If you ask five people what makes harvest time in Western Michigan so memorable, you’ll probably hear five distinctly different answers. Some individuals love to visit wineries and farms; others insist it’s their favorite shopping destination; friends say this is the best place to meet; bike riders love to explore the quiet roads; and just about everyone appreciates the natural beauty of the region. Imported Image Now, if you ask how to experience all of those attractions in a single day, there’s really only one answer: the Lakeshore Harvest Ride. Every year, people from throughout the Midwest come to the Saugatuck, Douglas and South Haven area to participate in the Lakeshore Harvest Ride. This year marks the 11th anniversary Ride, which will be held on Saturday, September 17, and promises to be bigger and better for bikers. What makes the Lakeshore Harvest Ride so unique and appealing is that it combines the best of Western Michigan in a harvest for the senses. It is the one bike tour that lets visitors see, touch, smell and taste the riches of this breathtaking region. Riders glide through the rolling countryside and can visit wineries, cider mills, family farms, orchards and art studios along the way. For those that wish to shop, purchases are delivered to them at the end of the ride.  Imported Image

Bike routes for every level

Another reason for the popularity of the Ride is that it accommodates riders of all levels. There are individual bike routes, ranging from 15 to 62 miles in length. Many riders use the GPS app that guides them along their route, including mileage and the grade of the route. Proceeds from the Ride benefit the development of the Blue Star Trail, a planned 20-mile paved, non-motorized recreational trail that connects people and communities from Saugatuck to South Haven. Friends of the Blue Star Trail acts as a catalyst to promote and fund the Trail, in partnership with our local communities, to improve safety, wellness, economic health, and the environment.  Imported Image

It pays to register early

If you are considering participating in the Lakeshore Harvest Ride, here’s a helpful tip: Register now because the early bird gets the discount. The Ride offers Early Bird Registration Discounts of $15 per rider through August 21. In addition, groups of 3 to 10 riders save $20 per person by registering early. After September 11th, the registration fee is $60 per person for all adult riders. Riders who wish to learn more about this unforgettable Western Michigan experience can visit the Lakeshore Harvest Ride website for complete information and route details.