When it comes to biking trails, there’s no place like West Michigan! Home to thousands of miles of trails and pathways, bikers of all experience levels can head out for a leisurely ride, an exhilarating adventure, or a scenic tour any time of year.
Harbor Country (South)
Harbor Country backroads are bike friendly, and on two wheels is the best way to see the beautiful landscape of the Southwest Corner of Michigan! Not only does this area host the Apple Cider Century Ride every fall on the vast network of bike trails, but Union Pier is home to the first phase of the Red Arrow Linear Park, a safe and dedicated sidewalk to ride on Red Arrow Highway.
Garden Grove Inn Bed & Breakfast is in the heart of all these trails and the perfect place to start and end your ride! They are conveniently located just up the street from Red Arrow Ride which rents bicycles and they also offer dedicated bike parking when you visit.
St. Joseph (South)
Add a sculpture scavenger hunt to your trip to Southwest Michigan! In partnership with Krasl Art Center (KAC), Scooter Joe’s of St. Joseph now offers a 90-minute Public Art Scavenger Hunt. This bike tour will challenge your family and friends on a quest to the Arboretum, Silver Beach, and KAC’s grounds on a pedal powered Surrey bike, as you learn about the artists and their inspiration for the sculptures. Return the completed map filled with questions about the works in their permanent collection to KAC for a free prize!
Berrien County is a beautiful place to bike! Do a biking tour of the breweries and wineries in the area. Local brewery River Saint Joe is a bike friendly business, and during the warm months, there is a group of cyclists that leave from their facility every Tuesday.
Coldwater Country (South)
South Central Michigan’s Coldwater Country offers a variety of biking opportunities. From a quick ride around town to the rolling hills type excursion in the countryside. Visit the Coldwater Country website for 15- and 20-mile bike tours. Make sure to check out the local favorite things to see and do, along with places to stop for a bite to eat while checking out the area on two wheels.
South Haven (South)
The South Haven area boasts over 48 miles of hiking and biking trails, earning the area the designation of Pure Michigan Trail Town. The Kal-Haven Trail is a 33.5 mile linear multi-use trail that links Kalamazoo to South Haven, built on the abandoned Kalamazoo and South Haven Railroad route. The Great Lake-to-Lake Route #1 begins in South Haven and runs east across the State of Michigan to Port Huron. In South Haven, the Kal-Haven trail serves as the first leg of the Route #1 trail. The entire 290+ mile trail was connected in the fall of 2019. The Van Buren Trail is a 14-mile linear multi-use trail that links the cities of Harford and South Haven. The trail runs through open farmland, blueberry fields, dense brush, and wooded areas. The trail contains a 4.5 mile trail spur that links Van Buren State Park to South Haven.
Kalamazoo is on the Great Lake to Lake Bike Trail and there are many great opportunities in and around Kalamazoo to bike. Get your heart pumping mountain biking at Kalamazoo’s Maple Hill Trail, known for its jumps, banked corners, and rock features, or explore 25-miles of maintained trails at Fort Custer State Recreation Area. For paved trails, check out the popular Kalamazoo River Valley Trail or, for a longer ride, strike out on the 34.5-mile Kal-Haven Trail linking Kalamazoo with South Haven. Just south of Kalamazoo, you can also bike over 55 miles along the Portage Bikeaway.
Battle Creek (South)
If you’re looking for a smooth ride, park your car at Historic Bridge Park in Battle Creek and get on the Calhoun County Trailway. For five and a half miles, it winds through two parks and a nature preserve. When you’re done, you can return to Historic Bridge Park and check out the old truss bridges that have been restored and placed next to the Kalamazoo River.
Saugatuck and Douglas are both extremely bike-friendly towns. If you’re an avid biker and looking for something a little more than just a quick jaunt between these towns, check out the paved Blue Star Trail, offering a smooth 2 mile ride along the side of the Blue Star Highway, out of the way of cars and trucks. Or take the Beeline Trail, allowing you to explore Saugatuck and Holland on a 24-mile round trip route. Don’t have your own bike with you? Big Lake Outfitters makes it easy to rent and ride while you’re in the area.
Mark your calendars for a riding and tasting adventure with the Lakeshore Harvest Ride on September 17, 2022!
Biking the Lansing River Trail will take you through the urban center past museums and great area attractions, past plenty of parks and green spaces, woods and prairie lands and even out to Michigan State University. With over 20 miles of paved and boardwalk style surfaces, you’ll follow the banks of the Grand River, the Red Cedar River and Sycamore Creek. Find plenty of fun stretches, over roadways and railroad trestles, some moderately steep inclines and breezy declines. It can be biked, hiked, run and walked.
Holland is an ideal hub for bicycling. More than 150 miles of bike trails spool out around the area, offering separate-use paved pathways for leisurely sightseeing on a comfy cruiser, or gritty dirt trails for off-road mountain biking. Several looped routes in Holland’s bike-path network incorporate popular destinations like Tunnel Park, Window on the Waterfront and Kollen Park.
