Enjoy the Michigan countryside while peddling through lush forests, past vibrant wildflowers, over gentle hills, and alongside lakes, streams and magnificent scenic overlooks. With more than 1,300 miles of bike trails across the state, Michigan has a tour for every cyclist. And whether you want to rest tired legs in the comfort of world-class accommodations, or overnight under the stars at one of the many camping sites along the trail, Michigan has you covered.
Michigan is home to three numbered US bike routes—10, 20 and 35. Route 20 showcases the essence of small-town communities eager to share their hospitality with travelling cyclists. Michigan’s USBR 20 begins on a ferry – across 40 miles of open water on Lake Michigan, from Manitowoc, Wisconsin to the port of Ludington, Michigan – and ends on a ferry – across the St. Claire River and international waters from Marine City, Michigan to Ontario, Canada. It follows quiet, rural, country roads and includes more than 45 miles of separated pathways, including the 30-mile Pere Marquette Rail-Trail. The western section of the route features the Manistee National and Pere Marquette State Forests, ensuring that cyclists get a strong dose of “pine tree perfume” as they ride. Riders also get to visit Frankenmuth, “Michigan’s Bavaria,” and ride across its covered bridge.
For downloadable maps along US Bicycle Routes in Michigan, visit the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to get turn-by-turn directions for long-distance touring bicyclists who are comfortable riding with traffic.
Rugged Mountain Bikers
Mountain bikers get their thrills on more than 100 routes in the Lower and Upper Peninsulas. The Michigan Mountain Biking Association offers many trail guides to help plan your trip, including a 25-mile wilderness mountain bike adventure in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park that begins in Ontonagon. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources offers lists of parks, recreation areas and state forests with mountain bike trails.
Family-friendly Parks and Trails
Michigan’s state parks also offer a variety of biking trails; but remember to check ahead as some of the trails may be closed due to weather conditions and renovation projects. Bikes are allowed on all paved and non-paved roads in all 98 state parks and recreation areas in the state. Bikes may also be operated on designated bike paths. Look for signs or ask a member of the park staff if bicycling is allowed on trails in the state park you are visiting.
Some favorite park bike trails include the Kal-Haven Trail (34 miles) between Kalamazoo and South Haven; the Betsie Valley Trail (22.3 miles) from Frankfort to Thompsonville (it is non-motorized from Frankfort to Beulah); and Stony Creek Metropark(6.2 miles) in Shelby Township, which includes many other seasonal activities happening in the park. The paved Hart-Montague Trail State Park (22 miles) is one of Michigan’s great rural rail-trails. The trail is located in Oceana County, the “asparagus capital of the world.” Also, along the way, Montague, Mears and Hart all have museums showcasing the time when the railroad and lumber industry reigned in the region.
Whether recreational or mountain biking, Michigan has a tour for every cyclist’s interest and comfort level. For lodging and package suggestions, visit our deals and pachages page..