Bicycling Trails

Whether it's bicycling along a former rail road alignment, along roads or mountain biking across rugged terrain, Michigan has unique opportunities for bicyclists of all ages, types and skill levels.

Iron Belle Trail

The Iron Belle Trail is a set of two trails that goes between Belle Isle Park in Detroit and Ironwood in the western Upper Peninsula. When completed, there will be a 791-mile bicycle route (64% completed) and a 1,273-mile hiking route (71% completed). The hiking trail, which follows the western side of the state, primarily follows the North Country National Scenic Trail. The trails is the longest designated state trail in the nation.

Linear Trails

A linear trail, also referred to as Rail Trail, goes from one point to another and typically follows an old railroad track, river or land feature. They typically cover long distances. Michigan has more rail trails than any other state in the country. The DNR linear trails include:

There are hundreds of miles of rail trails in Michigan, many managed locally. The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance has information on a number of these linear trails.

Mountain Biking 

Mountain biking trails are more narrow and typically consist a natural soil surface and changing slopes and gradients. The DNR allows mountain biking on many of the state pathways and state park trails found across the state. 

Please stay on marked mountain bike trails and be courteous to other riders, hikers and trail users. Since many of the DNR trails are multi-use, mountain bikers may run into equestrian riders or hikers along the way. Please adhere to basic safety rules to help the DNR strike a balance between recreation access and natural resource protection:

  • Yield the right of way to hikers and horses.
  • Control your speed and pass with care.
  • Give warning well in advance when passing horses, hikers and other trail users. It is suggested to stand off to one side as oncoming horses go by.
  • Stay on designated roads and trails and ride the open trail only. Respect trail and road closures. 
  • Do not disturb wildlife or livestock.
  • Leave no trace. Pack out all litter.
  • Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. Minimize impact by avoiding muddy trails, excessive braking or cutting across switchbacks.
  • Know local rules. Plan ahead.
  • When possible, never ride alone. If you must ride solo, let someone know where you plan to go and when you plan to return.

Road Bicycling

Michigan is home to some of the best road bicycling in the nation. Low-traffic backroads with incredible scenic vistas connect small towns and state parks. Bikes are allowed on all paved and non-paved roads in all 103 state parks and recreation areas. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has regional maps showing best roads for biking (and those to avoid). 

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