Touring - Michigan Touring
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04-15-12, 02:48 PM
Just decided to tour Michigan by bike in June, but I've never been there and know nothing about the state. Anyone ever tour there or even know some great areas to visit? I'm starting in Grand Rapids and aim to hit up the UP, anywhere will natural beauty and few ppl would be great, any ideas welcome.
My inlaws all live in Michigan, and we also have a cabin in the UP, Newberry. Here is a pretty cool website, one of many that I use. http://www.michigantrails.org/
When we visit this summer, I plan on riding from Grayling to the UP. It has a really cool trail a buddy of mine has taken, it's an old rail trail used now for cyclists.
They have a 1 week supported tour.
also try http://www.dalmac.org/
a Tour starts in Grand Rapids.
04-17-12, 04:30 AM
You will love the trip. From GR I would head north to the Traverse Bay area, and follow the coast up to Mackinaw. You will see some of the most beautiful forested coastline you will ever see. Don't bypass Petosky or Boyne City. On the UP, the northern shore is worth exploring, but use your own judgement. MDOT has cycling maps (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_U5cslSOI4DE/TPO0qaOS2mI/AAAAAAAAA8A/fMAWbaV7ldI/s320/IMG_0156.JPG)available for download. They have all the roads and trails color coded for traffic volume and road conditions which will help you make some good decisions on the road. In July I will be riding to Saginaw Bay from Kzoo and then return by taking the lakeshore north and back around from the opposite direction. Enjoy.
I have done several tours there. For a short 1 week tour I suggest the Door peninsula, up the east side to Washington Island and loop back the west side. Pick your starting point based on the number of miles a day you want to ride. For a 2 week trip I suggest you start at Ludington and circle the UP and down to Manitowac where you pick up the Badger (ferry) which takes you back to Ludington. Great tour.
I did a three-week Michigan tour, 1000 mi, self-supporting but organized group through YMCA, as a teen, 25 years ago.
Our route was from mid-state up the Eastern side of the MI mitten, across to the UP at Mackinaw (couldn't ride the bridge, though), along the southern shore of the UP and down into WI, ferry across, and then ride back to the starting place.
Beautiful, camping mostly by the shore, rarely had to carry meals too far from a small town to the campground.
Based on posts here, many tourers would do the same route in 2 weeks, doubling up many of our 45-55 mile days.
ACA has a great route that goes from near grand rapids to the UP: http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/northlakes.cfm
I've ridden both the MI side and the WI side. Lots of farm land on the WI side, lots of vacation homes on the MI side.
The eastern UP can be a little boring if you're relegated to pavement. The best stuff is on gravel roads and two tracks.
However, the western UP, from maybe about Munising or even Grand Marais is really cool. The MDOT maps are good.
Don't forget to hit the Keweenaw: http://bikethekeweenaw.com/
If you can ride off pavement, this will blow your mind: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=627424
08-05-12, 09:52 PM
I was searching for some info on loaded touring in Northern Michigan and ran across this this thread. Can anyone add any more info, especially regarding gravel roads and trails in the U.P. ?
08-06-12, 01:53 PM
We had a great time last month on a short trip we took around the UP's Keewenaw Peninsula: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1&doc_id=11056&v=88
The last page of the Crazyguyonabike journal has links to the Michigan Bike Maps (which show pavement info) and other information sources: https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=1&page_id=293398&v=q
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