Bike and Hike
The Bays de Noc is a gorgeous area all four seasons but there is something special about fall. As peaceful as it is to take in the autumn beauty driving along our backroads and coastal highways, park your vehicle. Get out. Walk. Run. Bike. Ride your horse. Our trails ease you along our flat shoreline, take you over rolling hills, up and down steep slopes, through lush woods and wide-open fields. Pause now and then to take in the scenery. Gaze skyward to watch for eagles and hawks soaring overhead. Being part of our landscape is why you are here.
Get the family outside
Many of the people who live in the Bays de Noc area spend hours adventuring outside all year round. So, when you are here, you’re invited to join them! We really encourage children to try the trails with their parents or adult caregivers. Here are three bicycling groups that you can ride with:
- Delta County 906 Adventure Team. 2 p.m., Sundays, June-August. Ages K-12 mountain biking. Meet at Days River Pathway. Mountain biking is a great way to build your children’s confidence and help them work their way through the tough stuff.
- Tuesday Cycle Nights, 6:30 p.m. Meet at Bike & Ski Shop, 1016 Ludington St., Escanaba. All levels of riders are welcome. Three routes range from 40-50 miles, 25-30 miles and under 20 miles. Riders return to the bike shop or stop at Hereford & Hops Steakhouse and Brewpub for a beer and burger.
- Thursday Mountain Biking, 6:30 p.m., meet at Days River Pathway trailhead, US-2 and Days River Rd., Gladstone.
Need a bike, accessories, or repairs?
You can find the expertise you need at these three shops in the Bays de Noc region:
Mr. Bike & Ski Shop, 1016 Ludington St., Escanaba – bikes, accessories, rentals & repairs
Beaten Path, 1015 Ludington St., Escanaba – bikes, accessories and repairs
Brampton Bike & Ski Shop, 910 Delta Ave., Gladstone – bikes, accessories, rentals & repairs
Dogs are welcome!
All trails in the Bays de Noc area are pet friendly. All we ask is that you keep your dog on a six-foot or shorter leash and clean up after it, so others can enjoy the trails, too.
See this gorgeous region up close
When you visit the Upper Peninsula, take a minute to soak in all the nature there is to offer. Take a moment to unplug and reconnect to your relaxed self with some outdoor activities.
City Bike Paths – 4.54 miles – Biking/Hiking
Here are three suggested routes that you can take in this bikeable city:
- Follow the perimeter of Ludington Park, around the municipal dock and then along 1st Ave. North
- Take Lake Shore Drive, along Lincoln Rd. to the north city limit on Danforth Rd.
- Go west on Old State Rd. to South 30th, then to 5th Avenue South and back to South Lincoln Rd.
Escanaba to Hermansville Rail Trail – 25.5 miles – Mountain Biking/ Walking/ Horse Riding/ Cross Country Skiing
This multi-purpose, crushed-gravel trail follows the former Soo Line Railroad built in 1901 and is part of the Iron Belle Trail network spanning from the U.P.’s Ironwood to Detroit in the Lower Peninsula. It starts near the Upper Peninsula State Fairgrounds in Escanaba and ends at Main and 1st Streets in Hermansville. It offers a heavily wooded ride with scenic overlooks from three bridges. In addition to non-motorized traffic, it is also open to all-terrain vehicle (ATV) riders and snowmobilers.
