Biking in Northern Michigan

Choose from a variety of off-road and on-road routes that connect you to many of the area’s attractions. Take in the stunning natural beauty or cruise through the diverse assortment of local shops, boutiques, restaurants, and more.

Off-Road Trails

Boardman Lake Hiking TrailBoardman Lake Trail
3 miles of heavily wooded trails that stretch around the northern and eastern sides of Boardman Lake. New dock and pavilion along the trail for visitors to enjoy.

Boardman River Trail
Planned for a total of 3 sections spanning from North Country Trail to Traverse City. Section 1 runs 7 miles between NCT and Mayfield Pond Park. When complete, it will connect the soccer fields, YMCA, Nature Education Reserve, Kingsley, and the NCT.

East Creek ReserveEast Creek Reserve
Moderately difficult 4 miles of trails that are open to bikes as well. Can connect to other local trails such as Boardman River Trail.

Lake Ann Pathway
Scenic overlooks and quiet nature can be found along the 3.4 miles of multi-use trails. Most of the pathway runs along water. Dog friendly.

Leelanau Trail
17 miles of paved pathways between Traverse City and Suttons Bay, with many views of forests, farms, vineyards, lakes, ponds, and more. The Bike n Ride system, courtesy of the BATA, allows you to bike one way and take the bus back to complete the round trip. Edible Trails at Cedar Creek Food Forest and DeYoung Forest Garden.Leelanau Trail Biking

Lost Lake Pathway
6.2 miles of multi-use and dog friendly trail. Moderate difficulty.

Mall Trail
Nearly 2 miles of paved pathway, runs parallel to US-31 from 14th St to South Airport Rd. Connects you with many local businesses and restaurants.

Muncie Lakes Pathway
8.6 miles of multi-use trails through rolling terrain and mixture of hardwood, pine trees, and meadows. Scenic overlooks of the Boardman Valley. Easy to difficult. Dog friendly.

Old Mission Peninsula Park
Over 2 miles of easy trails for hiking and biking. Located on the tip of the Old Mission Peninsula adjacent to one of the area’s most beautiful beaches.Old Mission Point Park Trail

Old Mission Point Park Trail
At the 45th parallel lies a 650-acre reserve and 5 miles of trails that covers the west and east arms of the Grand Traverse Bay and returns to the Mission Point Lighthouse.

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail
Currently 17 miles (27 when complete) of paved, multi-use trails that will connect Empire and Port Oneida, as well as various attractions along the way. Designed with all of your friends and family in mind—handicap accessible, accomodates walkers, runners, bicycles, rollerblades, and baby strollers. Trailheads at Bar Lake Rd, Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, Dune Climb, Glen Haven, Alligator Hill, Crystal River, Bay View, and Port Oneida.

Biking in the Sand Lakes Quiet AreaSand Lakes Quiet Area
5 small lakes surrounded by rolling green hills that make up this 2,800-acre preserve in Pere Marquette State Forest. 7.4 miles of moderately challenging, multi-use trails. Feels a million miles away from TC, but really only a short drive. Ban on motorized activity.

TART Trail
10.5 miles of paved urban transportation that connects you to resorts, shops, restaurants, public recreation parks, and downtown TC. Intersects with other trails such as Boardman Lake Trail, Three Mile Trail, and the Leelanau Trail. Begins at Carter Rd in TC (meets with Leelanau Trail) and ends at M-72 and Bates Rd in Acme Township.

Three Mile Trail
Runs 2 miles along Three Mile Rd from State Park beach on US-31 to South Airport Rd. Phase 2 is in the works and will extend the trail from South Airport Rd to Hammond Rd.

Vasa Pathway BikingVasa Pathway
Series of different loops with varying difficulties, making it a favorite amongst mountain biking enthusiasts. Partially funded through the Recreation Passport—check “YES” when renewing your Michigan license plate to gain access to over 102 state parks, hundreds of miles of pathways, and more.

On-Road Routes

Aral Rd
Take Esch Rd west towards Lake Michigan to a scenic beach with plenty of parking. Excellent opportunity to see wildlife. Ride north on Aral Rd to meet up with Hillis Rd, which offers another great biking experience.

Glen Arbor to Port Oneida
A casual 12-mile round trip between Glen Arbor and Port Oneida. Start in Glen Arbor and follow M-22 north. Be careful until you get to Crystal View Rd, as the shoulders are relatively narrow until you cross the bridge. Turn right onto Port Oneida Rd and follow it up to Basch Rd. At this point, you can turn around and head back to Glen Arbor, or turn right onto Basch Rd and head to the Pyramid Point trailhead for more adventure. Take in the serene sights and sounds of Lake Michigan before hiking back down to your bike for the ride back to Glen Arbor.

Glen Lake from Dunns Farm RoadGlen Lake Circuit
A moderately difficult 24-mile trek around the beautiful Glen Lake using county roads. Start in Empire on M-22 heading north until you get to M-109, which will take you around the western edge of Glen Lake. Continue east towards Glen Arbor, but bear right at Crystal View Rd to continue onto County Road 675. Keep left when it becomes Dunns Farm Rd and follow this along the east side of Glen Lake until MacFarlane Rd, which brings you around the southern part of the lake. You will eventually run into M-22, which you will take west to County Road 616, and then back to M-109. Ride M-22 into Empire to complete your excursion. If you need to refuel, stop by Joe’s Friendly Tavern for a burger and a brew.

Peterson Rd
Wind through scenic woods and wetlands on this 3-mile adventure. Accessible from and eventually makes its way back to M-22.

Overlook #9 on the Pierce Stocking Scenic DrivePierce Stocking Scenic Drive
Ride along the 7.1-mile paved scenic drive through beautiful hardwoods up to the dune plateau, which resides some 450 feet above Lake Michigan. Reward yourself for the hard work by taking in the view at the Main Dune Overlook before embarking on a thrilling downhill adventure. Not for the feint of heart.

Shauger Hill Rd
This 6-mile loop begins at North Bar Lake, just north of Empire. It is a challenging mountain bike ride through steep and wooded terrain that descends down into the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, which brings you back towards Empire where Bar Lake leads to North Bar Lake.

TART in Town
TC offers multiple point-to-point bike routes throughout downtown by utilizing on-road routes. Cross-town route runs from TC Central High School to Munson Medical Center. Elmwood St and Rose St are north-south connectors. Great way to get around downtown TC quickly and efficiently.

The Cyclery at Crystal River Outfitters

Bike Rentals

The Cyclery at Crystal River Outfitters
Full service bike rental, repair, and sales.

Brick Wheels
“America’s Best Bike Shop 2014”. Full service bike rental, repair, and sales.