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

If you are a pedal pusher of any kind, the Kalamazoo County Parks should be on your list of places to check out. Kalamazoo is a hotbed of cycling activity that appeals to both mountain bikers and road bikers alike. A hidden gem for road cyclists is the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail. The KRVT offers more than 22 miles of paved trail that connects the Kal-Haven trail to the heart of Kalamazoo and beyond. The KRVT is part of a greater vision called the “Great Lake to Lake Trail” that will connect South Haven to Port Huron when complete. If hitting dirt trails is more of your expertise, Kalamazoo has something new and exciting to offer too. Last summer, the Maple Hill Trail was officially opened to the public. This 5-mile trail offers bidirectional riding depending on the day, and has something to offer riders of all skill levels. These two trails are just scratching the surface of what Kalamazoo has to offer!

Virtue Cider is very bike-friendly and they’re often a stopover for cycling tourist all year long. They’ve added a small in-house menu for travelers needing to fuel up or refuel! Grab a gourmet grilled cheese or choose from their selection of packaged charcuterie, cheeses, and snacks in the Bottle Shop.

Make sure to download the Coldwater Country Map-N-Tour app, including a 15-mile and 20-mile bike tours of the area. The app also includes local favorite things to see and do, along with places to stop for a bite after working up an appetite on the area bike tours.

The Marshall area has trails extending all across the area. The North Country National Scenic Trail extends for miles and boasts premier hiking, backpacking, and biking. The Eastern Calhoun County trail works its way through Battle Creek, Marshall, Albion, and Homer, and features outstanding scenic, natural, historic, and cultural areas. The trail is administered by the National Park Service.

River Country is known for its amazing outdoor beauty, and there’s plenty to enjoy. Outdoor activities are plentiful in all seasons, including plenty of biking. One must-visit place is the Dr. T.K. Lawless Park in Jones. This 10-mile paved trail is best suited for beginners and intermediate riders, but everybody will find something to love. The trail offers a very fast, tight, and twisty single track, which is great for control practice.

Whether you are hiking up the magnificent sand dunes to see a gorgeous view of Lake Michigan, bicycling alongside verdant orchards and vineyards, or paddling a peaceful river, Southwestern Michigan offers hours of natural outdoor fun. The tourism council offers free trail maps to help you plan your trip!

Hastings offers something for cyclists of all ages and skill levels. River Walk Trail is open to cyclists and is a pleasant excursion for those seeking an easy, scenic ride. Hammond Hill Multi-Use Trail offers more than six miles of trail through rolling hills, woods, and meadows. It is suitable for mountain and fat tire bikes. Year-round cyclists, whether training for an event or simply seeking a challenging ride, can follow the area’s local race’s permanently courses along Barry County’s 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

Did you know that the Hart House Bed & Breakfast in Hart is cyclist-friendly? They’re located near the Hart-Montague Trailhead, offer secure bike storage, and have a repair area with the tools necessary to fix your bike. There’s also a brewery and pizza joint nearby for thirsty and hungry riders looking to load up on carbs and proteins for the next day’s ride. Return to your private room in the evening to relax after a nice long day.

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. Electric Bike Place even provides the bikes, locks, and helmets, making renting an electric bike and enjoying your day on the town even easier.

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”!).

Enjoy paved trails or rustic single tracks for biking or hiking in Muskegon County. The Hart-Montague Trail and Musketawa Trail offer 24 and 26 miles of paved rail-to-trail recreation. And, three state parks, city and county parks offer options for hiking the signature sand dunes. Over 25 miles of single track winds through rolling hills, marshes, lakes and forests. Trailhead access is off Russell Road where a day pass or season passes are available. Beginners, choose the shorter two-mile green loop. The blue and black trails offer intermediate and experienced riders a 10-mile or 13-mile loop over roots, bridges, and ridgelines, with plenty of lake/stream views.

The Mt. Pleasant area has trails and natural areas where you can test your biking skills. The GKB Riverwalk Trail/Access Adventure Trail runs from Chipp-A-Waters Park to Pickens Field. The trails blend the urban environment with the unique natural resources found inside the city limits. Deerfield Nature Park is a 591-acre park located along the banks of the Chippewa River, and has eight miles of hiking/bicycling trails to explore. Discover the area on two wheels during your stay in Mt. Pleasant.

