Enjoy Pure Michigan while peddling through lush forests, past vibrant wildflowers, over gentle hills, and alongside lakes, streams, and magnificent scenic overlooks. With more than 1,300 miles of bike trails across the state, Michigan has a tour every cyclist can enjoy. And whether you want to rest tired legs in the comfort of world-class accommodations, or overnight under the stars at one of the many camping sites along the trail, Michigan has you covered.
Michigan is home to one of six new numbered bike routes in the country; a route that showcases the essence of small-town communities eager to share their hospitality with travelling cyclists. Michigan's USBR 20 begins on a ferry – across 40 miles of open water on Lake Michigan, from Manitowoc, Wisconsin to the port of Ludington, Michigan – and ends on a ferry – across the St. Claire River and international waters from Marine City, Michigan to Ontario, Canada. The route follows quiet, rural, country roads and includes more than 45 miles of separated pathways, including the 30-mile Pere Marquette Rail-Trail. The western section of the route features the Manistee National and Pere Marquette State Forests, ensuring that cyclists get a strong dose of "pine tree perfume" as they ride. Riders also get to visit Frankenmuth, “Michigan’s Bavaria,” and ride across its covered bridge. The route is the essence of small-town, rural communities anxious to host traveling cyclists.
The League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB) publishes an annual Michigan Ride Calendar that is available at Michigan Welcome Centers and local bike shops. The calendar offers many opportunities to register for multi-day road tours including the 25th Anniversary Shoreline West Bicycle Tour, August 6 – 15. There’s still time to register for the three-day tour that travels along Lake Michigan’s coastline from Traverse City to Mackinaw City. The League suggests that participants bring a helmet, gloves, repair kit, spare tubes, beverages and snacks.
Tour da UP 2011 , August 7 – 11, is a five-day road cycling tour for cyclists of all skill levels. Set your own pace and take in the scenery and historical sites of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The tour begins in Marquette, heading east of Munising on the new Heritage Multi-Purpose Trail. Stay overnight at the Tourist Park Campground just outside of Christmas, overlooking Grand Island. The tour wraps up with a ride through the Hiawatha National Forest. Proceeds from the tour benefit abused and neglected youth in Northern Michigan.
From August 12 – 21, in Traverse City, the Third Coast Bicycle Festival will offer something for every bicycle enthusiast. The event includes the exhilarating curb-to-curb races of the 3rd Annual Cherry Roubaix Criterium Road Races with professional and amateur racers competing head to head on the streets of Old Town.
Mountain bikers get their thrills on more than 100 routes in the Lower and Upper Peninsulas. The Michigan Mountain Biking Association offers many trail guides to help plan your trip, including a 25-mile wilderness mountain bike adventure in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Parkthat begins in Ontonagon.
Michigan’s state parks also offer a variety of biking trails; but remember to check ahead as some of the trails may be closed due to weather conditions and renovation projects. Bikes are allowed on all paved and non-paved roads in all 98 state parks and recreation areas in the state. Bikes may also be operated on designated bike paths. Look for signs or ask a member of the park staff if bicycling is allowed on trails in the state park you are visiting. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources offers lists of parks, recreation areas and state forests with mountain bike trails.
Some favorite park bike trails include the Kal-Haven Trail (34 miles) between Kalamazoo and South Haven; the Betsie Valley Trail (22.3 miles) from Frankfort to Thompsonville (it is non-motorized from Frankfort to Beulah); and Stony Creek Metro Park (6.2 miles) in Shelby Township, which includes many other seasonal activities happening in the park. The paved Hart-Montague Trail State Park (22 miles) is one of Michigan's great rural rail-trails. The trail is located in Oceana County, the "asparagus capital of the world," where town of Hart hosts the National Asparagus Festival each June. Also along the way, Montague, Mears and Hart all have museums showcasing the time when the railroad and lumber industry reigned in the region. An 11-mile portion of the Pere Marquette State Rail-Trail will be temporarily closed for the months of June and July; when completed cyclists can enjoy a continuous 36-mile paved trail from Reed City all the way to Farwell.