Our comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know about the best biking trails in Michigan and which one is right for you.
Michigan is a favorite destination for lovers of the outdoors, and it’s no secret why. The lakes, forests, farmlands, and extensive park system make it a paradise for outdoor sportsmen.
In recent years, Michiganders have also been making deliberate attempts to expand biking and hiking trails throughout the state. As a result, it’s now home to some of the most impressive bike trails in the country!
Upper Peninsula Michigan Biking Trails
The Copper Harbor Trail system is widely known as one of the most challenging and engaging biking trails in the Upper Peninsula.
You’ll find the unique bike trails on the Keweenaw Peninsula, tucked away into the forest. The 40 miles of challenging singletrack dirt trails are surrounded by pure Michigan natural beauty.
Maasto Hiihto is a unique recreation area in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This remote space is reserved for outdoor sports of all kinds.
The Churning Rapids Loop is a popular spot for mountain biking, offering a moderate challenge. If you love the idea of hitting a 7.6-mile trail in the peace of Michigan nature, this is the trail for you.
Ironwood to Belle Isle
The Iron Belle Trail is a huge undertaking by people all across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This dirt and asphalt trail links dozens of other biking and hiking trails throughout the region, making it possible for cyclists to travel uninterrupted from the Upper Peninsula to Belle Isle — totaling more than 2,000 miles!
Munising Mountain Bike Park has many excellent biking trails, but Bruno’s Run Trail in Munising is one of the best. This 10-mile singletrack dirt course is a healthy challenge but doable for the average cycling enthusiast.
It offers unparalleled views of natural waterways and white pine forests, making it a beautiful escape into Michigan’s nature.
Biking Trails in Northern Michigan
Midland to Clare
The asphalt Pere Marquette Rail Trail follows 30 miles along the countryside, offering plenty of scenic views and things to do. It is easy to navigate, making it a perfect choice for almost any cyclist. Most people don’t do the whole route at once — there are plenty of stops along the way.
Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is an asphalt and crushed-stone biking and walking trail that runs along the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore for 21 miles (27 miles are planned).
This area features many cultural sites of importance to the Anishinaabe people who once lived here, as well as the history of Michigan. The moderately-challenging trail offers sights of the lake and the stunning sand dunes on the beach.
The Huron Sunrise Trail winds along Lake Huron, ending at the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse in Rogers Township. This 9 to 11-mile bike trail is paved, making it a gentle ride the whole time. Along the way, you’ll enjoy seeing Hoeft State Park and Vogler Conservation Area, as well as Lake Huron itself.
Frankfort to Thompsonville
Betsie Valley Trail follows 22 miles of asphalt and crushed limestone through Northern Michigan. This moderately-challenging bike trail is characterized by remote beauty, which includes the Betsie River Valley, Pere Marquette State Forest, and Lake Michigan.
Also, the trail offers views of historic sites like the 19th-century Homestead, which is now a ghost town.
West Michigan Biking Trails
Lakeshore Connector Path
Grand Haven to Holland
The asphalt Lakeshore Connector Path follows the shore of Lake Michigan for about 20 miles. This is a fairly remote area, so you won’t find any public facilities or even many other people. This intermediate ride is worth it, though, offering constant views of the lake and the surrounding farmland, forests, and parks.
The Muskegon Lakeshore Trail is a moderately difficult 12-mile trail that combines views of Michigan’s nature with the vibrant urban life of Muskegon.
Throughout the asphalt and concrete route, you’ll get to admire views of Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake, as well as lush plant life. There are historic sites, sand dunes, and local parks with tons of activities along the way too.
Biking Trails in Mid-Michigan
Lowell to Ionia
The Fred Meijer Grand River Valley Rail Trail is a 17-mile trail made of asphalt and crushed limestone. It’s just one stretch of hiking and biking trails through Mid-Michigan.
The intermediate trail runs through the Ionia State Recreation Area near the Grand River, offering views of forests, native plants and wildflowers, and animals.
St. Charles to Saginaw
The Saginaw Valley Rail Trail is a peaceful retreat into the Michigan countryside. This paved bike trail winds 11 miles through farmland and forest.
The route includes historic sites, waterways, and views of the Shiawassee River State Game Area. Stop at the viewing deck at Wolf Creek to look for native wildlife, such as geese and white-tailed deer.
Alma to Greenville
The Fred Meijer Heartland Trail follows 42 miles throughout the Michigan countryside. Cycling enthusiasts will enjoy the moderate challenge that comes from the distance rather than the terrain, which is largely smooth riding throughout.
This paved trail provides diverse views of not just farmland but also wetlands, forests, and areas full of native plant and animal life.
