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New member-Where are the long trails ?

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Old 05-13-18, 02:44 PM
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Aim2bFit
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New member-Where are the long trails ?

Good Day,

Summer is bound to get here sooner or later, so I'm looking for personal thoughts on the best long bike trails in the area. Seattle had a real nice rail trail thru town, and it would be great to find a few of those around here. It would also be great to find trails both near enough for a long day outing, or far enough for a full weekend mini-vacation. My new-to-me road bike and my trusty mountain bike are both ready for weekend and weekday trips (retired).

I have circled Mackinac Island, and would enjoy that again. The Charlevoix area is nice, but I don't know if there are any good bike paths. If any of you have time on any good bike paths in the area, feel free to describe them to me and what you think about them.

Thanks
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Old 05-17-18, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Aim2bFit View Post
Good Day,

Summer is bound to get here sooner or later, so I'm looking for personal thoughts on the best long bike trails in the area. Seattle had a real nice rail trail thru town, and it would be great to find a few of those around here. It would also be great to find trails both near enough for a long day outing, or far enough for a full weekend mini-vacation. My new-to-me road bike and my trusty mountain bike are both ready for weekend and weekday trips (retired).

I have circled Mackinac Island, and would enjoy that again. The Charlevoix area is nice, but I don't know if there are any good bike paths. If any of you have time on any good bike paths in the area, feel free to describe them to me and what you think about them.

Thanks
Where specifically? Around Grosse Point Farms? West Bloomfield Trail, Clinton River Trail, and Macomb Orchard trail all more or less connect for about 50 miles of riding from Commerce Twp to Richmond. Paint Creek heads north off that for about 10 miles. By Ann Arbor, the B2B trail runs from AA to Ypsi, about 12 miles, and continues west into the county a bit. Lakeland Trail runs 20 some miles from Hamburg west. Island Lake and Kensington Metropark connect and can be combined for 20 (or more miles) if you like park riding. The west side of the state has the Meijer White Pine Trail that runs 92 miles from GR to Cadillac, and connects about halfway up to the Meijer Heartwick trail that runs 40-some miles east/west to Alma. In the center of the Lower Peninsula, Pere Marquette is about 30 miles from Midland to Clare, paved and flat. Up north by the bridge, North Central State Trail runs 60ish miles from Gaylord to Mackinaw City, North West State Trail runs 32 miles from Petoskey to Mackinaw City, North East State Trail is 71 miles from Alpena to Mackinaw. They are all less suited for a road bike, though.
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Old 05-17-18, 11:16 AM
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If you're up for a longer trip, the Katy Trail in Missouri is popular.

Also, I think there are some canal "tow paths" to the East. Hudson? Erie?

Hmmm... It looks like there is a whole Wikipedia page on paths. Some more extensive than others.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cycleways
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Old 05-17-18, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Aim2bFit View Post
Good Day,

Summer is bound to get here sooner or later, so I'm looking for personal thoughts on the best long bike trails in the area. Seattle had a real nice rail trail thru town, and it would be great to find a few of those around here. It would also be great to find trails both near enough for a long day outing, or far enough for a full weekend mini-vacation. My new-to-me road bike and my trusty mountain bike are both ready for weekend and weekday trips (retired).

I have circled Mackinac Island, and would enjoy that again. The Charlevoix area is nice, but I don't know if there are any good bike paths. If any of you have time on any good bike paths in the area, feel free to describe them to me and what you think about them.

Thanks
I'll toss one more into the mix. You seem willing to travel some. Might I suggest the Kal-Haven trail between Kalamazoo and South Haven. Nice, I think. We vacation every year over that way, South Haven, Holland, etc. It's about 30-35 miles where I pick it up, but I pick it up in Kalamazoo, but I believe you can pick it up further to the east. We love the lakes, we also vacation in the U.P. every year as well.
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Old 05-17-18, 06:24 PM
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A wealth of information jefnvk, thanks. That's what I was looking for. Sounds like the Northern "bridge" area roads will be fine on the mountain bike. I'll ride whatever works. Its the being out that I enjoy. I had heard of the Meijer Heartwick and Pere Marquette trails and have them on my list. Thanks

CliffordK, I looked at the Katy Trail and since its crushed limestone, I'd use the mountain bike. Sounds like a great trail and it connects to the ever-expanding Rock Island Spur for a few more hours of riding. A little distance from here (571Google miles), but you never know. That List of Cycleways is quite the long distance bikers dream isn't it. Michigan to Washington State for one example. Reminds me of an old Ranger friend of mine, Doc Giblen, who rode from the coast of Washington State to the Eastern Coast. Always thought that was quite the accomplishment but we were 40 years younger then.

