Best motorcycle rides in Michigan

6 Best Motorcycle Rides in Michigan | Can’t Miss Michigan Motorcycle Rides

Last Updated on: 17th August 2023, 04:11 pm

Always dreamed of exploring the Great Lakes on your Harley or taking a scenic ride along the Upper Peninsula? Well, then, you’re in luck because you will find plenty of amazing motorcycle rides in Michigan, offering a beautiful backdrop and wide-open highway. There are so many incredible places to explore in the Wolverine State that it can be challenging to choose a destination. So, to help you decide, here are a few of the top Michigan motorcycle rides.

Tunnel of Trees Road (22 Miles) One of the Best Motorcycle Rides in Michigan for Breathtaking Views

Tunnel of Trees Road is a scenic stretch of highway in North Michigan that is covered by a gorgeous canopy of mature trees and makes one of the best motorcycle rides in Michigan. Also known as Route 119, the ride starts near the town of Harbor Springs, Michigan, about 35 miles from the popular tourist destination Mackinac Island. The Tunnel of Trees motorcycle ride extends for about 20 miles to the peaceful town of Cross Village through a dense forest along the coast of Lake Michigan. The ride is easy enough and paved all the way to the end, although it is a narrow and winding road that is shrouded by foliage. You’ll get occasional glimpses of the coast along the way, and it’s a breathtaking ride when the leaves change in the fall. It’s considered one of the best motorcycle roads in Michigan because of its easy navigation and gorgeous backdrop.

Most riders report that you can complete the Tunnel of Trees route in about 90 minutes, as speed limits range from 15-30 mph. A few landmarks to look for on the journey are the Devil’s Elbow and Horseshoe Bend, which offer one-of-a-kind vistas and a unique riding experience. Many riders often debate whether the Tunnel of Trees or M22 offers the best motorcycle rides in Michigan. While that’s up for debate, the Tunnel of Trees offers a challenging yet not overly complex route and jaw-dropping landscapes from start to finish. The peak season for the Tunnel of Trees ride is October, but anytime from the late spring to mid-fall will be enjoyable. So if you’re planning your next big ride, the Tunnel of Trees is one of the best Motorcycle routes in Michigan.

The Marquette Loop (50 Miles) The Best Michigan Motorcycle Ride for Those Who Like Hills

Another of the best Michigan Motorcycle routes is the Marquette Loop, which is perfect for those who want a hilly ride with breathtaking views. The Marquette Loop is a four-mile trail that winds around Marquette Mountain with its single-track system. You can extend your ride to a 50-mile journey via M-553 and M-35 North. The journey starts in the town of Marquette, south on McClellan Ave, which will become M-553. You will take that to the Crossroads and continue on CR480 to M-35 through the peaceful town of Palmer. Leaving Palmer, you will find one of the best twisty roads in Michigan, with nothing but hilly yet paved streets and lush forests all around you. After about 20 miles, you’ll get back on M-553 at the town of Gwinn heading north, which will take you back to Marquette. If you missed the Marquette loop at the beginning of your journey or want to hit it again, you can head back and check out the amazing views.

The Marquette Loop offers the perfect amount of hills and country roads to make it challenging yet not overly intense. You’ll find plenty of local restaurants and bars along the way in the towns of Gwinn and Palmer, making it one of the best Michigan motorcycle trips for a peaceful Sunday afternoon. You should be able to complete the Marquette loop in about 2-4 hours, depending on how fast you want to go. With lush forests, many riders love to hit the Marquette Loop in the fall, but it’s one of the best Michigan motorcycle roads no matter what time of year you hit the trail.

The Copper Harbor Run on the Keweenaw Peninsula (70 Miles) The Best Upper Peninsula Michigan Motorcycle Ride

For those who want a scenic ride along the Upper Peninsula, the Copper Harbor Run is one of Michigan’s best Motorcycle trips. Copper Harbor is on the Keweenaw Peninsula in the northernmost part of  Michigan. The route offers several scenic overlooks of the state and beautiful views of Lake Superior. There are many places to explore along the Keweenaw Peninsula, and you can easily spend an entire day or more traveling the scenic roads. But the experienced pros recommend starting in Houghton, then taking M-203 to US Route 41 north to Phoenix, Michigan. There, you’ll want to get on MI 26 heading west so you can ride along the coastline of Lake Superior.

