The following guest post was written by Alyssa Sturm, Communications & Event Intern at the Michigan Fitness Foundation (a Trans4M member).
Trails are the ultimate gateway to Pure Michigan. Michigan’s sandy beaches, abundant wildlife and canopies of forests lay the landscape for an outdoor enthusiast’s perfect vacation. Our nearly 3,000 miles of multi-use trails provide an environmentally friendly option for those who are eager to explore the great outdoors through the back roads and trails, and experience scenery unlike any other.
The Michigander Bicycle Tour weaves through Michigan, allowing riders to explore the hidden creeks, sand dunes and picturesque towns. A different route each year keeps people coming back for more. The 2014 route discovered the paved Pere Marquette State Rail Trail, the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park, the Betsie Valley Trail, Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, Leelanau Trail and TART Trail. Choosing between 2-, 6- and 7-day tour options, this year’s ride rolled through award-winning sites and attractions, including Leland and Sleeping Bear Dunes. Abundant forests and ferns lined the less-traveled paths for the nearly 300-mile trek across Northern Michigan.
Taking a vacation by bike is not only a great way to explore Michigan, but it also fuels the towns and villages that bicyclists pedal through. Thousands of trail lovers flock to Michigan to hike, bike and kayak our trails. Governor Snyder recently signed the Pure Michigan Trail Network Bill, which will showcase and highlight the trails of Michigan through the Pure Michigan brand. Towns will be designated “Pure Michigan Trail Towns,” and will foster businesses that cater to the bicycling community. The hospitality of each town we rode through on the Michigander showed the support of the trail system throughout Michigan and the potential opportunities for economic growth.
Veteran Michigander riders were awed by the improvement of trails, as Michiganders of past rode the rough and rocky terrain of the unpaved trails. The improvement of the trail system over the decade has these Michigander riders coming back. With trails constantly improving, incorporating physical activity into your vacation is easier than ever. Biking, hiking, kayaking and walking the trailways of Michigan is a fantastic way to stay moving and active during your vacation, all while experiencing exquisite views.
Are you ready to take your next Pure Michigan vacation by trail? Tell us your plans below!