To bobwysiwyg, the Kal-Haven trail looks good for the mountain bike and isn't that far from the GR trail. It's nice taking both bikes. It allows me to fit the trails.

Thanks all.
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Old 05-17-18, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Aim2bFit View Post
A wealth of information jefnvk, thanks. That's what I was looking for. Sounds like the Northern "bridge" area roads will be fine on the mountain bike. I'll ride whatever works. Its the being out that I enjoy. I had heard of the Meijer Heartwick and Pere Marquette trails and have them on my list. Thanks

CliffordK, I looked at the Katy Trail and since its crushed limestone, I'd use the mountain bike. Sounds like a great trail and it connects to the ever-expanding Rock Island Spur for a few more hours of riding. A little distance from here (571Google miles), but you never know. That List of Cycleways is quite the long distance bikers dream isn't it. Michigan to Washington State for one example. Reminds me of an old Ranger friend of mine, Doc Giblen, who rode from the coast of Washington State to the Eastern Coast. Always thought that was quite the accomplishment but we were 40 years younger then.

To bobwysiwyg, the Kal-Haven trail looks good for the mountain bike and isn't that far from the GR trail. It's nice taking both bikes. It allows me to fit the trails.

Thanks all.
You don't need a knobby tires on a mountain bike for the Katy Trail. Mostly smooth tires would be fine. I ride on it with 700x32 tires on my touring bike and I weigh about 215 lbs plus about 30 lbs more with the bike.
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Old 05-17-18, 07:35 PM
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When I was in Missouri, I rode the Katy with the old Colnago road bike, 700x23 or 700x25 tires

I could definitely feel the difference in rolling resistance between the trail and the road, but it wasn't bad.
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Old 05-17-18, 07:45 PM
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Google Maps with the Bicycling option shows trails and bike friendly roads. You have to zoom in at least to the "10 mile" or "5 mile" scale to see the lines appear. Zoom way in on a trail, and the name repeats on the green line, so you can look up that name to find more details.

It's a quick way to prospect for trails to visit.

Dark green lines are paved trails.
Dotted lines are bike friendly roads.
Brown lines are unpaved trails.

Some trails are starting to get Street View, so it's worth dragging the little orange guy to see if the trail is included.
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Old 05-17-18, 08:10 PM
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SW Ohio
The Little Miami Trail is worth a trip. It's a rail trail that follows a river valley. It extends to Xenia Ohio which is a hub for more trails. But I think some of those trails are less interesting, less shaded by woods, and often paralleling highways.

Loveland OH has a city park and restaurants right on the trail, and is a popular starting point.
Newtown OH to Loveland OH is about 13 miles each way. It's a little busier than the rest of the trail, and has more street crossings than the northern parts of the trail. Interesting and scenic.
Loveland to Spring Valley is all good, with a mix of riverside, woods, and farm fields. It's 35 miles along the trail. There's trail heads every 5 to 10 miles, so make your own ride distance. Morrow to Corwin is very quiet and scenic.

Armleder Park to the downtown riverfront park is about 11 miles on bike trails and dedicated bike lanes. Armleder Park, Lunken Airport Trail, Riverside Drive bike lane, and Smale Park downtown are all interesting.

