ride

Good bicycling roads and routes in the UP

See sub-menu to left for routes in detail (well, eventually).

This section will develop as I get more content finished - certainly there are enough ideas and roads I and others have bicycled on to recommend. I'll try to add a few routes initially and then continue to fill those descriptions out while adding more routes. Please let me know if you have ideas or recommendations.


Update July 2016:

I'm working on some better maps and route information (including topographic profiles) for the routes listed on the left here, and will add a few more routes that I 'tested' in 2015.

As an interim a couple of maps of my recent velo-travels in the UP. They're just highlighted onto the MI state road map but I can definitely recommend all the roads I've traveled (with the exception of parts of US-2 and M-28 mentioned further below!)
1) a map of my autumn 2015 route(that I had on my handlebar bag and enjoyed 'marking off' as I went along), and
2) a map of my 2006-2009 routes (I think this was also on my handlebar bag all 3 years; the different colors refer to which year/s I traveled them, but you get the idea without needing to know.)


The first route to be described here is H-58 between Grand Marais and Deer Park and H-37 from there to Newberry.

Next routes destined for inclusion here will include, the Seney Stretch, Route 426, H-40, H-13, Brockway Mountain Drive, M-94, M-95, Republic to Negaunee backroads, H-03 (the Au Train road), the Mackinaw Trail, and more!


A few comments on UP roads:

The UP has many great roads that are ideal for bicycling, as discussed elsewhere on this website. It's a little unfortunate that many bicycling maps and recommendations focus on the (comparatively) high-traffic routes one might favor on an automobile trip. Bicycle tourists seem to follow this lead too, and it's much more likely to see cyclotourists on US-2 or M-28 than H-40 or H-58.

Perhaps most alarming is that the "US Bicycle Route" project somehow decided that US-2 across the UP somehow made sense as part of their network. The only way that route makes sense is if you want to get across the UP as fast as possible in a motorized vehicle, or have the largest transport truck to drive, or want to see as many strip malls and as little of the UP as possible. Or want to have the highest probability of an accident! How or why this road was determined I'll never understand, but I consider it a significant oversight and error bordering on incompetence...

After (foolishly!) cycling on US-2 again in fall 2015 from Florence, Wisconsin to Engadine (hoping to go north at H-13 but it was closed for bridge replacement!), I can definitely say that US-2 is not recommended for a bicyclist! Maybe too many downstaters rushing to/from the Bridge, or others wishing they had only 4 lanes of prison-like limited-access high-speed motorway to zip along on in the womb-like comfort of their vehicles. In past years I'd ridden parts of it with less problem than 2015, but times change, automobiles get larger and more comfortable, and society changes - unfortunately.

So far the only other route I warn against is M-28 between Munising and Koski Corner (the intersection of M-95 and 28/42 west of Ishpeming), also a very hostile route to the cyclist. Here (maybe) is a map showing in general terms, the number of road accidents in Michigan - note that the 'freeways' and big cities are the most dangerous, and from there the areas where people drive the fastest. It's a sad thing to find that even the UP has areas that are now as un-cyclable as the big downstate areas, but alas. The best thing is to just avoid them (on bicycle or auto) and you'll probably never know!

Of course other main UP routes aren't as bad compared to similar roads further south, and in some cases, particularly when the most direct east-west route is needed. And in a few areas US-2 is the only way to get east or west.

But there is much to be gained in selecting a lesser-used route, even if it means going a bit out of the way (which ought to be a priority in velotouring anyway). County highways such as H-40 or H-13, or lesser used State highways like M-94 or M-95, and little-known roads like route 426 between Gladstone and Ralph, or the 'forest highways' HS-13 and 16 can be a fantastic way to see lesser-traveled areas of the UP with very little automobile traffic to distract you.