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Thread: Never been to Michigan

  1. #1
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    Never been to Michigan

    Going one way from South to North in Michigan in 4-7 days this summer (early or mid July). Don't really have any set plans and don't really want any. Would welcome a few suggestions for a first time Gawker. Like Eastern or Western shore, mid range lodging ($75 +-), local foods, etc.
    Thanks, Charlie
    Last edited by 13278; 03-16-2014 at 06:53 AM.

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    Well....since you asked I used to live there, & still travel there a-bunch.

    If you have time ?...back roads are the way to go. South to North I recommend US-31 , west side of the mitt, along Lake Michigan. If ya do ? @ Traverse City, take M-22 up to and around the peninsula to & through North Port ,Leland,Glen Arbor & Empire. At Empire, stop and check out the Sleepy Bear Dunes, then east on M-72 back to Traverse City & US-31...@ Petoskey take M-119 North to & through Harbor Springs...a nice lunch stop BTW. It is called the Tunnel of Trees route....you'll see why when you get there. Mackinaw City ? sure...and I'll recommend the Riviera motel..yes it is pricey , but the bridge views are beautiful.

    Of course you must cross Big-Mack [the bridge]. 5 miles across the straits ! an experience in itself....then head on up to the "Soo"..[Sault Ste Marie]....if ya do ?...the "Soo-Locks" are a must...all free and an amazing engineering achievement .

    If time still works ?....head west on M-28 to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, just north of Munising . Along the way you'll se signs pointing to Tahquamenon Falls State Park....[worth the stop] IMO , The Maritime Museum @ Whitefish Point is another site to see.

    Well I'm rambling now.....so I'll stop .... Or ignore me & just do a self guided ride....either way you will enjoy!

    Have a good trip & ride safe.....
    Last edited by 71243; 03-16-2014 at 11:46 PM.
    Ron Prior {AMA member 30+ years,MOA member 20+years}
    Milford,Oh
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  3. #3
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    Pure Michigan

    Hey Charlie,

    Your're talking to someone who lives in the U.P (Upper Peninsula). I've biked downstate and most of the Upper Michigan, and by far, it's better once you cross the bridge. Don't over look the Kewwnaw Peninsula North of Houghton/ Hancock and if you want to see some gorgeous falls, head for the Porcupine Mt.....(Porkies)....far western part of U.P.
    We live on Lake Michigan at Manistique, on Highway 2. So many things to see up here. Hope you can find the gems!

    Woody

  4. #4
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    Deer

    Keep your eyes open for deer. They are everywhere!

  5. #5
    George K1200RS GeorgeK1200RS's Avatar
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    Go to Hell....Hell, Michigan that is. It is a complete tourist trap, but fun to say you have been there. It is NW of Ann Arbor.

    On the way to Hell, consider the Michigan International Speedway. It is at Cambridge Junction, Michigan where US 12 and M50 cross. Located in an area known as the Irish Hills, it claims to be the fastest NASCAR track. One of the nicest riding areas in in Southeast, Michigan.

    Unless you are in a hurry, I agree with riding the two lanes as already mentioned.

    Unless you have a reason to go there, stay out of metro Detroit to avoid the traffic and potholes in the roads. If you are compelled to go there, consider visiting Belle Isle. One of the oldest aquariums in the USA and the Dawson Great Lakes Museum are short visits. Be sure to cover and lock you bike.

    There are few areas in either the lower or upper Michigan that have great hilly, twisty roads. Because of the way the glacier's formed areas, you can ride quickly through flat wetlands to mostly gentle hills covered with trees....the land changes pretty quickly.

    You can stop in Mount Pleasant, home to Central Michigan University. It is very flat, but you can get a T-shirt with a Sherpa on it proclaiming "I climbed Mount Pleasant". There is also a Indian Casino and Hotel there.

    Hartwick Pines State Park, north of Grayling in north central lower peninsula, is a good visit if you are interested in timber and logging history.

    Generally speaking, the northwest lower peninsula above Grand Rapids in pretty nice riding. Route 37 north of Grand Rapids to Traverse City goes through the Manistee National Forest. Then take route 31 to the Straits of Mackinaw.

    Colonial Fort Michilimachinac at the Straits of Mackinac is another good history stop if you are into that. After you cross the bridge at the Straits, there is a fantastic overlook of the bridge and waters.

    Travel all over the upper peninsula is interesting. Depends on where you want to end up...going to Canada, Wisconsin then Illinois or Wisconsin then Minnesota. If you have not had them, eat a "pasti"...a meat pie the miners would carry in their lunch box.