Ludington has long been a destination for cyclists who enjoy exploring the outdoors. The area boasts picturesque shoreline routes with sand dune panoramas, scenic wooded trails, and miles of idyllic rural country roads. With the rising popularity of year-round fat tire biking, gravel road riding, and bike-packing, new adventures are opening up that are only limited by your imagination.

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Biking in Northern West Michigan

Take in the beauty of Shanty Creek Resorts and the greater Bellaire area on two wheels. Ride the trails on the resort’s 4,500 acres, pedal through the lush forests and trail system at the nearby Glacial Hills, or take a road ride over the gentle hills along 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. Standard bikes and E-Bikes are available for rent by the hour, half-day, day or weekend.

Spring brings one the best times of the year to visit Old Mission Peninsula and, of course, the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula. Take in the sights and sounds of this 19-mile long peninsula jutting into Grand Traverse Bay. A two-wheeled tour of the peninsula is perfect for taking in the sights of the apple and cherry blossoms in full bloom. Need a break on the tour? Stop into one of the nine distinct Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula for a tasting and nibble.

The Big-M Recreation Area in Manistee is a sought-out destination for biking enthusiasts across the country. The diverse, well-marked terrain makes it an ideal weekend destination. Enjoy over 40 miles of mountain biking trails, including 25 miles of singletrack, carved out of the Manistee National Forest. In addition to Big-M, Manistee County Visitors Bureau recommends the St. Pierre Trailhead, part of the Arcadia Dunes. During the spring season, the trilliums are in full bloom and the gently rolling terrain is inspiring.

Michigan’s northwest shoreline 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.

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.

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 brings 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 home base for any cyclist looking to explore Traverse City and surrounding areas.

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.

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 the gorgeous little island. You can also rent fat tire bikes for sandy trails and tandem bikes for trips with that special someone!

The Island House Hotel on Mackinac Island offers a selection of bike rentals to choose from for those looking to cruise on Michigan’s only highway that prohibits motorized vehicles! There’s even more ground to cover, with over 70 miles of natural and paved trails to keep you occupied all day long.

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!

Whether you’re looking for a mountain biking adventure or an unhurried ride, you’ll find a trail perfect for you in the Petoskey area. The Little Traverse Wheelway provides 26 miles of paved riding from Charlevoix to Petoskey to Harbor Springs, with many spots giving glimpses of the sparkling Little Traverse Bay. Shoot off the Little Traverse Wheelway and head to beautiful Young State Park on the Boyne City-Charlevoix paved trail (some road riding required.). Or try mountain biking at the Boyne City School Forest Trail which continues to expand. At nearby Boyne Mountain, catch a ride on the chairlift and check out all 32.5 miles of marked trails. Hit some extreme terrain and jumps at Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs or enjoy a leisurely ride through the neighborhoods at this Harbor Springs resort. Another sprout trail off the Little Traverse Wheelway is the North Western State Trail, offering a mostly flat ride from Petoskey to Alanson on paved surfaces. From there ride on crushed limestone and you can go all the way to Mackinaw City.

One of the best bike routes in the Sault Ste. Marie area takes you 18 miles along the St. Marys River waterfront. This is one of six routes that are part of “Bike the Soo.” Check out the Regional Outdoor Center at Lake Superior State University for bike rentals. Request a Sault Ste. Marie travel guide or visit their website to plan your biking adventure.

A variety of terrain and numerous scenic trails for the novice to expert rider have made the Grayling area a favorite bikers’ destination. The Grayling area offers a paved pathways system that is over 11 miles long. From town to Hartwick Pines State Park, the trail is a separate pathway. It is a family-friendly, paved hiking and biking trail. Once at Hartwick Pines State Park, the only fee to enter the state park is a Michigan Recreation Passport, and people on foot or bike entering the park do not pay a fee.

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!

There are three major bike trails that intersect in Cheboygan: the North Central Trail, the Northeastern State Trail, and the new Iron Bell Trail. Cheboygan is also homes to more trails than any county in the state with trails fitting any skill level. Trails include mountain biking, fat tire, street and touring, and casual family riding. All of these trails are close to town, making Cheboygan your home base for your biking excursion.

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