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Michigan Lakes & Trails Bike Tour

  • Sunset at Sleeping Bear Dunes
  • Lake Michigan with wave
  • Biking along Lake Michigan
  • Lake Michigan with rocks
  • Lake beachfront
  • Bikers viewed through stone arch
  • Vineyard near Traverse City
  • Stones found near Petoskey
  • Horse-drawn carriages Mackinac Island
DURATION
7 Day(s)
DAILY BIKING
8 to 63 miles
TRIP DIFFICULTY
2-Easier to Intermediate
STARTING FROM
$3195
SINGLES ADD FROM
$900

Trip Overview

Sandwiched between two of the Great Lakes — Lake Michigan and Lake Huron — northern Michigan’s Lower Peninsula is one of the most attractive destinations in the Midwest. With lakes and trails galore, this gorgeous area is famous for cycling. Our 7-day bike tour there showcases the very best of the region. You have minimal shuttle time and make the most of riding options and an enviable selection of the best sights. In fact, this tour offers more than just riding on idyllic trails along pristine waters … it offers a visit to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a sampling of the area’s well-known vineyards, a visit to the Old Mission Lighthouse, a stay on Mackinac Island, a ride along a premier biking trail, a pedal through the famous Tunnel of Trees, a visit to locales made famous by Ernest Hemingway (whose popularity was recently revived by Ken Burns’ recent three-episode Hemingway documentary), and a riding tour of Charlevoix’s unique Mushroom Houses. Join us for the Michigan Lakes & Trails bike tour, and marvel at all this incredible area has to offer.

Itinerary

From start to finish, check out the route.

DAY 1 - Arrival Day: Sleeping Bear Dunes
Arrival Day | Distance: 33 or 39 miles | Terrain: Easier or Intermediate | Sylvan Inn
Our shuttle picks you up at 8:30 a.m. at a hotel near Traverse City. Be ready to ride. After brief introductions, shuttle one hour to the start of today’s route. After your bike fitting, take off on your first ride.

Pedal along Crystal Lake, the first of many lakes on the tour. Stop in Empire for a tasty lunch and visit the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center to learn about your upcoming visit to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. After lunch, cycle along the Sleeping Bear Dunes Heritage Trail. Either pedal or shuttle the gorgeous 8-mile loop around Pierce Stocking Drive. Crossing forests and dunes, this roadway is well-known for its scenic vistas, gentle curves and fascinating landscapes. In your last few miles of the ride, consider climbing “The Dune,” a challenging hike up a steep and sandy hill with rewarding water views up top. Visit the Glen Haven Historic Village and the Cannery Boathouse Museum before ending your ride at the Sylvan Inn.
DAY 2 - Leelanau Wine Trail
Arrival Day | Distance: 33 or 39 miles | Terrain: Easier or Intermediate | Hotel Indigo
After breakfast, shuttle to the Leelanau Trail, which extends from Suttons Bay south to Traverse City along the Leelanau Peninsula. Those who opt for the longer ride pedal directly from the inn. Along today’s route, enjoy numerous quaint towns, sandy beaches, orchards, farms, and vineyards. Yes, vineyards. Depending on the distance you choose, you pass two to five wineries. If wineries aren’t your thing, no worries; there are a plethora of breweries within blocks of tonight’s hotel. As you leave Suttons Bay, off to your left is the West Arm Grand Traverse Bay. If you look across the waters, you see the peninsula where you ride tomorrow. At the end of your cycling, settle into Hotel Indigo, located in the waterfront Warehouse District. You spend two nights at this hotel. Tonight, you’re on your own to explore Traverse City and choose your dinner spot.
DAY 3 - Grand Traverse Bay
Arrival Day | Distance: 22 or 44 miles | Terrain: Easier or Intermediate | Hotel Indigo
Today you explore the Old Mission Peninsula via a picturesque ride through vineyards and cherry orchards. At the tip of the peninsula is the scenic Mission Point Lighthouse, where you enjoy a picnic lunch. Though the lighthouse has been decommissioned for nearly 90 years, it offers a historical view into the lives of lighthouse keepers at the turn of the century. After visiting the lighthouse, pedal south along the peninsula back to Traverse City. Those opting for extended mileage begin and end their day at the hotel and pass a number of wineries along the route. Enjoy the afternoon exploring the town or relaxing at the hotel’s rooftop bar. You’re on your own for dinner tonight.
DAY 4 - Mackinac Island
Distance: 8+ miles | Terrain: Easier | Harbour View Inn
Today you explore along Lake Huron and enjoy a visit to the ever-popular Mackinac Island. As you gather your belongings before breakfast, make sure to pack a change of clothes and your toiletries in an overnight bag that you can carry with you as you cycle onto the ferry, as vehicles are not permitted on the island.

