Enjoy Pure Michigan while peddling through lush forests, over gentle hills, and alongside lakes and streams. Pass Pure Michigan’s vibrant wildflowers and howling trees along the more than 1,300 miles of bike trails across the state. Michigan has a tour every cyclist can enjoy. Whether you want to rest tired legs in the comfort of world-class accommodations or overnight under the stars at a campsite along the trails, Michigan has you covered.
Journey to Small-Town Charm
Michigan’s small towns are big on scenery and full of heart and heritage – making them perfect to explore by bike. 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. The tour ends on a ferry across the St. Clair River from Marine City 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, showcasing Michigan’s incredible natural resources. Riders also get to visit Frankenmuth, “Michigan’s Little Bavaria,” and ride across its covered bridge. The route is the essence of small-town, rural communities ready to welcome you to a simpler way of life.
Pure Michigan Bicycling Tours
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 26th annual Shoreline West Bicycle Tour, August 5 – 11, or to register for the three-day tour 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, August 5 – 9, 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 leaves Watersmeet and rides through the Ottawa National Forest before staying overnight in Ewen. The tour then heads north to Porcupine Mountain State Park. After spending a free day in the park, the tour rides through the south end of the park towards Presque Isle Falls, returning to Watersmeet the final day of the ride.
From August 10 - 19, 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 5th Annual Cherry Roubaix Criterium Road Races. Professional and amateur racers will compete head to head on the streets of Old Town. The festival will culminate with the Traverse City Triathlon.
The Tri-County Bicycle Association in Lansing offers a wide array of bicycle tours throughout the summer. The annual Labor Day ride from Lansing to Mackinaw City, known as the DALMAC, is open to anyone capable and interested. This year’s DALMAC will cover 350-500 miles August 29 – September 2. This year also marks the 32nd annual Women on Wheels Bicycle Tour. The tour is July 21 and will travel the scenic roads of Southeast Michigan.
July 14 – 20 is the 21st annual Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance Michigander Bicycle Tour. People of all ages are encouraged to join the fun and ride Northern Michigan’s rail trails and back roads. The Michigander Bicycle Tour is always a popular attraction for tourists to experience Northern Michigan’s nature and wildlife, such as the national forests and elk. Bicyclists also have the opportunity to ride through popular Michigan travel destinations such as “Shipwreck Alley” in Alpena and Mill Creek State Park on their way to Cheboygan.
Ride into the Wilderness
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 Park that 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 the state’s more than 100 state parks and recreation areas. 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". Also along the way, Montague, Mears and Hart all have museums showcasing the time when the railroad and lumber industry reigned in the region. On the Pere Marquette State Rail-Trail, cyclists can enjoy a continuous 36-mile paved trail from Reed City all the way to Farwell.
A Biker’s Paradise
Mackinac Island is truly a “biker’s paradise.” Biking is the main mode of transportation on the island since motorized vehicles are prohibited. Enjoy a peaceful ride on the 70 miles of paved and natural paths without the disturbance of car horns or traffic congestion. Bike rentals range from a single speed to ten speeds to mountain bikes to beach cruisers and the terrain ranges from flat to 300-foot steep bluff climbs.