5 Michigan Trails to Ride Your Electric Bike in Summer
Electric Bike Place has compiled what they believe are the top 5 summer trail destinations for electric bike riding in Michigan. Please note that Electric Bike Place encourages all riders to follow riding etiquette.
TART Trails, Traverse City
Traverse City is already a Michigan destination hot spot, but did you know that there are expanse biking trails? The TART Trails are one of many trail systems in the Traverse City area and spans over 10.5 miles. Pass by along the West End and Clinch Park Beach and enjoy both the East and West Grand Traverse Bays. While out, relax and enjoy a cup of coffee on or peruse through the numerous shops on Front Street.
The TART Trail is a part of a trail network within Traverse City. It is mainly a flat, paved trail, which allows for an easy ride. There are plenty of opportunities to divert from the trail and be able to visit coffee shops, picnic areas, and beaches. The TART trail takes you closer to the Airport and past the Traverse City State Park.
Photo Credit: John Gressnser
For the past 18 years, this trail hosts the Tour de TART, an evening ride in June that travels from Darrow Park and ends in the Village of Suttons Bay. There are food stops, beer, wind, and lots of treats for the little ones. This 17-mile tour is capped at 600 riders, so it is recommended to register early. The Tour de TART is presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
The most recent developments for the TART Trails include the proposed Acme Connector Trail, a 1.25-mile trail that connects the TART at Bunker Hill to the M27 corridor. This will give easy access to those who love commuting or visiting Traverse City on their bikes.
Grand Haven / Spring Lake Trail Network, Grand Haven
Nestled between Lake Michigan and the Grand River are two beachside towns, Grand Haven and Spring Lake. Start on the far reaches of the North Bank Trail in Michigan, follow the bridge and bike on the Grand Haven boardwalk to the lighthouse.
Photo Credit: Visit Grand Haven
Within the Grand Haven/Spring Lake Trail Network, there are five trail options available. These options are the Grand Haven Waterfront Trail, The Lakeside Trail, the North Bank Trail, the Spoonville Trail, and the Grand River Explorers Trail. The Lakeside Trail is a 15-mile trail that starts after crossing the north side of the US-31 drawbridge. You can choose to ride into the Village of Spring Lake to connect to the North Bank Trail or travel north and pass through Ferrysburg and Fruitport, both which have beautiful residential and natural pathways along Spring Lake. The North Bank Trail is a recent development for the community and features 3.3 miles of pathway among woods and farmland. The Spoonville Trail begins at North Cedar Drive and continues through the new 231 Bypass.
Proposals have begun for expansions of the North Bank and Spoonville Trails and the towns are constantly developing new pathways.
Saginaw Valley Rail Trail, Saginaw
The Saginaw Valley Rail Trail is extremely well kept and well designed. There is a little bit of everything on this trail, from biking to horseback riding to dog walking. Bridges, farmland, scenery, and rest areas grace this beautiful trail.
The Sagniaw Valley Trail stretches its 10 miles from St. Charles to Saginaw. The trail is open during daylight hours. The paved path is designed for those who wish to bike, walk, or jog on the trail. Parallel to this is a pathway for horseback riding. Some notable features on this trail are rivers, seven bridges, and wetland areas. There are restroom facilities and trail shelters available. Restrooms can be found in the Van Wormer parking lot.
The history of the trail is long and was a project 15 years in the making. Jim Garrett, a Saginaw County resident, saw the potential for a multi-use trail after riding horses on the abandoned railroad. Met with controversy from landowners, the trail eventually took hold and became one of the most popular trails in Saginaw County.
Photo Credit: Eddie Gross
There are three trailheads for the Saginaw Valley Rail Trail:
- 6225 Stroebel Road, Saginaw, MI 48609
- 2998 Van Wormer Road, Saginaw, MI 49609
- 401 E Water Street, St. Charles, MI 48655
Bay County Riverwalk, Bay City
If you are looking to bike over and next to beautiful rivers, look no further. Called the "crown gem of bike riding trails" is the Bay Country Riverwalk/RiverTrail System. It is a 21-mile trail that guides you through residential Bay City and then along the Saginaw River to the Saginaw Bay.
The Bay County Riverwalk connects the Topico Marsh Nature Preserve and the Bay City Loop. The Topico Marsh Nature Preserve offers 3.5-miles of bountiful flora and fauna. It is encouraged to stop for awhile and do some bird or nature watching! In the Bay City Loop, you can see two sunken ships and enjoy the serenity of the Vertans Memorial Park.
Photo Credit: AllTrails
The Bay County Riverwalk features several parks to visit, all of which have parking and restrooms. A majority of the parks have access to water, with the exception of the Tuscola Road Staging Area.
Big Rapids Riverwalk, Big Rapids
While a smaller trail, the Big Rapids Riverwalk is no less beautiful. The Big Rapids Riverwalk is a 2.64-mile trail that incorporates a multitude of activities, including fishing. The Big Rapids Riverwalk was designed by Jerry Conrad, a recent retiree who was looking for a way to get back into the community. Now, there is a beautiful short stretch along the Muskegon River that is enjoyed by everyone.
Photo Credit: Mecosta County Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Big Rapids Riverwalk is nestled by the Muskegon River, the second longest river in Michigan. On the Riverwalk there is a 250 wooden bridge that spans the Muskegon River and offers scenic viewpoints.
The Big Rapids Riverwalk starts in historic downtown Big Rapids and ends at Northend Riverside Park. But, the Riverwalk isn't the end of the expanse of trail connections available as part of the "Rails to Trails" system.