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The state of Michigan envisions a statewide interconnected paved trail system and since 2006, the state has been working to bring that dream to reality through the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance. Due to this goal, bikers will find many miles of paved bike trails stretching across the state of Michigan.
The Lansing River Trail is a paved bike path that stretches from Old Town to Jolly Road. This trail features smooth pavement, wood cedar plank bridges and several scenic overlooks. The 13-mile trail takes bikers along the edge of the Grand River and the Red Cedar River and passes through numerous parks and downtown Lansing. Views along the way include the Michigan Capitol Building, the Potter Zoo and several historical sites including the Turner-Dodge House.
Located throughout the towns of Hart, Shelby, Montague, Whitehall and Mears is the Hart-Montague State Park. This park includes a paved bike trail that runs from Whitehall to the south of Hart. This paved trail is 22 miles long and is popular with joggers and bikers alike. When accessing the trail, there is parking available at the state park. The Big Rapids Riverwalk is popular with cyclists, runners and walkers and runs 4.5 miles adjacent to the Muskegon River.
Running through St. Clair County is the paved trail, Bridge-to-Bay. This 54-mile-long trail runs through the towns of Port Huron, Marine City, Algonac, Marysville and St. Clair. The trail is designed to wind through parks, past museums and near lighthouses. The trail begins at Algonac State Park and ends at Greig Park in St. Clair. Various sections of the paved trail feature cedar plank bridges and old railway trails.
A 20-mile paved bike path through Ottawa County Parks connects the cities of Holland and Grand Haven. This path winds along the edge of Lake Michigan next to Lakeshore Drive. This is a rolling hill bike route that passes several beachfront parks. Once you reach Grand Haven, there is another 15-mile paved trail that circles Spring Lake. The Little Traverse Wheelway is a 26 mile path that runs between Harbor Springs and Charlevoix. Mostly asphalt, this path is perfect for the rider that enjoys stopping along the way. Pit stops abound, so that a full day can be enjoyed by adults and kids.
The Paint Creek Trail’s origins date back to the 1800s when this trail was used as the railway line between Detroit and Bay City. Now the former railroad is an 8.5-mile paved trail that features benches, footbridges and scenic overlooks. When riding this paved trail, you will go past the Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve and views along the way include a cider mill, cedar swamps, ponds and Paint Creek.
- Michigan Department of Natural Resources: Hart-Montague Trail State Park
- Michigan Government: Michigan Trails at the Crossroads
- St. Clair County: Bridge to Bay Trail
- Visit Grand Haven: Biking the Lakeshore
- MyNorth.com: Bike the Little Traverse Wheelway from Harbor Springs to Charlevoix
- Trails Michigan: West Michigan Trails: Big Rapids Riverwalk
Fitzalan Gorman has more than 10 years of academic and commercial experience in research and writing. She has written speeches and text for CEOs, company presidents and leaders of major nonprofit organizations. Gorman has published for professional cycling teams and various health and fitness websites. She has a Master of Arts from Virginia Tech in political science and is a NASM certified personal trainer.