The Lansing River Trail offers a fun and varied route that passes through not just rural areas but also downtown Lansing. The more than 20-mile trail is paved and crosses Potter Park and the Lake Lansing park system.
There are many places to stop and enjoy a peaceful retreat in nature, as well as public amenities and things to do.
East Michigan Biking Trails
Sleeper State Park
The 723-acre Sleeper State Park offers biking through a variety of terrain, including wetlands, forested dunes, and oak and pine forest. There are four dirt paths — Deer Run Trail, Huron Trail, Old Dunes Nature Trail, and Candlestick Trail — totaling more than 3 miles.
At the tip of the Michigan Thumb, the Huron County Nature Center features a trail system of less than 2 miles. Despite the size, the loop path is fun for biking because it stretches across rolling dune ridges and shallow wetlands, featuring boardwalks and bridges.
The Harbor View Trail is a paved and lighted path that spans from the North Park Campground to Bathing Park. At about 2 miles long and growing, the trail passes through the business district and by the beach and waterfront offering points of interest and scenic views.
St. Clair County
Running along the St. Clair River for 50 miles from New Baltimore through Port Huron, the Bridge to Bay Trail is a diverse system of dirt and paved pathways for walking and biking. Along the way are riverwalks, boardwalks, parks, restaurants, and other points of interest in some of Michigan’s most charming towns.
Biking Trails in Southwest Michigan
Kalamazoo to South Haven
The Kal-Haven Trail State Park gets its name from its route, which connects Kalamazoo to South Haven. This is a great crushed stone trail for experienced cyclists with countless things to see along the way.
This 33-mile trail passes through many environments — from small towns to historic properties, farmland, and wetlands. Finally, it meets the shore of Lake Michigan.
The Calhoun County Trail might be a short route, but the 5 miles pass through three county parks. These offer sights of hardwood forests, marshes, and a wide variety of native plant life.
Along with glimpses of diverse wildlife, the trail is a popular place to walk and bike. Plus, the Calhoun County Trail is one leg of the Great Lake-to-Lake Trail, which is still under construction.
Niles Michigan to Mishawaka Indiana
The Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail runs near the St. Joseph River, stretching for a total of 17 miles. The trail was once the New York Central Railroad corridor but is now a paved route that is easy for most cyclists.
This trail passes many historic sites, including Brandywine Creek Nature Park, before meeting LaSalle Trail.
Southeast Michigan Biking Trails
Richmond to Shelby Township
The Macomb Orchard Trail offers a fascinating combination of rural and suburban scenery through Metro Detroit, stretching for more than 23 miles.
The farmland includes many orchards from which the trail gets its name, and many of the orchards are still in production. If you are up for a detour, you can pick your own fruit just half a mile off the trail.
Sterling Heights, Clinton Township, and Harrison Township
The Freedom Trail follows 11 miles through the urban setting of Macomb County. This is a fun, moderately challenging paved route with plenty of variety.
Though the trail is in the city, you will pass through multiple green areas, including Clinton River Park Trail and Metro Beach Metropark, which features peaceful vistas of Lake St. Clair. In fact, the east end of the trail is in Lake St. Clair Metropark.
The Island Lake Blue Trail is one of many biking trails located in the Island Lake Recreation Area in East Michigan. This 9-mile dirt path has some uneven terrain and offers a moderate challenge without being too tiring.
This is a particularly popular spot for observing birds and wildlife, so be prepared for some spectacular sights as you ride.
Southfield City Centre Trail
The Southfield City Centre Trail is a gentle, paved bike trail that runs for more than 7.5 miles, making it an easy ride for most cyclists.
Located in the midst of the city, this trail nevertheless makes you feel close to nature. Along the way, you’ll see public parks, art installations, and plenty of spaces to rest or store your bike for short periods.
Hines Park Trail
Dearborn to Northville
The paved Hines Park Trail begins in Dearborn on the short Rouge River Gateway Greenway before branching into Hines Park Trail proper and reaching the town of Northville.
The about 20-mile trail winds past the historic Greenfield Village, Hines Park, and Nankin Mills — a nature and culture center featuring local animal and marine life.
Chelsea to Belleville
The Border-to-Border Trail is a paved path that connects cities, parks, and more along the Huron River. Extending for 35 miles, the pathway consists of six trail corridors through Washtenaw County. Along the way, you can enjoy pleasant views of the Huron River, Bird Hills Nature Area, and the city.
Experience the Best Biking Trails in Michigan
Whether you’re a mountain biking enthusiast or just looking for somewhere to have a pleasant ride by the water, you can find the perfect biking trail in Michigan.
The well-developed park and trail systems — some of which are the result of massive, statewide planning — are second to none, making the Mitten State a cyclist’s paradise.