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hayduke217 01-21-14 12:01 PM

Road riding in the Upper Peninsula?
I know the UP has great mtn bike trails but I'm wondering how the road cycling is there, especially in terms of paved road options, not so much bike paths, which I know are many. Is there enough diversity to keep a dedicated roadie happy, until the snow flies of course. Thanks.


jwa 01-27-14 04:17 PM

Duke -

Ya, da UP has da great roads, eh? Generally lightly traveled, except on weekends & around holidays, especially nearby "destination" attractions & state parks. Logging trucks are a pita on the busier highways (US-28, etc) although these roads tend to have adequate (but often not generous) paved shoulders. The trouble I've found with the shoulders on busier roads (state highways) is the rumble strips which run longitudinally along the shoulder/traffic lane junction: sometimes the strip maker gets kinda carried away & uses a fair bit of the 18-24" shoulder to display his craft.

The hills are steady gentle climbs - nothing mountainous - although the final ascent from Silver City to the Lake of the Clouds parking lot in the Porcupine Mtn State Park is entertaining. There are dull stretches, of course (famous locally is the 25 mile stretch from Seney to Shingleton on M-28) but plenty of pretty, if not stunning, midwestern scenery, with roads along the big lakes Michigan & Superior, the Keweenaw peninsula, etc.

The Adventure Cycling North Lakes route uses parts of the UP, if you want to see the roads they suggest. The Mich Dept of Transportation also publishes cycling road maps for free download or paper purchase.

PM me if you'd like more specific information -


hayduke217 01-29-14 12:22 PM


Thanks for that comprehensive reply. I will check out those links to the maps. Seems like I read or someone told me there are a lot of unimproved roads in the UP, but from what you said it sounds like there's plenty of good road riding UP there ;) And I'll watch out for those rumble strips.

Ever come face to face with any big critters on the back roads, bears, moose, etc?


jwa 02-01-14 08:31 AM


Originally Posted by hayduke217 (Post 16450390)
Ever come face to face with any big critters on the back roads, bears, moose, etc?


I've never seen any while road riding, but apparently homeowners/farmers see black bears not infrequently. There are a few localized areas of moose and elk habitat - see the state map - but I've never seen either of those, even when I'm trying!
The U.P. is not Yosemite, but here's plenty of low-key wildlife - whitetail deer, small mammals (raccoons, foxes, muskrats, etc), & big birds (wild turkey, sandhill cranes, hawks, occasionally bald eagles).

Road riding in the U.P. is *nice*, like a comfortable old pair of jeans. The scenery is pretty and in the right pre-dusk and post-dawn light can be beautiful, but not *stunning*. But the roads are lightly traveled and if pretty good repair; off the main highways (US-2 mostly, I think - although as I said earlier, weekends near any destination spot are often crowded with tourist vehicles) you can usually stop to take a leak mid-road if you choose with no potential embarrassment. (But I'm a guy....)

lowracer1 02-03-14 08:43 PM

I've ridden the mackinac trail from st ignace to sault st marie. Its very good pavement and was pretty fast. Not too much good scenery there though. Lots of trees.

hayduke217 02-06-14 03:04 PM

So the roads there are all pretty much heavily tree lined? Much in the way of farming/ag land up there? Do people ride on the highways, like 41 and 2? Thx.

lowracer1 02-23-14 08:51 PM

they do, but there are plenty of side roads that are even less traveled.

lopek77 03-23-14 06:49 PM

UP is a bicycle heaven. You just have to watch for bears, pumas and wolves. Make sure you are in the right gear if you see any of them :roflmao2:

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