Grand Rapids (Central)
Grand Rapids has earned national recognition for its biking environment. Outside Magazine named them the “Best Town for Mountain Biking” in 2010. Even area buses are bike-friendly – each one is equipped with a bike rack, so you can access local trails without riding through traffic.
Also in the Grand Rapids area, head to Rockford to bike the White Pine trail this spring and summer. Once you’re done, check out Herman’s Boy for an iced coffee or tea and a yummy bagel sandwich. This family owned coffee shop in Rockford roasts all of their coffee in house, and also features a bakery, smokehouse, confectionery, and kitchen gadget shop.
Grand Haven (Central)
Looking to try something new? Explore the area in a new way on an electric bike! E-bikes have top speeds between 20 and 28 mph, and they travel between 30 to 70 miles on a single charge. These bikes fit all types of riders, whether you’re an avid mountain biker or haven’t touched a bike in 20 years. Electric Bike Place in Grand Haven has over 100 bikes available, with more coming every month, and test rides are available by appointment. Amplify 2021 and experience active fun on an electric bike!
Bring your bike to Muskegon to take in the sites on more than 65 miles of both paved and natural trails. With so many trail options, you can breeze by the lakefront or pedal through the forest. Get really rustic at Mosquito Creek’s 11 miles of wooded trail offering banked edges, bridges and views overlooking the creek.
On the other side of the lake? Did you know you can bring your bicycle from Milwaukee to Muskegon aboard the Lake Express High-Speed Ferry?
Don’t want to bring your bike? No worries! Rent a beautiful Michigan made bike (including e-bikes) from Lake Effect Sport. Or, use the Movatic app to self-check-out a bike rental. Pick one out in front of the Visitor’s Center and Muskegon Farmers Market.
Other routes connect Holland to communities both near and far. Seven miles of linked trails lead to Zeeland, the 11-mile Beeline Trail brings you to Saugatuck, and the 20-mile Lakeshore Connector Path, a favorite among bicyclists, winds through the wooded dunes hugging Lake Michigan’s shoreline between the Holland and Grand Haven state parks. Looking for a longer ride? Two 40-mile loops offer scenic bicycling on the north and south sides of Holland, and the 500-mile US Bike Route from Indiana to Canada runs through our town. How far will you go?
Ludington is a destination for biking in all seasons. From an in-town, 10-mile loop to paved trails at the state park, there are locations available for all skill levels. Need to rent a bike? Head to Spindrift Cyclesports, where an experienced mechanic is also available to provide necessary tune-ups.
Mt. Pleasant (Central)
With over 1,000 acres of parkland and 18 nature preserves, the Mt. Pleasant area offers no shortage of trails and pathways to satisfy your biking needs. Favorites include the trails at Nelson Park and Island Park that will have you crossing the famous Chippewa River and connect you to our Downtown. Looking to immerse yourself in the beauty of Michigan’s outdoors? Test out the 8 miles of bicycling trails at Deerfield Nature Park – voted the most beautiful place in Isabella County by Pure Michigan.
Mecosta County (Central)
If you are looking for a place to bike, Mecosta County has the trail for you. From a leisurely ride while taking in a scenic view to a challenging adventure, you’ll find the trail that is right for you. Enjoy biking, hiking, and taking in the beautiful sights and sounds of the great outdoors along the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail. Explore 200 acres at the White Pine Valley Recreation Area or the Big Rapids Riverwalk, perfect for walking, biking, or rollerblading along the Muskegon River. Looking for a more exciting ride? Get ready to take on Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam, a 47-mile non-motorized trail offering premier adventure sports and world class mountain biking, hiking, running, and winter sports experiences.
Suttons Bay (North)
Imagine biking through gentle rolling hills of Michigan’s premier wine country and paddling on the pristine waters of the bay. Stay at the Inn at Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay with the Outdoor Adventure Package, which will have you off for a full day exploring bike trails and the nearby waters. Choose your speed with hybrid bikes, e-bikes, kayaks, or SUPs. The Inn staff will also pack you a picnic and have a glass of wine waiting for you at hospitality hour!
There is no better way to experience the Grand Traverse area wineries than by bike! Grand Traverse Bike Tours of Suttons Bay offers guided and self-guided tours to experience the wineries along the paved Leelanau Trail for a wine tour like no other. You’ll also find a variety of bike options for rent to help you get out and explore, including e-bikes, road bikes, and mountain bikes for adults and youth.
Take in Northern Michigan’s beauty at Shanty Creek Resort, and the greater Bellaire area, on two wheels. Ride the trails on the resort’s 6,000 acres, pedal through the lush forests and trail system at 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.
