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Biking in West Michigan

There’s nothing better than getting some fresh air while riding your bike on one of West Michigan’s many trails. With trails of varying length and difficulty, you can find something for any skill level. Are you looking for a relaxing ride along the lakeshore or a challenging trek from one city to another? There’s a trail for that! If you’re looking for an excuse to get out on your bike, then spring and summer in West Michigan are the perfect seasons to put on your helmet and hit the road.

Biking in Southern West Michigan

The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail currently offers 22 miles of non-motorized, paved asphalt trail with additional miles coming in the next few years! The KRV Trail is a perfect place to get out for a bike ride around Kalamazoo County. This trail connects to the Kal-Haven Trail, as well as two of the Kalamazoo County Parks. Whether you’re looking for a short ride through the woods or a long adventure riding through prairies and along rivers, the trail awaits your visit!

Cyclist of all ages and skill levels are sure to find trails to enjoy in Hastings. Hastings RiverWalk Trail is open to cyclists and is pleasant excursion for those seeking an easy, scenic ride. The recently completed Hammond Hill Multi-Use Trail offers over six miles of trails through rolling hills, woods, and meadows. It is suitable for mountain and fat tire bikes, as well as those seeking a more challenging ride. Whether you’re a serious cyclist looking to train for an upcoming race or you’re looking for a peaceful ride through a rural landscape, there’s the Barry-Roubaix’s 22-, 36-, and 62-mile courses, which are all permanently marked along Hastings scenic back roads.

Rent or bring your own bike to the Greater Lansing area and trek through over 15 miles of trails along the Lansing River. If you want to ride through the city, a trip through trendy Old Town and downtown Lansing is both bicycle-friendly and enjoyable. Whether you’re looking to ride in a bustling downtown setting or want to visit the tranquil beauty that is the Grand and Red Cedar Rivers, you’re already in the right place.

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Biking in Central West Michigan

If you’re visiting Grand Haven and wish to enjoy the sights in a different way, Electric Bike Place offers electric bike rentals. Rent by the half or full day and cruise in style through the area’s trails, along the lakeshore, or to and from downtown. If you’re biking on April 7th, stop by C2C Gallery for one of their First Fridays art and music events. Electric Bike Place even provides the bikes, locks, and helmets, making renting an electric bike and enjoying your day on the town even easier.

Whether you’re looking for miles of paved trails along Lake Michigan, dirt trails through scenic wooded dunes, or miles of single track through rolling hills, marshes, and forests, Muskegon is a peddler’s paradise! The Hart-Montague Trail State Park is 24 miles of paved trail through rural and forested lands with scenic overlooks and picnic areas. The Musketawa Trail is 26 miles from Muskegon to Marne through farmlands, wetlands, and villages, while the Lakeshore Trail has sections running on or along the road from Pere Marquette Park and Beach to the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve, with views of Lake Michigan, Muskegon Lake, dunes, parks and the city of Muskegon.

Windmill Island Gardens is conveniently located very close to downtown Holland. Less than a mile separates great downtown shopping from acres of Dutch-themed fun. It’s a very quick bike ride and Windmill Island even has bike racks available at their entrance for visitors to stash their fiets (Dutch for bike!).

Mecosta County has the White Pine Trail that runs through the area. Another place along the White Pine Trail is called Riverwalk. This trail is based out of Big Rapids and heads right along the river and connects to the White Pine Trail.  All of these trails are well maintained and welcoming to bikers and hikers alike.

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Ludington is only a 34 minute drive away from the nearby William Field Memorial Hart-Montague Bike Trail. This 22.5 mile paved trail takes you through 225 acres between Hart and Montague. Located close to Lake Michigan, it’s easy to make a day out of this scenic area.

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Biking in Northern West Michigan

The Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance is hosting their Michigander Bicycle Tour from July 15th to 22nd. The tour takes you along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, through Traverse City, Leland, Frankfort, and more. Choose how much you want to ride, where you stay, and how you spend your time. There are options for two, six, and eight day rides with two nights in each town and looped rides every other day. The Michigander is a masterclass when it comes to taking care of its riders: from gourmet coffee to baggage transport and cell phone charging stations, you’ll be comfortable along the way. Visit this tranquil part of Michigan which ABC’s Good Morning America dubbed the “Most Beautiful Place in America.”

One of the most unique bicycle races in West Michigan, the Miners Revenge Mountain Bike Race at Adventure Mining Company in Greenland should not be missed by any mountain bike enthusiast. The Miners Revenge, which takes place on Saturday, July 15th and Sunday, July 16th, takes you deep into the mountain and through the pits where ancient miners spent their lives searching the mine for copper. Some say the men who died in the mine haunt it to this day, as they protect their claim, giving you extra incentive to race to the finish.

Take in the beauty of Shanty Creek Resorts and the greater Bellaire area on two wheels this spring and summer. Ride the trails on the resort’s 4,500 acres and pedal through the lush forests and trail system. You can also ride along the water with a trip to the turquoise blue lake on Torch Lake Drive. Want to enjoy a scenic ride without the effort? Try Shanty Creek’s E-Bikes. These motor-assisted bicycles are perfect for exploring the rolling hills of Shanty Creek Resorts without breaking a sweat. Standard bikes and E-Bikes are available for rent by the hour, half-day, day, or weekend.

