Touring - Trip around the Lake
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Next September I'm planning a trip part way around Lake Michigan. We want to head north from Milwaukee and ride through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and cross into northern Michigan via the bridge at the Straits of Makinac. We would then head south and take the ferry back at Ludington and come into Wisconsin again at Manitowoc and head south to Milwaukee.
I'm looking for any recommended specific routes through those areas that will be off the beaten track and highly recommended by those of you that have been in that area.
Thanks for any help you can give me.
Well, BJ, your first big problem might be taking the Makinaw bridge from Door County, Wisconsin to the upper peninsula of Michigan (if I understood your message correctly).
The Makinaw Bride connects lower Michigan with Upper Michigan and does not come close to Door County.
That said, I recommend you take a ferry from Gills Rock in Door County to Washington Island. You can find lodging and resturaunts there. Then, bike across the island and take another ferry to Rock Island. The whole island is a state park. It was one of the first places in the midwest inhabited by Europeans and the island is rich with history and things to see. The island was once owned by a wealthy inventor. See his gigantic stone library built out into the bay so that he could pilot his boats right inside the library. There is no lodging on the island but there is camping. Make camp sight reservations in advance.
You will have to take a ferry back to Door County as there are no ferries to any other locations from Rock Island or Washington Island.
To get to the Upper Penensula of Michigan, you simply head south to the city of Green Bay, and then turn north and follow the Bay of Green Bay up to Michigan. It is a nice ride along the enormous bay and the roads are reasonably quiet and bike-able. I suggest you follow the bay rather than riding inland.
Hey Mike, I don't think I mentioned Door County in my inquiry. I'm very familiar with it. I had talked about going through the Upper Peninsula to northern Michigan.
If you haven't taken the ferry from Ludington, Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin you might enjoy it.
BJ, Sorry if I read your message too quickly. I read "upper peninsula" and thought "Door County Peninsula".
Hey, BJ, the best route to the UP and through the UP is up along Green Bay. There are local roads all the way up to Marquette, Michigan.
From Marinette northward (in Michigan) the road is residential along the shoreline and the speed is limited to 35 miles per hour for about 60 miles.
If you need details, let me know. Actually, you could probably ride from Green Bay, Wisconsin to Marquette, Michigan without a map - just using sight of Green Bay for your guide. It is a nice ride.
Mike, That sounds best of all, no map just dead reckoning.
Hmm, I think the mistery of where the "snowy midwest" is has resolved itself in this thread.
Aiye, not quite, young grasshopper. I have toured all over the USA and ESPECIALLY the "Snowy Midwest".
I always keep written notes in a journal including road conditions, signs, points of interest. That way, I can help others who are planning trips, or remember details if I want to return.
Gosh Darnit!!! :irritated :angel: So Mikey, where in the snowy midwest do you live?
Haha!! Next time I need to something I can't find, I'm gonna go." where in the snowy midwest!!"
This post needs a bit of clarification...
The road leading out of Marinette WI and north to Escanaba is called M-35 but that is not the speed limit - I'm pretty sure it's 2 lane highway, 55mph - I've never biked it though. Then, If you go to Marquette, you've gone about 200 miles out of the way. Basically, head north from Milwaukee, turn right at Escanaba, MI. Turn right at the MackinAC bridge (pronounced Mackinaw), head SW to Ludington and catch the ferry to Manitowoc. We refer to this Route as the Tour du Pond. Stay as close as possible to Lake michigan and you'll see some great sites, and a cool dip is always on your right. We're planning on doing it next year. Good Luck!
One more item for clarification: You cannot ride your bicycle across the Mackinac Bridge, but the bridge authority will transport you across (for a fee of $2 per bike). You can check with the service center on the north end of the bridge or you can use the phone on the south end of the bridge. Here is the url for the bridge: http://www.mackinacbridge.org/index.html
Another option is to pick up a ferry from St. Ignace to Mackinac Island and then take another ferry from the island to Mackinaw City. Mackinac Island is a nice place to visit in September, altho I hear its very crowded in the summer. (I've never been there in the summer months.) No cars are allowed - only horse-drawn carriages and bicycles. As far as accomodations, there are no campgrounds on the island but there are many nice hotels and b&B's.
When you get to the lower peninsula, don't miss M-119 ("Tunnel of Trees", which goes thru Cross Village, Good Hart, etc. The Leggs Inn in Cross Village is something to see & I hear the food is great. Its a beautiful drive - and especially so in the autumn. Leelanau County is also very beautiful - M22 and M109, around Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Hope you enjoy your trip!
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