    Enjoy the ride!
    George
    R1200RT, K1200RS. Previous K1200LT, R80RT, R100R, R75/5

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    Glad you mentioned [warned] about Detroit. I took the wrong exit off I-96 about three years ago...I swear I thought I was in a war zone. Abandoned cars all over, weeds growing through the asphalt, bars on windows,broken glass everywhere , and as I stopped briefly to check the map,...the local youth started gathering... I really don't [scare] easily...so I'll say I was concerned Turned out I [was] @ the correct exit, just needed to head north. So I stuck it in gear and north I went. It took about 10-12 blocks to start leaving the bad section.....
    Ron Prior {AMA member 30+ years,MOA member 20+years}
    Milford,Oh
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  7. #7
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    Being an east coaster

    You're no stranger to the regular rain that falls this time of the year, it can get muggy and the lightning... Don't forget the bug spray should you stop in the woods. Michigan gets its share of Thunder storms and the rain that comes down, comes down hard! In Southern Michigan, beware of potholes especially in the surrounding Detroit area and with all the national attention to the polar vortex, July will be "Construction season". If in or around Detroit, likely coming form your direction you'll be on i 75, take i 275 north to 94> then west to Ann Arbor> North on 23 or 127. If Detroit is on the list of places to see, stop in and get a coney dog, fries and a Vernors at Lafayette Coney Island and DO NOT LEAVE ANYTHING OF VALUE ON YOUR BIKE!

    If travelling up i 75, check out Pinconning cheese shops. A little town with a rich history for making cheese, (try the chocolate cheese) Ron pretty much summed it up, The west coast is the best ride with lots of beach communities and access to Lake Michigan along 31. Anything North of Saugatuck is beautiful! Grand Haven, Muskeegon and Ludington are typical port towns. Mannistee, Traverse City, Charliviox and Petosky are beautiful residential communities and are considered Michigan Gold coast communities. Then there's Big Mac. 5 miles of big bridge crossing the straights in to the Upper Peninsula (the UP) and just to place emphasis on the previous comments, "Watch out for Deer" is the best advice and I can add in northern Michigan especially at dusk and dawn. Night time driving is really interesting on the back roads. Also, FYI- You will be bear country - Black bear that is. If you see one, consider yourself lucky but be warned there are signs posted on the back roads for bear crossings and if camping is an option, the metal poles at camp sites are to hang trash from to keep critters out and DO NOT PUT YOUR FOOD IN YOUR TENT! Especially Pasties! Who knows what you'll have rootin around for one of them, might even be me. lol! try the beef.

    site seeing: A lot of folks take advantage of light house tours which are plentiful being Michigan consisting of two peninsula's. It's not my thing but hey, it kept "she who must be answered to" happy, she loved it.

    Lower peninsula

    Three BMW Motorcycle dealers Canton, (West Detroit metro area) Sterling heights (east side) Grand Rapids (North west side)
    http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/32/3/M...W-Dealers.aspx

    It does get hot, it does rain, there are lots of bugs.

    Leelanau peninsula north of Traverse city has nice hotels in the $$$ out of $$$$$ range, motels, wineries, breweries etc. July 5th - 12th is the Cherry festival in traverse. Tons of events, Usual summer festival but all things cherry. If you make it to Traverse, getcha' an M22 sticker for braggin rights. http://www.cherryfestival.org/2014-event-schedule

    The east side (Lake Huron side) is beautiful with lots of tree lined roads and farm land.

    I did this on my ducati: stuck my foot in 4 of the 5 great lakes in one weekend.

    The UP

    if you have time to lap, it is an incredible ride with shoreline views and picturesque rock formations around the peninsula.

    The Mackinac bridge: 5 miles, 142' off the water currently the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world, half grated

    Pictured Rocks is Beautiful and worth the tour (or so I hear.) http://www.nps.gov/piro/index.htm

    Taqhuamenon falls is nice! http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandt...pe=SPRK&id=428

    White fish point light house is cool be sure to stick your foot in the Superior for bragging rights and keep and eye out for a petosky stone!



    Good luck and watch out for deer.

  8. #8
    Registered User ratze's Avatar
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    I was born and raised in michigan, between the pot holes and critters i strongly advise saftey. there double bad this year.
    The pursuit of reality at all cost.

  9. #9
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    Michigan

    Eastern shore beautiful farmland, Western shore maybe first choice, Cherry Festivals, Pasties, never heard of Petosky stones.
    Hell (MI), I need to get out more.
    Thanks for the info folks.
    Charlie
    Last edited by 13278; 04-01-2014 at 02:39 AM.

  10. #10
    Registered User MUNMI's Avatar
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    UP variation

    Quote Originally Posted by 71243 View Post
    Well....since you asked I used to live there, & still travel there a-bunch.

    If you have time ?...back roads are the way to go. South to North I recommend US-31 , west side of the mitt, along Lake Michigan. If ya do ? @ Traverse City, take M-22 up to and around the peninsula to & through North Port ,Leland,Glen Arbor & Empire. At Empire, stop and check out the Sleepy Bear Dunes, then east on M-72 back to Traverse City & US-31...@ Petoskey take M-119 North to & through Harbor Springs...a nice lunch stop BTW. It is called the Tunnel of Trees route....you'll see why when you get there. Mackinaw City ? sure...and I'll recommend the Riviera motel..yes it is pricey , but the bridge views are beautiful.

    Of course you must cross Big-Mack [the bridge]. 5 miles across the straits ! an experience in itself....then head on up to the "Soo"..[Sault Ste Marie]....if ya do ?...the "Soo-Locks" are a must...all free and an amazing engineering achievement .



