As Michigan sees warmer weather, Jeff and I have dusted off our bikes and hit the road. I’ve also had friends ask me for any recommendations on places to bike in Southeast Michigan.
I complied this list and I’d love any input on other great locations in the comments section!
Southeast Michigan is a great place for cyclists. There’s several beautiful metroparks for the avid road cyclists who want a break from heavy road traffic. We’ve got miles of limestone rail-converted trails dedicated to mountain bikes and runners. There are also State Parks that offer tree lined bike paths for casual weekend riders. A great guide to Michigan’s trails is Michigan Trails.
Metroparks (I’ve only listed the ones I’ve tried, click here for a complete list):
Stony Creek, Rochester
- 6.2 miles
- nice hiking/snowshoe path
- kayaking/SUP in the centralized lake
- close to Paint Treek Trail, and local cider mills! It’s hard to pass up cider and cinnamon donuts after a Fall bike ride…
Kensington, South Lyon
- 9.5 miles
- nearby golf course
- beach, water park, petting zoo
- 8 mile running track, open to cross country skiing in the Winter
- Nature Center, nature path (excellent for Winter snowshoeing), great bird watching
Lake St. Clair, Clinton Twp
- watch fishing boats, speed boats and yachts pass by this Metropark on the lake
- lake-view bike path along the perimeter of the park
- perfect for rollerblading and picnics
Please note that there is an annual fee of $35. That allows entrance into any of the metroparks.
Island Lake, Novi/South Lyon
- easier mountain biking trails, various terrain
- paved bike/running path that connects with Kensington Metropark (you can park at Island Lake to avoid the entrance fee)
- excellent technical mountain biking paths
- easy, paved bike paths
- scenic fishing pond
- interesting historic site markers about the Park’s history as a Sanitorium
Belle Isle, Detroit
- Perhaps my favorite park (I was even married at the Anna Scripts Conservatory!). There is an 8 mile long parkway around the perimeter of the Island. The path overlooks the Conservatory, the Aquarium (the oldest in America’s history), a Nature Center/petting zoo, the Detroit Yacht Club, Canada, and the skyline of Detroit.
- great place for picnics
- home to the Grand Pris
- relatively small crowds of people
- great hiking trails
- technical mountain bike path
- the place I first (and last) ran on a frozen lake!
Bald Mountain, Plymouth
- technical mountain bike paths
- hiking paths
Pinkney Recreation Area, Pinckney
- several trail distances
- trail running paths
- technical mountain biking
Gallup Park, Ann Arbor
Clinton River Trail, Oakland County, 16 miles
Paint Creek Trail, Oakland County, 8.9 miles
- runs from Lake Orion to the Clinton River in Rochester
- Michigan’s first Rail Trail
Huron River Greenway Trail and Border-to-Border, Washtenaw County, 19.7 miles
Dequindre Cut Greenway, Detroit, 1.8 miles
- traffic-free path connects the Detroit RiverWalk with Eastern Market
Detroit RiverWalk, Detroit, 3.5 miles
- Pedestrian friendly path along the Detroit River
- Bike repair shops and tours featured along the path
Also, look into your local area public bike rides. The City of Oak Park has a group ride on Tuesdays. They meet at the Oak Park Public Library. It’s a great way to meet neighbors and fellow cyclists!
Thanks for reading. Please feel free to add any suggestions for places that I’ve missed in the comments section! Thanks!