This is a fundraiser? What am I supporting?
For more than 50 years, Skyline Camp and Retreat Center has made camp possible for those for whom it might not otherwise be. Skyline works with families and agencies to assist campers with a variety of needs. Each year Skyline commits itself, with your support, to give camperships in tens of thousands of dollars.
What can we expect at each stop?
At every stop there will be people to welcome you and let you know where to go and what to do. There will also be water at each stop. There will be tasters at most of the stops. There will be bathrooms at about half of the stops.
What kind of things are at each stop?
It varies quite a bit, depending on which stops you choose. You could see pigs and cows and amazing produce at one stop, and alpacas at the next. You’ll see hand fired mugs and pitchers at one stop and rows and rows of gorgeous grapevines at another. You’ll see antiques and jams at one stop, and then a huge diverse garden and house goats and chickens at the next. You’ll visit a farm store and munch on roasted corn at one stop, and then sip cider and pick apples at the next.
Do we get to taste anything?
Yes, you may enjoy tasting as you learn at most of the stops. Most tasters come straight from the farm, but at 2 stops there will be KIND bars, lovingly donated by KIND to fuel our cyclists. Examples from 2015 were a corn roast at Goikes, grape tasting at Honeyflow, and maple syrup at Kellers.
What sizes of farms and stops are included?
Is there something to buy at every stop?
Some stops are farms with animals and stories of how they use the land, but nothing for sale at the moment. Some stops are farms with lots of varied produce for sale, other farms focus on one thing, like alpacas or maple syrup! Some stops are small family farms with animals and huge gardens who sell whatever they can grow and will run out of most things by the end of the day. Some stops sell antiques and jams and spice mixes they have made from the produce they grow. One stop sells hand fired pottery upon which you can eat lovingly grown food!
Is there still a Fall Color Day?
The fun of the season and the day are now woven into the Tour de Food event, and there is something for everyone!
Will there be snack packs?
There will be tasters at most stops and water at all stops, so you do not need to carry snack packs. For protein, KIND bars will be located at a few farms.
What provisions have been made in case of rain?
Bring your rain gear! SAG wagons will be on call, and should there be need, farmers will help you to find shelter. Focus Hall will shelter those waiting for their dinner seating. The Pavilion is available for cyclists to wait out the rain and then get back out on the trail. Most of the farms have undercover shelters or indoor farm shops. You are welcome to use your car to tour farms until the weather clears up.
Why aren’t we crossing M-53 this year?
In 2015 we altered our route to avoid crossing M-53 due to safety concerns. Unfortunately this meant losing a few excellent local farms. Please visit these farms with vehicles, specifically Brookwood Fruit Farms and Blake’s.
Are you offering lunch this year?
Lunch will be available for purchase between 11:00am and 3:00pm in the open air pavilion at Skyline. Vehicle City Tacos is a food truck with a passion for high quality, locally produced fresh ingredients, made-from-scratch cooking, original recipes, reducing their overall carbon footprint and cycling!
What changes have been made this year to the dining format?
We will now have open seating between 3:00pm and 7:00pm. The longer serving time will accommodate folks who want to eat an earlier dinner and those who aren’t sure how long they will be out on the route. Diners will serve themselves at the buffet line and choose their own seating.
Are there substitutions available at the dinner?
Dietary needs must be communicated in advance and most can and will be honored at the dinner. On the website, you will see choices in dietary needs.
Is there a kids menu?
There is not a separate menu for children, the menu is prepared with children and adults in mind.
How do you mark the routes?
We aim to mark the trails our best each year. This year we will have painted arrows on the Lapeer County roads, (not Macomb County roads, they will not give us permission) as well as color coded route marker signs for the 10 and 20 mile routes.
What family friendly activities will be available other than the bike ride?
Hiking and exploring 156 acres are an option but besides that, between 1:00pm and 4:00pm here at camp there will be an activity center at Skyline’s Farmhouse. There you can try apple roasting over an open fire, harvest crafts & games, “dig your own” potatoes, garden tea tasting & visits with our friendly goats, sheep and chickens. Also at the farmhouse this year will be an onsite market with Cold Frame Farm and a children’s “Michigan Market.” Between 2:00 and 4:00 there will be live music in our open air Pavilion.
Can the trails and event accommodate bike trailers to bring younger children?
We have certainly had families who ride with bike trailers, it is possible. There are hills and the roads are hard packed dirt, so it is not easy if you are used to flatter paved roads. Some families with young ones choose to ride a shorter route, either Tiny Trips which is between 3 and 4 miles or the 10 Mile route.
How do families with children participate in the Tour de Food?
Some families take children on bikes out on Tiny Trips or the 10 Mile Route. When they come back to camp, there are great activities for the whole family: live music, lunch, apple roasting, harvest games, farm animals, etc. Other families with children might get back on the route with a car to visit the rest of the farms. Children enjoy the dinner, it’s like a relaxed family restaurant with a buffet line. Knowing the food came from all the farms they just visited makes it taste better than your average meal.