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Biking in West Michigan

You may need a car to get here, but then park it and bike it! Much of West Michigan is bicycle-friendly, and you’ll find many nice paths on which to ride. It’s great exercise, and the scenery in this area can’t be beat. So grab your water bottle, helmet, and check out these West Michigan bike paths!

M-116 out to the Ludington State Park

Start in town from Stearns Park and ride along Lakeshore Drive. The shoulder is wide and paved. You’ll cross a river, go past a scenic golf course and come to a fork in the road. Follow it to the left on M-116 and soon you’ll see sand dunes along Lake Michigan. This will take you all the way to the Ludington State Park

Within the Ludington State Park

You’ll find 1.5 miles of paved bike paths throughout the park. Here you can view woods, marshes, sand dunes, and the shoreline of Hamlin Lake. You can also bike on the 1.5 mile gravel road to Big Sable Point Lighthouse. Bike rentals are available at the Hamlin Lake Concession Stand.

Ludington School Forest

The Shoreline Cycling Club has cleared a 5-mile area within the Ludington School Forest for bike riding, separate from the hiking trails. The trails will wind through some tight spots and feature challenging turns. The trailheads will be at the disc golf parking area off Jebavy Drive just north of Tinkham Avenue and at the corner of Sherman Street and Tinkham Avenue.

Cartier Park

At the intersection of Bryant Road and Rath Avenue in Ludington is the entrance to the bike trail at Cartier Park, located just a mile from downtown Ludington and beaches. It is a one-mile paved loop and bikers are treated to serene, wooded surroundings. There is a campground here on both sides of the bike trail. View the beauty of Lincoln Lake, complete with boat launch and fishing dock.

Downtown Ludington Shoreline

Bike along Stearns Beach, down Loomis Street and past the Ludington Municipal Marina. Continue on to Harbor View Marina, along Rath Avenue. The side streets have little traffic, and the sights are fantastic.

William Field Memorial Hart-Montague Bicycle Trail

The William Field Memorial Hart-Montague Bicycle Trail is a 22.5 mile paved trail that winds through the beautiful fruit orchards of Oceana County. You’ll pass by the communities of Shelby, Rothbury, New Era, and Montague. If you need to rent a bike, you can do so in Silver Lake/Mears or Shelby. The trail got a facelift in June of 2015, with a re-paving of the entire trail and widening it to 10 feet. 

Manistee Area

Bikes are welcome to ride north of Tippy Dam off M-55 east of Manistee, but not south. Also off M-55 near Wellston is the Big M Loop, an invigorating route for experienced cyclists. Be prepared for aerobic climbs to the top of Capper’s Peak, with stunning views of the Manistee National Forest. On Caberfae Road you’ll find the MacKenzie Trail, which connects to the Caberfae Ski Area. 

North Country Trail

The North Country Trail is the longest hiking/biking trail in the US, spanning seven states from New York to North Dakota. The trail has 1,000 miles running through Michigan and was created in 1980. As the trail exits Ohio and enters southeastern Michigan, it veers toward the west. Entering the Manistee National Forest between Big Rapids and New Era, it continues its northerly path west of Baldwin, east of Manistee, and south of Traverse City. It continues up past Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Mackinaw City and traverses the entire Upper Peninsula before crossing into Wisconsin.

Activities & Attractions in West Michigan

The Vogue Theatre in Manistee

The historical Vogue Theatre in Manistee, renovated as a modern-day movie theater, shows current movies, classic films, and family movies.