Experience Winter Cycling on These West Michigan Trails

If you're looking for a new activity to enjoy during your Pure Michigan Snow Day, or just need a new way of staying active, try winter cycling! Using fat-tire bikes, you can experience the peaceful scenery of the state while also staying fit. Guest blogger Howard Meyerson shares some suggestions for top West Michigan trails to ride this winter.

A woman riding fat tire biking in the snow.
Winter Biking in Michigan | Photo Courtesy of Pure Michigan

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When the allure of the winter woods grows strong and the urge to ride is even stronger, West Michigan is the place to be. Fat-bikes, as they are commonly called, have soft, wide tires and comfortable frames that make riding in wet and snowy conditions easy. Stable with enhanced traction, they opened the door to winter riding during a time of year when most bikes stay in storage.

If you’re looking for a good winter cycling trail, or want to try-out a fat-tire bicycle, visit these top trails in West Michigan, in no particular order:

1. Merrell Trail

The very popular 6-mile groomed winter forest bike trail has become a destination for intermediate and advanced riders. It is maintained by the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance, and there is no charge to ride. The trail opened in 2012 and was developed by WMMBA, Plainfield Township, Kent County Parks, the Wolverine Worldwide Foundation and Merrell.

2. Deep Lake Trail

The hilly woods of Yankee Springs State Recreation Area are a magnet for mountain bikers year-round. The long-popular Barry County cycling trail offers seven groomed miles for winter riding. It is maintained by the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance and there is no charge to ride.

3. Cannonsburg Ski Area

This is hilly terrain for fat-tire bicycles opens early December. Trail fees are $5/day, $30 for the season. Rental bikes are available and a minimum tire width of 3.8 is required to ride.

If you’re thinking of trying out winter fat-tire cycling, be sure to use these tips for a great first experience:

  • Wear a helmet.
  • Dress warm, but not too warm. Think hat and gloves.
  • Choose layers for active play.
  • Pick footwear that will keep your feet warm.

About the Author: Howard Meyerson is a lifelong outdoor enthusiast and freelance writer/photographer in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His work appears in a variety of publications.