Willy Wonka and the Petoskey Trail

Maybe it’s due to the spectacular scenery or just a different state of mind, but one of the things I love most about RV travel is my craving to get outdoors. Fact is that I hike, walk the dogs, and ride bicycle miles more than when I’m at home.  And that’s good—really good—because when I’m not walking, hiking or cycling I’m checking out the local foodie options and planning for the next meal.

Kilwins map-sq
Petoskey State Park to Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen is an easy ride along a bay view bike trail.

All of which makes Petoskey State Park ideal. Jump on the paved bike trail that runs through the park and you can pedal north to Harbor Springs and Mackinaw City.  Head south from the park and pedal all the way to Charlevoix, which is about 30 miles.  Not up for a 30-mile ride today?  No problem.  Instead, make a stop on the south trail a short four miles from the park and you’ll find yourself in a chocolate lover’s paradise.

Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen

Chances are somewhere along your travels you passed by a Kilwins chocolate shop.  Typically found in resort and vacation communities and in upscale shopping areas, there are over 140 retail locations primarily east of the Mississippi.  Petoskey is where the company began and the Chocolate Kitchen on Bay View is the Mother Ship.

From this modern, sprawling single story facility virtually all the chocolate candies you see in your neighborhood Kilwins Store are made.  Thousands of gallons of milk and dark chocolate circulate overhead through stainless steel pipes destined to enrobe walnuts, cashews, caramels and a host of other goodies. Take the free tour and you’ll get a behind the scenes look (and explanation) of how the magic happens.

And, yea, resign yourself to exiting the chocolate factory with a bag full of sweets and a thick slice of Kilwins Mackinac Island Fudge.  Peddle on!


1050 Bay View Road

Petoskey, MI  49770


Author: RoadTravelFoodie

Writing the story on good food, good drink, and good people as I tour the country in a small RV. With no hard deadlines or flight schedules, I can take my time to explore local restaurants, farmers’ markets, the old-fashioned butcher shop, microbreweries, winemakers, the roadside BBQ, and more. Help me turn RoadTravelFoodie.com into a virtual neighborhood on which to share experiences and explore with others.

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