The Apple Blossom Trail in Iron County is a paved bicycle trail that winds through the trees and along the river while simultaneously offering a glimpse into the history of this mining region. Whether you are an avid biker or beginner who wants to get out and explore the Upper Peninsula, this is a trail that will invigorate you and motivate you to keep on pedaling.
About the Apple Blossom Trail
In order to experience the sights and sounds of the Upper Peninsula for yourself, you need to spend a day on this trail. The Apple Blossom Trail stretches for about two-and-a-half miles, and it connects the communities of Caspian and Iron River together. The current paved trail curves along the same path as a former railway, which used to ship the iron that had been mined in the region down to Chicago and even Detroit.
What makes this trail so unique is the fact that it not only showcases the natural beauty of the region, but it also tells the story of the people who used to live and mine in the area. The trail winds along the banks of the Iron River and cuts through many forested regions, so you will likely spot some wildlife along the way. In addition, you can take breaks to read the signage along the trail that identifies points of interest or shares more insight into the history of the region. For example, you may see abandoned mining equipment along the way or discover a log cabin that used to house miners and their families during the industry’s heyday.
Beyond the Apple Blossom Trail
In all likelihood, you will still want to keep on biking once you have finished this trail. Fortunately, you are able to continue on, as the paved trail will turn into the Iron County Heritage Trail after you cross Brady Road. This trail is nearly seven miles long, and it was just finished in 2017 — making it one of the most recent additions to the U.P. trail scene. If you decide to embark on this trail, you will be able to see the Caspian Mine shaft and the remains of an open pit mine. This trail also leads into the downtown Gaastra, where you can stop for a quick bite to eat or a restroom break.
Explore Food and More in Iron River
The Apple Blossom Trail is nestled in the western corner of the Upper Peninsula, not far from the Michigan-Wisconsin border. While it may be tucked away and a bit harder to reach, it’s a worthwhile excursion for anyone who is visiting the Upper Peninsula. After you have finished your bike ride on this trail, you may want to take some time to explore the nearby community of Iron River.
Iron River is a welcoming Upper Peninsula town that is rooted in its mining past while still looking forward to its future. Many people who have spent the day biking the Apple Blossom Trail end up in Iron River, where they can grab a warm, fresh meal and relax. If you are with your family or a large group, one of the best places to get dinner in Iron River is the Riverside Pizzeria. This local pizza joint has been serving up pizza in town since 1946, and it has earned a reputation for being one of the best pizza places in the Upper Peninsula.
If you are interested in a truly authentic U.P. dining experience, then you should head to The Pasty Corner, a small restaurant in Iron River that specializes in pasties. Pasties are a regional specialty in the Upper Peninsula, and The Pasty Corner serves up some of the best pasties around. From breakfast pasties to pizza pasties, this restaurant has it all. It is typically open for breakfast and lunch, but its hours can vary so it’s best to call ahead to get their current hours and menu items.
Of course, the perfect way to end your day in Iron River is by grabbing an ice cream cone at The Stand. This ice cream stand operates out of the former location of the A&W, making it easy for both locals and visitors to find. In addition to ice cream, The Stand also has a hot food menu for those who want something quick and easy to eat.
Lodging in Iron River Michigan
Due to its more remote location, you may want to plan to lodge nearby when you explore the Apple Blossom Trail. Here are a few Iron River lodging options to choose from:
- AmericInn by Wyndham Iron River
- Lakeshore Motel On Beautiful Ice Lake
- 4 Bedroom Home
- Nordic Haus Chalet Nestled in the Serene Woods of Ski Brule Village
- Lake Ottawa Recreation Area
We've included local campgrounds in most of the #MIAwesomeList posts to help you get the most out of your Michigan summer bucket list adventures!
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Whether you want to pull it behind you or have it all set up at your destination, renting an RV is the best way to enjoy all your summer adventures in Michigan!