    Along the way you'll see signs pointing to Tahquamenon Falls State Park....[worth the stop]
    .....
    From Sault Ste. Marie, head west, but not on M28 to Munising. If you are looking at your map, you will see M28 is rather straight and not overly scenic. The best alternative, IMHO, is go west on M28 only about 3 miles, then north to Brimley on CR221. Three miles north to Lakeshore Drive. Turn west on Lakeshore Drive which changes to Curly Lewis Scenic Byway. Then west about 30 miles to M123. Go north on M123 to Paradise. From Paradise, it is an 11 mile ride to Whitefish Point and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. This an out and back from Paradise. M123 goes west and south to Newberry then M28. West on M28 about 25 miles to Seney. North on M77 to Grand Marais. At Grand Marais, take H58 west to Munising. This travel through Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and is one of the premiere rides in Michigan. Pick up M28 again at Munising......
    Scott
    2004 K1200LT
    Munising,Michigan
    www.smitchellphotography.com

  11. #11
    Registered User motocamper's Avatar
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    Porcupine Mountains are nice there is a one local hotel with beer and fresh walleye when in season.





    We camp at Hog Island Point State Forest Campground You will want to see the island from your campsite for some eagle watching.





    Never stayed but they have beer, smoked fish, smoked cheese and smoked meat, what more could a guy want. 35 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge on U.S. 2 and 2 miles from the campground Hog Island Country Store & Cottages worth the visit.
    be safe
    tony
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  12. #12
    Registered User miairhead's Avatar
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    Big Lakes

    The most unusual item in Michigan is the great lakes. Lake Michigan has nice sandy beaches, lots of open spaces. If you avoid the bigger cities (Detroit, GR, etc), nice riding, but not really a twisties paradise.
    Big Mac (bridge) is ride you won't find many places. Oh they made it a Helmet free state (because the neighborhood states had no helmet), I don't think that is a issue for anyone here.
    Tom
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by miairhead View Post
    The most unusual item in Michigan is the great lakes. Lake Michigan has nice sandy beaches, lots of open spaces. If you avoid the bigger cities (Detroit, GR, etc), nice riding, but not really a twisties paradise.
    Big Mac (bridge) is ride you won't find many places. Oh they made it a Helmet free state (because the neighborhood states had no helmet), I don't think that is a issue for anyone here.


    "I don't think that is a issue for anyone here."

    Normally no....but once on a beer run in Mackinaw City 3 doors down & across the street....a friend got a ticket for not wearing one. We teased him cuz....he was a Cop here @ home ....must admit, if it had been me making the beer run ?...I likely would have gone without as well....
    Ron Prior {AMA member 30+ years,MOA member 20+years}
    Milford,Oh
    2002 KLT
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  14. #14
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    Nice rides through Michigan

    Quote Originally Posted by 13278 View Post
    Going one way from South to North in Michigan in 4-7 days this summer (early or mid July). Don't really have any set plans and don't really want any. Would welcome a few suggestions for a first time Gawker. Like Eastern or Western shore, mid range lodging ($75 +-), local foods, etc.
    Thanks, Charlie
    I'd add +1's on 31 north along the West side of the lower peninsula, Harbor Springs, and North on M22 - great, low speed 1.5 lane road best done early in the day before the RV's come through. Nice lunch place on M22 north of Harbor Springs. Mackinaw Island is a nice day visit, and M123 through Trout Lake and on up to Paradise and the shipwreck museum. M58 is a great ride from Grand Marais to Munising, but don't try it from Deer Park to Munising unless you have a GS and enjoy ruts and sand. I've seen some pretty frustrated people on that road - the maps show it as a good paved road East of Munising and it isn't.

    M35 from Gwinn to Marquette is a nice two lane paved route, and 41 North to Copper Harbor can be a treat. Great mountain biking trails at Copper Harbor if you are interested.

    M26 SW from Houghton is good, and then you can take US2 to Duluth and visit Aerostitch!

    51 runs North and South through Woodruff in Wisconsin - then you can take the ferry back to michigan from Cheboygan or Milwaukee. If you have to go through Chicago, Lakeshore Drive is ok on off rush hour times.

    Near Ann Arbor, North Territorial Road is a nice east / west route.

    If you come through Grand Rapids, let me know - happy to buy a cup of coffee. If you have any problems up near Marquette, I still have family up there.

    Safe travels

  15. #15
    Registered User MUNMI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John M View Post
    .........M58 is a great ride from Grand Marais to Munising, but don't try it from Deer Park to Munising unless you have a GS and enjoy ruts and sand. I've seen some pretty frustrated people on that road - the maps show it as a good paved road East of Munising and it isn't.
    I sure hope you mis-typed this. East of Munising is fresh (2010) blacktop to Grand Marais and is one of the best rides I have been on in Michigan. The problems arise East of Grand Marais about 3 miles when the pavement ends, gravel for about 20 miles to Muskallonge Lake State Park.
    Scott
    2004 K1200LT
    Munising,Michigan
    www.smitchellphotography.com

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