The Thoreson Rd./Bay View Trail loop is a special combination of grasslands, beech-maple forest, and pine plantation. Thoreson Rd. climbs a steep ridge into maple-beech forest. The road will descend to a high country meadow that is home to Bobolinks and Meadowlarks. Take this road very slowly to listen for Grasshopper and Vesper Sparrows which also call this meadow home. Enjoy the spectacular view of Lake Michigan to the north and the picturesque Thoreson Farm. In partnership with the National Park Service, volunteers from the Glen Arbor Art Association have been restoring the farm buildings and using the site as an arts education center.
The road will eventually wind its way around to the Bay View Trail parking area. There are two options here, one is a 1.2 mile loop with a climb and the other is a one-way walk along the Low Trail which winds you through meadows studded with white and red pines. Keep an eye out for Black-billed cuckoos which seem to frequent this area. The trail will eventually give you an option to proceed on the Low Trail or turn west to climb the ridge to catch the High Trail. To complete the loop, taking the spur to the High Trail, you will crest at Lookout Point which surveys the high country meadow that you saw from below on Thoreson Rd. The trail will give you the option to proceed north or south. If you take the northerly direction, this will take you back to the parking area for a total hike of 1.2 miles.
Directions: Take M-22 north from Glen Arbor for 2.0 miles. Turn left on Thoreson Rd. which is a gravel road leading up a steep slope. The road will crest a ridge and eventually descend to a vast high country meadow. Follow the road for a total of 1.0 miles from the turn to the parking area for the Bay View trailhead.