Located on the eastern end of the Straits of Mackinac, the island is in the narrow body of water that separates the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. The entire island is recognized as a National Historic Landmark and is famous for being car-free. Instead of motorized vehicles, guests are propelled by feet, bicycles (though e-bikes are not allowed unless you have mobility issues), and horse carriages. You’ll enjoy the lovely, flat, 8-mile bike route that circumnavigates the island. Spend the afternoon taking in the sights, visiting the historic buildings, and searching the island for the best fudge. You’re on your own again this evening to enjoy dinner on the island.
DAY 5 - North Central State Trail
Distance: 35 miles | Terrain: Easier | Crooked River Lodge
After breakfast, take another ferry back to Mackinaw City on the mainland. From the ferry arrival, you immediately pick up the crushed limestone bike path of the North Central State Trail — one of the top trails recommended by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Ride the trail 35 miles south to the town of Indian River. Along the trail, enjoy extended views of Lake Huron as well as the beautiful shorelines of Mullett Lake. At the end of the trail, grab an ice cream before jumping into the van and heading to Petoskey. You may recognize Petoskey, as it is the setting for several stories by Ernest Hemingway, who spent his childhood years in the area. You spend the next two evenings at Stafford’s Perry. The hotel, which is perched high on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, is located in the popular Gaslight District. You’re on your own to enjoy the charming town of Petoskey this evening.
DAY 6 - Petoskey & Tunnel of Trees
Arrival Day | Distance: 22, 33 or 63 miles | Terrain: Easier or Advanced | Crooked River Lodge
Today you pedal along the Little Traverse Wheelway from Petoskey to Harbor Springs. Along the way, enjoy views of Little Traverse Bay off to the west. There are three riding options today, which provide a variety of ways to pedal the bike path and to visit the famous Tunnel of Trees. Also known as M119, this iconic road was given its name for the trees whose branches intertwine to create a ceiling above the roadway. Spend the afternoon making sure you’ve seen every corner of Petoskey. Celebrate your final evening together with a group dinner.
DAY 7 - Charlevoix & land of Hemingway
Departure Day | Distance: 20 or 50 miles | Terrain: Easier or Advanced
Continue cycling today along the Little Traverse Wheelway, though in the opposite direction. The final miles of the route have you touring Charlevoix’s famous “Mushroom Houses,” also known as “Gnome Homes” or “Hobbit Houses.” Built by Earl Young, the more than two dozen homes are made mostly of stone found throughout northern Michigan and were built to blend in with the surroundings.

For those interested in pedaling extra miles, you can opt for a longer ride, which circles Lake Charlevoix. At the southern tip of the lake, you ride through Boyne City, which is rich with Ernest Hemingway history. Stop at the Boyne City General Store to see the wall dedicated to Hemingway. Near the end of the ride, take the Ironton Ferry — a small cable ferry that crosses a narrow point on Lake Charlevoix. After meeting in Charlevoix after lunch, shuttle back to Traverse City to say goodbye.

Map

Dates & Pricing

Prices are per person based on double occupancy (2 people in one room). Single supplement for private room is listed at the top of this page. A deposit of $500 holds your reservation for most tours. For weekend tours, the deposit is $300.

Start End Cost Availability
Jul 17, 2022 Jul 23, 2022 $3195.00 1 to 4 spaces left! Reserve Reserve
Jul 24, 2022 Jul 30, 2022 $3195.00 Available! Reserve Reserve

What’s Included

Professionally guided biking, 6 nights’ lodging, 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 2 dinners (you are on your own for 6 lunches and 4 dinners), prepackaged snacks to take along on the ride, 2 leaders, van support, bicycle and helmet, park entrance fees, lighthouse tour, and all ferry rides. Airfare is not included.

Dates & Pricing

Prices are per person based on double occupancy (2 people in one room). Single supplement for private room is listed at the top of this page. A deposit of $500 holds your reservation for most tours. For weekend tours, the deposit is $300.

Start: Jul 17, 2022
End: Jul 23, 2022
Cost: $3195.00
Availability: 1 to 4 spaces left!
Reserve
Start: Jul 24, 2022
End: Jul 30, 2022
Cost: $3195.00
Availability: Available!
Reserve

What’s Included

Professionally guided biking, 6 nights’ lodging, 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 2 dinners (you are on your own for 6 lunches and 4 dinners), prepackaged snacks to take along on the ride, 2 leaders, van support, bicycle and helmet, park entrance fees, lighthouse tour, and all ferry rides. Airfare is not included.

Inns

Where you stay along the way.

Sylvan Inn
Enjoy the warm sun and natural surroundings from the comfort of an inviting rocker on the Sylvan Inn's large porch and decks. Because of the inn’s location at the west end of town, guests can enjoy the quiet beauty yet … step off the veranda and stroll to restaurants, unique shops, art galleries, nature trails and the breathtaking beaches of Lake Michigan.
Hotel Indigo - Traverse City
Standing among revamped lumberyards, sawmills and canneries, Hotel Indigo® Traverse City reflects the new life and vibrant spirit of the waterfront Warehouse District neighborhood. It also pay homage to its past — with modern guest rooms featuring wood details a 19th-century white-pine lumber baron would love.
Harbour View Inn - Mackinac Island
Immerse yourself in the historic charm that has made Michigan’s Mackinac Island famous when you stay at the Harbour View Inn – a hotel with a fascinating history of its own. Located on spacious, scenic and beautifully landscaped grounds it's only a short walk from the best Mackinac Island attractions, yet away from the bustling traffic of downtown.
Crooked River Lodge
Nestled in Alanson on the picturesque Crooked River on the historic Inland Waterway, Stafford's Crooked River Lodge is a family-friendly hotel featuring an indoor pool and hot tub ... and is within arm's reach of river and recreational activities.

Gallery

Images from this tour. Click each to see it larger.

Sunset at Sleeping Bear Dunes Lake Michigan with wave Biking along Lake Michigan Lake Michigan with rocks Lake beachfront Bikers viewed through stone arch Vineyard near Traverse City Stones found near Petoskey Horse-drawn carriages Mackinac Island