Ludington has long been a destination for cyclists who enjoy exploring the outdoors. The area boasts picturesque shoreline routes with sand dune panoramas, scenic wooded trails winding throughout the surrounding Manistee National Forest and miles of idyllic rural country roads. With the rising popularity of year-round fat tire biking, gravel road riding and bikepacking, new adventures are opening up that are only limited by your imagination.
Scenic Road Routes
A visit to Ludington is not complete without a cruise along M-116 to the Ludington State Park. It is one of the most scenic roads in the entire Midwest. On one side of the road are continuous sand dunes, and, on the other side, Lake Michigan spans the horizon. Another shoreline route runs along South Lakeshore Drive to Bass Lake and Pentwater. A highlight of this route is crossing the bridge that spans the Ludington Pumped Storage Power Plant, a hydroelectric plant and reservoir built on Lake Michigan. For a more ambitious tour, chart a course on the way back through the orchards and rolling hills south of Ludington. Riders will be awestruck by the scale of the 56 wind turbines comprising Lakewinds Energy Park.
Another fun destination for road biking is the lake district around the villages of Fountain and Freesoil in eastern Mason County. Enjoy the sights and sounds of rural country roads on your way to this popular resort area. Note that there is a mixture of gravel and paved roads in this area so chart your route before you leave.
Four Season Mountain Biking
A recent addition to Ludington’s cycling scene is the development of an Urban Single Track trail system encompassing Cartier Park and the Ludington School Forest. Both trail systems are located within the city limits less than two miles apart and include a total of 10 miles of dedicated single-track for biking with potential for additional trail linking the systems in the future. These trails were built as “Gateway Trails”, designed to create a fun, widely accessible introduction to mountain biking. The trails are intentionally unintimidating for new and novice riders yet they are designed in a way that even the most experienced mountain biker will find fun and enjoyable.
Fat tire mountain bikes allow riders to float through conditions that would be impossible with a conventional tire. This trend toward wider tires creates a new and exhilarating way to take in Michigan’s winter wonderland. Several trail systems in the area are starting to groom trails for winter riding. There is also a vast network of snowmobile trails and forest service roads north of Hamlin Lake and throughout the Manistee National Forest to explore. Winter beach riding can also be a thrill. The Lake Michigan beach along M116 to Big Sable Point Lighthouse is open to bikes from November through April. When the snow melts, fat bikes are just as fun on traditional trails.
Fun Paths for Kids
Noteworthy Bike Trail Systems Nearby