Bellaire is also home to Paddles & Pedals, a downtown retailer that sells high quality apparel and also provides daily and weekly bike rentals.They offer full, professional bicycle service & repairs, as well as road, mountain, and fat tire bike rentals, and some of the best names in biking like Jamis, Pivot, and Ellsworth.
Whether you like the ruggedness of mountain biking or a casual ride through beautiful scenery, the Petoskey Area has just the experience to make it worth your while to visit. Miles of trails with varying levels of difficulty await you in Petoskey, Alanson, Boyne City/Boyne Falls, Bay Harbor and Harbor Springs. Biking isn’t the only thing you’ll love about these waterfront communities in northwest lower Michigan either!
Charlevoix has numerous biking and walking trails that connect many different sections of the area together. These Northern Michigan trails are non-motorized, multi-purpose trails that can ordinarily be used for running, hiking, bicycling, and in-line skating.
Check out the paved, 23-mile Little Traverse Wheelway, which provides cyclists, inline skaters, walkers and joggers with a smooth path, incredible scenery and a non-motorized link between three of the most popular resort towns in northern Michigan; Charlevoix, Petoskey and Harbor Springs.
The Gaylord area is home to some of the best biking trails in Michigan. The North Central Trail that extends from Gaylord 73 miles north to Mackinaw City is one of the most scenic trails in the Midwest.
Also in Gaylord, Treetops Resort has great mountain bike trails that traverse throughout their property, including a Flow Trail. Their trails range from intermediate to advanced for more experienced bikers.
Mackinaw City (North)
Looking to take your family biking somewhere unique? Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry offers bike transportation of your own bike to Mackinac Island! For $16 (per bike) your bike will be handled with the utmost care and transported safely across the Straits of Mackinac. Bike eight miles around the island or divert inland for trails all throughout Mackinac Island State Park. Want to ride somewhere new? Let Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry take you there!
If you find yourself heading to Mackinac Island from the Upper Peninsula, you can also catch the ferry from their St. Ignace dock!
Mackinac Island (Upper Peninsula)
Great bicycling adventures begin at Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island this summer. As you step back in time to a world where no cars or worries are allowed, Mission Point’s custom Detroit Bikes fleet paves the way for miles of shoreline explorations and unparalleled views. Pack up for the perfect picnic at Boxwood Coffeeshop & Cafe before circling the island’s exterior on M-185 or touring the sights on 70+ miles of interior trails. End your bicycle excursion on Mission Point’s adirondack-dotted Great Lawn for a relaxing end to a fun-filled day. Get out and immerse yourself in Michigan’s natural beauty this season at Mission Point on Mackinac Island.
St. Ignace (Upper Peninsula)
Marquette (Upper Peninsula)
Marquette has gained national acclaim as a premier biking destination. For those who prefer a more leisurely ride, there are also excellent paved paths for cycling, walking or jogging. The Iron Ore Heritage Trail is a 47-mile multiuse trail from Republic Township to Chocolay Township, with 15 miles of paved trail for walking, biking and inline skating, as well as sections for cross-country skiing, horseback riding, ATVs and snowmobiles.
Marquette County bike trails have also been designated as a bronze-level Ride Center by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, one of just 27 ride centers in the world and only seven in the Midwest. The Marquette County system has four clusters of trails with more than 150 miles of single-track, from beginner to expert-level downhill, within the cities of Marquette, Ishpeming, and Negaunee, as well as the Little Presque Isle Recreation Area.
Copper Harbor (Upper Peninsula)
Head way north to encounter an internationally renowned mountain bike trail system that will not disappoint! Keweenaw Adventure Company invites you to come explore the Keweenaw Peninsula’s terrain and the Copper Harbor area’s variety of trails, from family friendly to expert. Scoured away by the glaciers over 10,000 years ago, the rocky, rugged terrain of exposed bedrock, spiny ridge-lines, and undulating valleys left behind offer a genuine mountain biking experience unlike anywhere else in this part of the country.
Whether it’s bicycling along a former rail road alignment, along roads, or mountain biking across rugged terrain, Michigan State Parks offer unique opportunities for bicyclists of all ages, types, and skill levels. Please note: many trails are multi-use trails; bikers please be sure to yield the right of way to hikers and horses!
Most biking trails are open every day from sunrise to sunset, and the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds has five exceptional trails from around the state that are ideal for a spring ride. While riding, it’s important to pay attention to all signs and designations, as well as follow some global rules of etiquette, to keep everybody safe. Now start pedaling and enjoy spring!
It’s officially biking season! As the weather warms up, there’s no better way to experience Michigan than on two wheels. Bike to your local farmer’s market (or find a new one on a weekend getaway) to enjoy the fresh air and grab lunch, groceries, or other locally produced specialty products. Find your market here.
Find more West Michigan Trails and Outdoor Recreation in the 2022 West Michigan Carefree Travel Guide.