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Biking in Northern Michigan

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.

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. There are bike tours and races 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, 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.

Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire allows for biking on their Rail Trail and entrance trail only. Enjoy your journey though these northern fen and cedar wetlands.

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.

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.

Timber Ridge Resort in Traverse City hosts a variety of entertaining activities, sports, and games. Their lineup of activities includes biking trails and even a bike terrain park area!

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. At nearby Boyne Mountain, catch a ride on the chairlift and check out all 32.5 miles of marked trails or hit some extreme terrain and jumps at Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs. The options are seemingly endless, and your legs will tire long before you run out of trails.

Take in the beauty of Shanty Creek Resort and the greater Bellaire area on two wheels. Ride the trails on the resort’s 5,000 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 Resort. Standard bikes and e-Bikes are available for rent by the hour, half-day, day, or weekend.

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.

Charlevoix is known for its trail system surrounded by three beautiful freshwater lakes. 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.

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 home 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.

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.