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Top Bike Trails in Southeast Michigan

These paths not only provide a natural cure for boredom, they offer the perfect opportunity to get your family on the fast track to a healthier lifestyle

The bike craze took off across America like a rocket – and southeast Michigan is no exception. Now more than ever, it is less of a trend and more of a habit in cities across the country to incorporate the "green" way of transportation into their everyday commute.

Where are some of the top hotspots to bike throughout metro Detroit and Ann Arbor? To compile our list, Metro Parent chatted with the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance's Todd Scott, Detroit Greenways coordinator, and Barry Culham, Michigander coordinator. Here's the scoop on southeast Michigan's cyclist destinations your family will love.

Corktown Bike Lanes

More than 16 miles of brand new bike lanes link Corktown and Mexicantown in Detroit. The plan is to eventually be a part of 400-plus miles of bike lanes spanning the city. The lanes throughout Southwest Detroit connect to the existing Patton Park. The Underground Railroad Bicycle Route has discussed possibly using this route to expand through Detroit.

Maybury State Park

Located in Northville Township, this is favored by locals as a trail not only for mountain biking, but also fishing, horseback riding and taking in the natural Michigan scenery, Scott told us. Recreation passport required, also check out 8 miles of hiking – including a history trail!

Lakeshore Park

Stop by the beach on your next bike ride! Before or after hitting the 10-mile trail in Novi, take a trip to the park to play with the family. Parking is available, and intermediate to challenging paths can be found. Get to the trailhead at 601 South Lake Drive for any questions. Parking for the beach is $5 for nonresidents.

I-275 Metro Trail

Open since the '70s, this cool trail underwent major construction from 2010 to 2011. The trail is over 40 miles long and reaches those in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. The path is paved, but use caution. It crosses high traffic main roads.

Polly Ann Trail

Polly Ann connects Orion, Oxford and Addison townships to create a 14.2-mile route through Oakland County. Any nonmotorized activity is encouraged, from cross-country skiing to horseback riding.

Huron Valley Trail

This extensive network connects to over 25 miles of other trails, including Kensington Metropark in Milford, the James F. Atchison Memorial Park in Lyon Township and Lyon Oaks County Park in Wixom. It is completely paved with different areas offering beginner and more challenging spots.

Border To Border Trail

Spanning Washtenaw County along the edge of the Huron River is the Border To Border trail. The plans are to create 35 miles of trail from Ypsilanti to Ann Arbor. Plenty of improvements and extensions are on the way, too. In February, work began on new trail links from Dexter to Warrior Park.

Macomb Orchard Trail

Take in an array of urban and wooded beauty with a path that connects Romeo and Armada on a paved and generally flat terrain. It crosses the Clinton River and gives your family the chance to reconnect with the natural beauty of Michigan on the 23.5-mile stretch. Experience the scent of summer via fresh fruit orchards that give this trail its name.

West Bloomfield Trail

This trail is undergoing a facelift. Tons of new plans are in the works to expand and improve the path that runs east to west through the West Bloomfield area, including Orchard Lake and Keego Harbor. With trailheads off Woodrow Wilson and Arrowhead Road, the new plans include safe cross walks, new boardwalks and a 2.7-mile extension.

Clinton River Trail

The West Bloomfield Trail and Macomb Orchard Trail are connected by the Clinton River Trail. Sixteen miles of partly-paved and limestone path runs east to west through central Oakland County. It will also be a part of something big – a new vision in the works – the Great Lake to Lake Trail, which will span from South Haven to Port Huron.

Detroit RiverWalk and Dequindre Cut Greenway

The Detroit Riverfront is the perfect place to enjoy a bike ride. Rents, buys and tours are available at Wheelhouse Detroit, which is located conveniently on the RiverWalk.

The Dequindre Cut is a 1.35-mile shortcut fit for walking, jogging and biking. It runs parallel to St. Aubin Street and boasts a 20-foot-wide pathway with lanes for bikes and pedestrians. Hop on the Cut at Lafayette Street, Gratiot Avenue and Woodbridge Street.

For more fun, refresh at the RiverWalk Cafe, Detroit RiverFront Playpark, Cullen Family Carousel and Boll Family Water Feature (check ahead for hours).

Kal-Haven Bike Trail

This 34-mile trail stretches between Kalamazoo (Gobles, to be specific) and the Kal-Haven Trail State Park in South Haven. On this scenic trail are plenty of beautiful sights, mostly wooded areas. A mountain bike is advisable because of this path’s mostly graveled surface.

Lower Rouge Recreation Trail

On a combination of dirt and paved routes, visitors can enjoy not only smooth leisure riding, but also mountain biking on tough terrain dirt paths. This trail runs from Canton Center Road to Haggerty Road and connects Heritage Park and the I-275 Metro Trail.

Paint Creek Trail

With eight parking lots along its 8.9-mile span, this 29-year-old trail connecting Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Orion Township and the Village of Lake Orion lures over 100,000 visitors each year. There are three bike stops near the trail. Fun fact: Paint Creek was the first converted train rail to trail in Michigan.

Stony Creek Metropark

With over 6 miles of paved trail and 14 miles of dirt trail, Stony Creek is the ideal place to get away from it all. The dirt trail winds its way through heavily wooded areas in Oakland and Macomb counties. Bike rentals available Memorial Day to Labor day 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Downriver Linked Greenways Initiative

This idea works toward providing connections between local communities through environmentally and budget-friendly lanes and bikeways. The initiative will ultimately link 24 miles of trail. With over 26 Downriver cities and townships participating, this is shaping up to make a real difference in our every day commute.

For more information or to find the trails nearest to you visit TrailLink.com.

Aug 2, 2013 08:23 am
 Posted by  elles belles

Some great trails. Can't wait to check them out!

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