You’ll definitely want to be sure to ride along Brockway Mountain Drive, which travels 500 feet above the coastline and offers some of the best views on the Peninsula (but drive with caution because it can get dangerous). That will take you to Copper Harbour, where you can spend the night or get back on US 41 South to head back to Houghton. Some attractions to check out along the way include the Lake Superior Lighthouse and Historical Copper Mines. The best time to do the Copper Harbor Run is usually in the late spring or summer because some of the roads can get treacherous in the winter. But if you want a great way to explore the Upper Peninsula on a nice afternoon, the Copper Harbor Run makes one of the best motorcycle trips in Michigan.

The Red Arrow Highway (107 Miles) A Scenic Michigan Motorcycle Ride Along the Coast

The Red Arrow Highway also makes for one of the best Michigan motorcycle rides offering a picturesque tour of the Michigan coastline. Riders should start in the town of New Buffalo, Michigan, and head north on US-12 – better known as the Red Arrow Highway. Along the way, you’ll pass through many quaint Michigan towns with local shops, arts and crafts stores, wineries, and more. You’ll also pass by plenty of sandy beaches where you can stop and spend the day or just ride by and enjoy the scene.

If you’re looking for a Great Lakes motorcycle tour, the Red Arrow Highway offers some of the best views of Lake Michigan. The further north you go, the more the ride becomes shrouded with trees, and the early fall is often the best time to go. You will find the occasional twist and bend but nothing an experienced rider can’t handle. The towns of Holland and Grand Haven offer a good place to stop and refuel or grab something to eat before continuing your journey. But if you’re looking for a relaxed ride with a good mix of lakeside views and forests, the Red Arrow Highway offers one of the best motorcycle trips around Lake Michigan.

The Les Cheneaux Islands (65 miles) The Perfect Destination for a Great Lakes Motorcycle Tour

For those who want to explore the terrain along the banks of Lake Huron, the Les Cheneaux Islands offer some of the most scenic motorcycle rides in Michigan. The Les Cheneaux Islands is an archipelago with 36 islands along the coastline of Lake Huron in Mackinac County on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. With miles of coastline and quaint beach towns, the Les Cheneaux Islands are an excellent place to explore on a motorcycle. The best route is to take I-75 north from St. Ignace, then get on M-134. From there, you can travel from Hessel to Drummond Island and take in gorgeous views of the lake and the lower Peninsula on the other side.

You’ll encounter many picturesque villages and historical sites along the way, especially if you head up to Michigan’s older city, Sault Ste Marie, which straddles the Canadian Border. The best time to check out Les Cheneaux Island is typically the late spring or early summer because the weather will be best, and the Peninsula will be at its most lively. You’ll find plenty of paved highways and trails to explore in the Les Cheneaux Islands, making it one of the best motorcycle rides in Michigan.

Ride Through Hell (40 Miles) One of the Most Iconic Motorcycle Rides in Michigan

Although its name may sound intimidating, the Ride Through Hell is widely considered one of the best Lower Michigan motorcycle rides. The Ride through Hell is a classic Michigan motorcycle route that starts in Ann Arbor and passes through the Township of Hell, Michigan. Despite its ominous name, the hour-long ride is actually quite enjoyable, with plenty of curvy, winding roads along the Huron River. You can take a few different routes that offer paved roads and plenty of attractions along the way. Most riders recommend starting out north of Ann Arbor and riding northwest along West Huron Drive through Dexter until you get to Portage Lake and take Darwin Road to get to Hell. But, an alternative route you can take has you starting off in Ann Arbor, then head West on I-94 to get to M-52 in Chelsea, then taking country roads to pass through Hell before ultimately ending up in Brighton.

Whichever route you take, the point is to pass through Hell Michigan, where you will find plenty of twists and turns and quaint Michigan villages. You’ll also find plenty of group rides that do the Road to Hell every year, so if you’re looking for other bikers to explore the wilderness with, this is a classic journey. It may be better for intermediate to experienced riders, as some backroads can become challenging to navigate. But if you feel like you’re up to the task, the ride through Hell offers some of the top motorcycle riding in Michigan.

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