While you are here, the streetcar loops between Smale Park on the river, downtown, and the historic Over the Rhine neighborhood, including new Washington Park. $2 for an all-day pass, just get on and off at any stop, so it's easy to explore.

~~~~
Road riding
The countryside is great for road bikes, with low traffic on most roads, and an interesting mix of farms, woods, and small towns. (Kentucky is a lot hillier than Ohio.)
Kentucky Route 8 runs from downtown Cincinati west along the river to a dead end. 40 miles round trip, with a lot of small rolling hills. Traffic is quite light, and drivers are used to seeing bikes all the time.


Local trails. The Little Miami trail runs from Cincinnati to Xenia on this screen shot.
Most of these connected trails have Street View, thanks Google!


Street View on the path from Xenia to Yellow Springs:

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Old 05-17-18, 08:46 PM
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rm -rf, That little Miami looks like a real nice ride thru some very nice country. About a 5 hour drive for me, so maybe on my way South some trip, I can stop for a day and cruise. Thanks
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Old 05-17-18, 08:55 PM
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JerrySTL and CliffordK, My Centurion 21 size rear tire blew off the rim today (just a few blocks from home), so I'm getting ready to mount some 23 or larger to that bike. May call for some new wheels too. The Raleigh Ventura mountain bike has big fat tires, so I'd have both of those to pick from. Pushing the envelope was a norm when I was younger, but now, with age a consideration, I error on the side of caution and safety. Hitting these trails on the Raleigh is just fine with me. Thanks
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Old 05-21-18, 11:14 AM
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I think there's an unpaved path from near Owosso to almost Grand Rapids.
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Old 05-21-18, 12:09 PM
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Yup Junkbeast, I see that. Looks like it starts a ways out of Owasso (West) where the railroad use to cross N. Smith Road. That is a great start for me. Not too far from home and long. Good day ride. It looks like it's called the Fred Meijer Clinton-Shiawassee Trail. It also looks like (Google Map) the trail actually ends just short of Lowell, where the train tracks are still in place. The trail information page says it ends at Ionia, but the road/trail intersection view further on looks good. Over 45 miles one-way then.

Thanks
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Old 06-06-18, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Aim2bFit View Post
Good Day,

Summer is bound to get here sooner or later, so I'm looking for personal thoughts on the best long bike trails in the area. Seattle had a real nice rail trail thru town, and it would be great to find a few of those around here. It would also be great to find trails both near enough for a long day outing, or far enough for a full weekend mini-vacation. My new-to-me road bike and my trusty mountain bike are both ready for weekend and weekday trips (retired).

I have circled Mackinac Island, and would enjoy that again. The Charlevoix area is nice, but I don't know if there are any good bike paths. If any of you have time on any good bike paths in the area, feel free to describe them to me and what you think about them.

Thanks

Welcome!
The resources today and trail maps are unlimited.
Here's an example site. GPX files to download in your region or wherever you desire.

https://www.traillink.com/gps/
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Old 06-06-18, 12:12 PM
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Rail trail-wise, Mickelson Trail in S. Dakota is 109 miles long. From Hill City north is best, with RR tunnels through the mountains. Best maintained rail trail I've been on and more challenging that most. The hills aren't steep, but they are long.

Flint Hills Nature Trail in Kansas is 100 miles long (approx). West of Council Grove is a nice stretch.

There are many, many long rail trails in the East.

As another poster said, Traillink has a full listing online.
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Old 06-07-18, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Greenhil View Post
Rail trail-wise, Mickelson Trail in S. Dakota is 109 miles long. From Hill City north is best, with RR tunnels through the mountains. Best maintained rail trail I've been on and more challenging that most. The hills aren't steep, but they are long.

Flint Hills Nature Trail in Kansas is 100 miles long (approx). West of Council Grove is a nice stretch.

There are many, many long rail trails in the East.

As another poster said, Traillink has a full listing online.
The S. Dakota Mickelson Trail sounds pretty good, even with the threat of hills. The long, gradual climbs are doable. I can find a gear and keep a pace. It's the short, STEEP, "out of nowhere" hills that pop up here and there that kick my butt. Had a couple this morning, on a new-to-me ride with a new club. Dirt and deep sand at a healthy 10% grade. Not fun, but a good challenge.

Thanks, I'll put it on the list.
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Old 06-20-18, 08:20 AM
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I also appreciate the advice.
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Old 06-26-18, 05:45 AM
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Someone mentioned the Pere-Marquette trail above. But only mentioned the first 30 miles of it, from Midland to Clare. If you head out from Clare westward for two miles, when you see the Moose Lodge. the trail picks up again, this time for another 40 miles to Reed City. So from Midland to Reed City, you have 70 miles of paved trail total.

I should also mention the I275 trail. from Walsch College to S Huron Drive, about 30 miles in length. Wear ear protection though. The cars/trucks can get a little loud.
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