A little red fox lives by the lighthouse, but he is shy. Look out for colorful kiteboarders that enjoy the consistently windy conditions or the bird watchers that enjoy the Sandy Hook Birding trail. Treat yourself to a jump in refreshing Lake Huron or yummies from a downtown restaurant - G's Pizzeria, Marion's Dairy Bar or the Village Chocolatier.

GPS Track