Non-Motorized Pathway – 6.6 miles – Biking/ Walking/ Running/ Cross Country Skiing/ Snowshoeing
Trailheads at North 30th St. and 19th Ave. offer six loops. Ski trails are groomed in winter. Snowshoes are available for free at the Civic Center or Catherine Bonifas Art Center, 225 North 21st St. For more information: 906-786-4141. Map
Ludington Park – 1 mile – Biking/ Walking/ Running/ Cross Country Skiing/ Snowshoeing
Located along Lake Shore Dr., this mile-long coastal park along Lake Michigan is a top pick for families. An easy-to-navigate bicycle path leads to the swimming beach and bathhouse facilities and connects with Aronson Island, a natural park setting with barrier-free fishing pier. Rental kayaks and stand up paddleboards are available. Bikes can be borrowed at no cost from the Escanaba Marina next to the park. Map
Fayette State Park – 5 miles – Biking/ Hiking/ Cross Country Skiing/ Snowshoeing
Located at 4785 II Rd.; take CR-183 south of US-2 for about 17 miles. The trail includes scenic maple and beech hardwood forests, historic townsite and white dolomite bluffs overlooking Big Bay de Noc. Map
Blue Water Trail – 2.5 miles by water or land – Biking/ Walking/ Paddling
Five miles total of Little Bay de Noc fun. Push off into the open water in your kayak (or rented paddle craft) from Terrace Bay Hotel, 7146 P Rd. Paddle to Van Cleve Park 2.5 miles south, then walk or bike back to the hotel. You can stage your bike at Van Cleve Park or borrow one when you arrive.
Bluffs Edge Loop – 1.4 miles – Biking/ Walking
Start your tour at 3rd Ave. W and go north on Stearns Ave for an outstanding view of Little Bay de Noc. Turn left on 9th Ave, right on A St., then left on 10th Ave. W. Continue to 29th St./CR-420, turn left, then angle over to Tipperary and go south. Take a left on 4th Ave. W., right on 29th St. then left on 3rd Ave. W. Map
Days River Natural Area – 0.75 miles – Biking/ Hiking/ Running/ Cross Country Skiing/ Snowshoeing
Access to this DNR interpretive trail is two miles north of Kipling on US-2. Scenic and serene, the tree identification markers help children and adults learn more about what’s around them. Michigan recreational passport required.
Days River Pathway – 9 miles – Mountain Biking/ Hiking/ Cross Country Skiing/ Snowshoeing
This popular trail is considered one of the best in the U.P. Five loops offer increasing difficulty; first two loops are kid-friendly. Several single tracks off the main path give added challenges for mountain bikers. Main trail winds along the Days River through pine, spruce and cedar ridges of the Escanaba River State Forest. Look for white-tailed deer, songbirds, hawks, eagles and other wildlife along the way. Trailhead 3 mi. NW, US-2 & Days River Road. Map
Delta Avenue Loop – 1.75 miles – Walking
This gem lets you exercise while taking in Gladstone’s shops, restaurants, pocket parks and historic city hall. Start at the corner of 10th St. and go east on Delta Ave. Angle right on Superior Ave., then angle back east on Delta Ave., take a quick jog right to Michigan Ave. and head back to 10th St. Map
Highlands Loop – 2.8 miles – Biking
This relaxing ride through unspoiled nature winds past the Sports Park and offers a spectacular view of Gladstone and Little Bay de Noc. Stage from the Sports Park at 900 N. Bluff Dr. Ride north and turn left on Braves Ave., then left on 29th St./CR-420. Turn left (east) on M-35/Wilson and close your loop at N. Bluff Dr. Map
Kipling Nature Preserve – 3.4 miles – Biking
Blue herons, mallards and other wildlife are common sights along this trail that parallels Little Bay de Noc. Stage along Lake Shore Dr. N. Ride north, then turn left on Mather Ave. Take to Skelton Rd., turn right and go south to 4th Ave. where you will loop back to Lake Shore Dr. N. Map
Saunders Point Wilderness Loop – 2.2 miles – Biking/ Walking
Simply beautiful. You’ll see wetlands and wildlife as you walk along the boardwalk that follows Little Bay de Noc. Stage from Van Cleve Park on Lake Shore Dr. Angle northwest to Minneapolis Ave., then walk or ride east along the bay. At end of Minneapolis Ave., turn left to Oak St. and take another quick left onto Delta Ave. Jog left onto Michigan Ave. and follow back to 10th St. Turn left and return to Van Cleve Park. Map
Download a City of Gladstone walking and biking trail map and safety tips here.
