Motorcyclists who love beautiful views of water as they ride will definitely find lots of roads to love in Michigan. This state boasts scenic coastlines on four of the five Great Lakes and almost half of Michigan is made up of water. In fact, the Badger State has more coastline than any other state in the nation, except for Alaska. Although Michigan’s Lower Peninsula area is home to big cities and industries, its Upper Peninsula area is largely undeveloped and forested.
Michigan is home to one of the most popular motorcycle roads in the nation. Its route 119, which is also known as the Tunnel of Trees Road, is a 22-mile, narrow, twisty ride through a dense canopy of leaves. In addition, the Tunnel of Trees offers occasional peaks of the Lake Michigan shoreline and is simply stunning during the autumn when the leaves are changing colors. Riders should take care on this road as it does have some very tight curves and switchbacks, and there are areas where sand and rocks may be in the turns. To get to the Tunnel of Trees Road, which is located about 35 miles from Mackinac Island, motorcyclists need to take Route 119 north out Harbor Springs. This road will skim Lake Michigan’s shoreline all the way to its end in Cross Village.
One of Michigan’s prettiest rides is US-41, which is also known as the Copper Country Trail National Byway. This road starts in Houghton and travels through the Keweenaw Peninsula to a small village named Copper Harbor. An 18-mile section of the Copper Country Trail National Scenic Byway is known as the Covered Drive. The trees that grow alongside the road in the Covered Drive form a leafy canopy over the road, giving this section its name. Once in Copper Harbor, nature-loving motorcyclists may want to abandon their bikes for a ferry trip to the Isle Royale National Park, which is home to moose and wolves. This national park does not allow wheeled vehicles.
Although the Copper Country Trail National Byway is very scenic, some riders like to spice it up even more by taking pretty Route 203 north out of Houghton to Calumet instead of starting on US-41. Route 203 takes riders closer to Lake Superior's coastline. Once on Route 203, motorcyclists will continue on it until they reach US-41, which they will then take to Phoenix. At this point, some riders will head west on MI-26, which will again transport them along Lake Superior’s coastline to Eagle Harbor, where they will turn on Brockway Mountain Drive. This road, which leads to Copper Harbor, brings riders 500 feet above the Superior shoreline and rewards them with spectacular views. Be forewarned, however, that Brockway Mountain Drive does have a reputation for being in less than pristine condition.
Most children are taught in school that Michigan’s shape resembles a mitten. MI-25 takes riders on a scenic and fun 144-mile ride along the thumb of that mitten, through charming little towns and past scenic Lake Huron’s coastline. This road boasts plenty of easy curves that keep things interesting for motorcyclists. To reach this route, motorcyclists simply need to take MI-25 north out of Port Huron and continue on this stretch of asphalt until they reach Bay City.
Peninsula Drive is yet another beautiful, yet curvy ride. This 20-mile road juts out between the East Arm Grand Traverse Bay and the West Arm Grand Traverse Bays of Lake Michigan, offering up water views on both sides of this route. Peninsula Drive, which can be picked up off of US-31 out of Traverse City, passes numerous wineries and leads to Old Mission Lighthouse at the end of Old Mission Peninsula.
In addition to its many motorcycle roads, Michigan also offers riders numerous shows, rallies and other events, including Wheels of Thunder. This event is held in July in Grass Lake and features a battle of the bands, stunt riders and many vendors.
Disclaimer: All information is provided as a service to motorcycle riders, and the opinions expressed here are subjective. Although we have tried to research this information thoroughly, it is possible that changing circumstances can cause this information to become inaccurate. In addition, the conditions and roads described can change without notice for a number of reasons, including closings, weather conditions and maintenance. Motorcycle events such as rallies and rides may also be cancelled or dates changed without notice, as well. This site is not responsible for these types of circumstances, which are beyond our control, and riders relying on this information will be doing so at their own risk. This site is not liable for any actions a rider takes based on the information provided here. Please consult other sources before heading out on these roads and do not use the directions given here as a map, as again, circumstances may have affected their accuracy.
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