Michigan’s northwest coast is celebrated for outdoor adventures of all kinds, and that’s particularly true for bicyclists. In particular, Traverse City attracts cyclists from all over the country, whether they prefer paved pathways, scenic country roads, or rugged forest trails, and plays host to lots of major tours and races throughout the year. Casual recreational cyclists are drawn to Traverse City’s extensive network of paved recreational trails, located in many of the most scenic parts of the region. More experienced cyclists don’t need to restrict themselves to marked trails, since the area’s many rural roads provide dozens of spectacular rides. There are bike tours and races throughout the year including Mud Sweat & Beers Fat Tire Fest and Mountain Bike Race at Mt. Holiday in May and Short’s Brewing Fat Bike Series in the winter. It’s undeniable that Traverse City is a tour de force for bicycle enthusiasts, from new riders to experts looking for that next challenge.

Grand Traverse Bike Tours in Suttons Bay is a full-service bike tour company located in the heart of Leelanau Wine Country, just minutes from Traverse City. Their mission is helping visitors to explore the unique beauty and distinct flavors of the Grand Traverse area. They offer a selection of packages ranging from single day winery tours to self-guided tours and basic bicycle rentals. Experience one of their tours in the company of an expert guide or go on your own with a fully supported self-guided tour. These options allow you to tailor a trip to your own schedule, style, and purpose.

With 19 miles of rolling hills and amazing views everywhere you turn, the Old Mission Peninsula in the Traverse City area is your next picture-perfect biking destination. One of the wineries to stop at is Bonobo Winery, which is an ideal place to take a break and enjoy a nice glass of wine and small plate before getting back on the road. This route will also take you to Mission Point Lighthouse, as well as the nine distinct Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula where you can sip and savor both classic wines and new releases.

What would a trip to Mackinac Island be without a little bicycling? Mission Point Resort on the island has tandems, mountain bikes, cruisers, and 3- and 7-speed bike rentals by the hour or by the day.  Rentals are on a first-come, first-served basis and can be picked up across from Lakeside Spa & Salon at the resort. At Mission Point, they always ensure that you receive the best possible rental price, so if you bring your bike back early, you only pay for the time you use!

Mackinac Island is one of those rare places where biking is both a pleasure, and at times, a necessity! Famous for allowing no vehicles on its shores, biking is one of the premier forms of transportation on the island. Rent a bike from one of the many rental facilities downtown, or bring your own on the ferry for a small additional charge, and make your way around scenic M185, which loops the entirety of our gorgeous little island. You can also rent fat tire bikes for sandy trails and tandem bikes for trips with that special someone!

 

Biking enthusiasts will find riding in the Petoskey Area of northern Michigan an absolute delight. The Northwestern State Trail offers a flat paved venue from Petoskey to Alanson (8 miles) and then continues on another 24.5 miles to Mackinaw City on ground limestone. 2016 saw the completion of the first phase of the Boyne City to Charlevoix trail. The granddaddy of riding options in the region is the Little Traverse Wheelway, a 26-mile trail comprised of paved trail and sidewalks spanning from Charlevoix and heading north through the resort communities of Bay Harbor, Petoskey, Bay View and into beautiful Harbor Springs.

With the return of warm weather, long days, and sunny skies on the horizon, it’s time for a bike ride through Marquette! Of course, the fat tire bikers have been cruising through snow all winter, but road and mountain bike enthusiasts are eager to get out on the Marquette City multi-use path, Iron Ore Heritage Trail, Al Quaal Recreation Area, and Noquemanon Trails. Let the wind flow through your helmet as you ride along one of Marquette’s many pathways and trails this spring and summer!

Charlevoix is known for its trail system surrounded by three beautiful freshwater lakes. Visitors can explore the Lake to Lake Trail or hop on the Little Traverse Wheelway. The Lake to Lake Trail is a relaxing journey that connects Lake Michigan to Lake Charlevoix. Looking for an adventure? The Little Traverse Wheelway is a moderately winding trail that connects Charlevoix to Harbor Springs. Each of these trails can easily be scaled to every skill level. Don’t want to bring a bike on vacation? The City of Charlevoix offers a free bike rental program with several rental locations throughout downtown and area attractions.

Benzie County and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore have over 100 miles of hiking and biking trails that make their way through wildlife habitats. Among these, the Betsie Valley Trail spans from Frankfort to Thompsonville with 22 miles of paved and compacted aggregate trail. Journeys along this trail can be shorter or longer depending on how much you would like to ride. Many biking events also take place in the spring, summer, and fall along the roadways. Fat tire biking is available year round on some trails at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, and they even have a popular event held in January called the Fat Chance Fat Tire Bike Race.

Indigo Bluffs RV Park & Resort in Empire is near the Sleeping Bear Heritage Bike Trail, featuring 27 miles of non-motorized trail with 10-foot-wide and mostly paved pathways. The trail weaves its way through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, spanning marshes and nearby villages. People can access the trail from Indigo Bluffs using a road shoulder biking lane or by using one of many access points.

The Applesauce Inn B&B in Bellaire is just minutes from some amazing bike trails! It doesn’t matter if you are a competitive rider or just a weekend enthusiast, there are trails for all skill levels. A ride around Torch Lake or Intermediate Lake in the town of Central Lake offers amazing views. The B&B even has a covered area where you can store your bikes, making it that much easier to bring your wheels with you!

The Days Inn in Traverse City backs up against the TART trail, which runs from Acme all the way to Suttons Bay. There’s a bike rack for anybody who bring their wheels with them and also a bicycle store nearby that offers rentals. In addition to the TART trail, they’re also close to the VASA trails for those who would prefer off-road biking. Days Inn is the perfect homebase for any cyclist looking to explore Traverse City and surrounding areas.

More Biking in Northern West Michigan

Statewide Resource for Biking in West Michigan