13 Reasons to Bicycle Tour in Michigan this Summer

Beach Bike

Photo courtesy of Josh DeBruyn

Bicycle travel offers a unique way to see Michigan. No matter if you’re north, south, east or west, there’s endless opportunities to revel in the natural splendor of the Great Lakes state. Besides being a great way to see the beauty of Pure Michigan, taking a bicycle tour is also a fun and easy way to stay in shape!

To celebrate Michigan in offering some of the most unique biking trails in the nation, Josh DeBruyn from the Michigan Department of Transportation shares 13 reasons to strap on your helmet and ride.

1) Michigan Routes – Michigan has the most signed U.S. Bicycle Routes of any state. Easy navigation and ready-made maps make your trip a slam dunk.

2) Food – Eat local and eat it a lot. Raspberries, ice cream, blueberries, craft beer, ice cream, coffee, wine, and oh yeah, ice cream; Michigan’s towns have it all.

3) It’s easy to cool your jets – with 3,126 miles of Great Lakes coastline and over 11,000 inland lakes you are never far from fresh water. Take a break from the bicycle saddle and cool off!

4) Michigan has connections – major hubs with airports and multi-modal connections, including Amtrak’s Blue Water Line roll-on bicycle service.

Bike photo-op

Photo courtesy of Josh DeBruyn

5) Michigan is Bicycle Friendly – Ranked 14th by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) in 2014 and home to 41 different LAB recognized bicycle friendly businesses, universities and cities.

6) From Sunrise to Sunset – Morning people can enjoy the relaxing calm of the sunrise over Lake Huron; while night owls can experience splendid sunsets over Lake Michigan. Not many other states can offer such opportunities!

7) Michigan has the infrastructure you’re looking for – With more improved rail-trails than any other state, thousands of miles of wide paved shoulders and growing networks of urban bike lanes, Michigan has it all.

8) Touring in Michigan is Simple – hundreds of great bicycle tours are already planned and only a few clicks away

9) Look Mom, No Cars! – take car free to the extreme with a stop on Mackinac Island and spend a few days bicycling in a car free paradise.

Boarding Train

Photo courtesy of Josh DeBruyn

10) More time for bicycling in Michigan – Located on the extreme western edge of the Eastern Time zone, at the peak of summer, it can be light until 10 p.m. (even later in the Upper Peninsula).

11) Seasonal variety – If you can’t make it in the summer, come later in the year for leaf-peeping and apple picking. Or we’ll see you next spring, when the flowering trees are in bloom.

12) The new B & B – with nearly 200 local breweries and thousands of miles of great bicycle infrastructure; Michigan is the ideal destination for B & B (Breweries and Bicycling).

13) Enjoy the falling water – No we’re not talking about bicycling in the rain but bicycling to the nearly 200 named waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula. Most are quite small, but there are still a good number of impressive accessible by bicycle.

Where is your favorite place to bike in Pure Michigan? Let us know by commenting below!

Enjoy 1,300 Scenic Miles of Biking Trails in Michigan

Spring is upon us, which hopefully means the warm weather is here to stay! Spring and summer months in Michigan are the perfect time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. One great activity for people of all ages is bicycle riding – whether it be riding around Mackinac Island looking at the scenery or on a rigorous ride in the Upper Peninsula.

Take a look at the listing below for a sampling of what Michigan’s trails have to offer, and learn more in the video on biking from the Pure Michigan summer video series.

A complete listing of Michigan’s 1,300 miles of bike trails can be found on michigan.org.


 

City of Marquette – Bike Path

The city of Marquette maintains over 12 miles of paved bike trails which lead you through some of the most beautiful scenic areas in the country. The path leads the bikers along the shores of Lake Superior, past boating marinas, north to Presque Isle – a 328 acre park and to a large outdoor pool with a waterslide (no charge). The park continues along the Tourist Park Campground and Picnic Area and wooded areas surround the path to the south area of Marquette. More information and a trail map are available here.

Kalamazoo River Valley Trail

The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail will encompass 35 miles of trail throughout Kalamazoo County. Kalamazoo will be a regional hub, connecting Battle Creek to Lake Michigan, D Ave. to Portage, and eventually Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. This existing trail and planned trails in other counties will enable you to connect more than 140 miles of trail – connecting together the Battle Creek Linear Park, the Kal-Haven Trail and Portage Bicentennial Park Trail. Currently, there are 17 miles complete of this non-motorized, paved-asphalt trail. Click here for more information.

Petoskey to Mackinac Trail

The Petoskey to Mackinac Trail consists of 35 miles of mostly dirt and cinder trail that passes through Conway, Oden, Ponshewaing, Alanson, Brutus, Pellston, Van, Levering, and Carp Lake to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Trailhead in Mackinaw City. The DNR is currently working to fill in the “gaps” in the trail between Oden and Alanson. The surface is currently “unimproved” railroad ballast and gravel. Some sections are in excellent shape while others are tough going for the cyclist, making for a bit of a challenge. The entire trail is bikeable with a hybrid or mountain bike. Carp Lake and Mackinaw City on the north end are especially suitable as staging areas for off trail excursions onto lightly traveled local (paved and gravel) roads, some of which connect to the Cheboygan to Mackinaw City segment of the Gaylord to Mackinaw City Trail. Visit the website for more information.

Stony Creek Metropark

The Stony Creek Metro Park is a scenic 4,461 acre park with hilly terrain enhanced by the beautiful 500-acre Stony Creek Lake. The park includes a nature center, picnic areas, beaches, a disc (Frisbee) golf course, boat launch, fitness trail and golf course. One of the highlights of the park is the paved 6.2 mile Hike-Bike trail and over 10 miles of paved roadways provide scenic drives in all seasons and the fall color is particularly beautiful.

The Detroit Riverfront

When fully completed, the Detroit International RiverWalk will span 5 ½ miles of the Detroit Riverfront, from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just east of the Belle Isle Bridge. Currently, 2 ½ miles of East Riverfront is complete and open to the public. The park makes a nice scenic ride in the city and connects to the Dequindre Cut adding 1.35 miles more of paved trail. Visit the website for more information.

Betsie Valley Trail

The Betsie Valley Trail is 22.3 miles long and extends from Frankfort through Elberta and Beulah to Thompsonville in Benzie County Michigan. From Frankfort to Beulah it is non-motorized. All of it is excellent for bicycles and pedestrian use. The length of the trail makes it a great for bicyclists of all abilities because you can extend or shorten your trip based on skill level. The trail runs through some gorgeous scenery.

Do you have a favorite bike trail or ride in Michigan? Share with us below!