Name a place where all streets are also Michigan bike trails
Meanwhile, it’s almost time to make good on that promise you made to get out and get more exercise once winter was over. We have the perfect combination: By day, roll down one or more Michigan bike trails. At night, enjoy a pampered existence as a guest at a quality-assured and inspected bed and breakfast.
Now, Michigan has its share of mountain bike trails for the advanced user — such as the Copper Harbor Trails in the UP, where the Flow, for example, offers a steep downhill thrill ride for about three miles.
If that’s your scene, this article is not your speed.
This is for all those people who fondly remember the expression, “It’s just like riding a bike,” only they haven’t had the time, or they haven’t made the time lately. Lower Michigan is rich with bike trails that are flat or relatively flat. Many Michigan bike trails are built on former railroad beds and take you gently through rural areas and small towns. Other routes have been designated by cities keen to increase the options for non-motorized transportation and recreation.
If the last time you rode a bike, your rear end went numb, soon followed by your hands and lower arms, take it from a former sufferer and get a new bike.
The options today are many in the category of “comfortable bike.” The list includes: hybrid bikes; cruisers, and step-through or EZ boarding bikes, two versions of a design that negates the need to hoist a leg over the bike. You also see a lot of recumbent bikes and adult tricycles out on the trails. Visit a locally owned bike store, where someone knowledgeable will help you find the type of bike that fits your planned uses.
Buy a rack for your vehicle, and head out to one or more of these Michigan bike trails while the weather is cooler and Mother Nature is putting on the spring show.
Before you go, book a stay at one of these bed and breakfasts. A B&B innkeeper offers your best chance for local knowledge and for assistance with logistics.
9 Michigan bike trails you’ll love
A work in progress, with several miles of paved asphalt and others of crushed stone, the B2B Trail, as locals call it, crosses Washtenaw County from Dexter, through Ann Arbor, to Ypsilanti. Most of it closely follows the Huron River. Lots of parks and woods. Stay at the Stone Chalet Bed and Breakfast Inn and Event Center, in a lovely neighborhood near the University of Michigan campus.
Book yourselves into Hart House Bed and Breakfast in Hart, three blocks from the northern end of this 22.5-mile paved trail in NW Michigan. Not only have innkeepers Patrice and Allan put a lot of thought into the needs and wants of travelers but they also bestow special attention on travelers with bicycles. For example, they offer indoor bike storage, a bike repair stand and emergency repair supplies.
A few blocks from the southern end of the trail, near White Lake and Lake Michigan, take your pick of three charming B&Bs on the same street in Whitehall, sister city to Montague. In alphabetical order: Cocoa Cottage B&B, Lewis House B&B, and White Swan Inn.
Kalamazoo River Valley Trail
When you stay downtown at the Kalamazoo House B&B, you can go in multiple directions on paved bike trails. Innkeepers Steve and Stephanie will share their favorite highlights along each trail if you head east toward Galesburg or north toward the Kalamazoo Nature Center. Walk to breweries, dining and theater at night. The innkeepers will store your bikes.
For a longer ride, consider the 34.5-mile Kal-Haven Trail, which some reviewers say is better suited for mountain bikes because of its crushed-stone surface. At the South Haven end, choose the in-town Sand Castle Inn, which has a swimming pool, or Seymour House, which offers a quiet rural setting.
Lanes along quiet, paved rural and neighborhood streets are a favorite way for bicyclists, walkers and joggers to make this 12-mile trip, running north-south close to Lake Michigan and then connecting to in-town trails.
At the Saugatuck end, stay at the deluxe Hotel Saugatuck, whose jetted tubs and spacious rain showers with body sprays will work magic on any muscles feeling strained after a long bike ride.
At the Holland end of The Beeline, an extension from the route runs right past the Inn at Old Orchard Road, whose large back yard has an inviting gazebo. Close by is Dutch Colonial Inn, whose innkeepers extend traditional Dutch hospitality.
If you didn’t guess upon seeing the photo, this popular tourist destination is the place where every street is also a Michigan bike trail. No cars. We recommend that you stay at Bay View Bed and Breakfast, with its commanding views of the historic fort and of the Straits of Mackinac.
This 17-mile paved rail-trail from Traverse City to Suttons Bay passes orchards, forests, farms, marshes and lakes.
In Traverse City, you can walk to dining and shops on Front Street if you stay at Antiquities’ Wellington Inn.
At about the halfway point between the two ends of the trail, Innisfaire B&B offers sunrise views of Grand Traverse Bay.
Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail
Seventeen miles of a planned 27-mile non-motorized trail through the lakeshore in the Glen Arbor-Empire area are available to enjoy. Yes, the trail includes the Dunes. Stay at Glen Arbor Bed and Breakfast and Cottages in Glen Arbor or at the Cottonwood Inn B&B in Empire.
Fred Meijer Heartland Trail
When you stay at Saravilla B&B in the college town of Alma, you’re close to the eastern terminus of this 42-mile paved rail-trail connecting Alma and Greenville. The trail features bridges, a state game area and a ghost town.