Bay de Noc – Grand Island National Recreation Trail – 40 miles – Mountain Biking/ Hiking/ Horse Riding
This trail follows the ancient portage route of Chippewa Indians from Lake Michigan (Rapid River) to Lake Superior (Munising). It parallels the Whitefish River and offers amazing river bluff views of the Whitefish River Valley.
The southern 1/4 of the trail winds along through jack pine, red pine, and aspen timber, interspersed with grassy openings. The terrain is fairly level, broken only by an occasional stream crossing. As the trail stretches northward through the maple, paper birch, and beech forest, hikers will encounter the typical glacial terrain characterized by short rounded hills scattered in a random fashion. These hilly stretches are occasionally separated by one- to five- mile stretches of flat land supporting a pine and aspen forest.
The trail has three large assembly areas for horses and hikers which consist of a parking lot, tethering area, water well, and vault toilets. One such area is located at the south trailhead, one at the Alger-Delta County Line and one along the north side of Highway M-94. These assembly areas are also suitable for camping (no permit required). Water is available at these parking areas, but it’s recommended that you carry your own drinking water. For your safety, all drinking water should be boiled or disinfected with Halazone.
Horse riders: Please keep horses tethered at least 100 feet from streams and the river, dismantle temporary hitch rails and scatter manure piles.
The three main trailheads are:
- Access A: Two miles east of Rapid River on US-2. Turn left onto CR-509 and travel 1.5 miles north. The parking lot is on the west side of the road. The trail goes north 22 miles to Access B.
- Access B: Two miles east of Rapid River on US-2. Turn left onto CR-509 and travel 16 miles north. The parking lot is on the east side of the road. Trail goes north 18 miles to Access C.
- Access C: Ten miles southwest of Munising on M-94. The parking lot is on the north side of the road opposite Ackerman Lake.
For a trail map, click here.
Haymeadow Creek Falls Trail – 1 mile – Hiking
Haymeadow Creek Campground has direct access to two hiking trails. To access the campground, take US-2 east from Rapid River 1.6 miles, turn left on CR-509 and go north 9.4 miles to the entrance. This well-marked, winding path crosses several small bridges and traverses a heavily forested area lined with many varieties of ferns and wild plants. A favorite stopping point is a footbridge at the Haymeadow Falls rapids. You can continue following the trail to the second trailhead (¼-mile north of the campground on CR-509) and return to the campground or reverse this pattern and start at the second trailhead. A short 1/2-mile spur near the north trailhead connects you to the 40-mile Bay de Noc Grand Island National Recreation Trail. Map
Marywood History Trail – 0.9 miles – Hiking/ Walking
This hard-packed, easily accessible interpretive trail takes you through a 200-year-old hemlock forest on the shore of Little Bay de Noc. You’ll walk past historic Native American sites and the foundations of an old resort hotel complex. Abundant historic photographs and oral history quotations tell the area’s story along the way.
To access the trail, drive 2.4 miles east from Rapid River on US-2. Turn right on CR-513 and drive 5.5 miles to the campground road. Drive about 0.8 miles on the campground road and turn right on the road that accesses the group campsites (15 & 16). The trailhead is on the right.
Peninsula Point Lighthouse Interpretive Trail – 1 mile – Hiking/ Walking
This trail follows the shoreline ridges marking ancient lake levels along Big Bay de Noc and revealing limestone fossils. The trail ends at the Peninsula Point Lighthouse (circa 1865). To access the trail, take CR-513 19 miles south of Rapid River.
Rapid River Ski Area – 17.36 miles – Biking/ Hiking/ Running/ Cross Country Skiing/ Snowshoeing
This is another top-rated trail in the U.P. Located six miles north of Rapid River on US-41, it winds through towering pine-covered ridges and drops into thick lowland swamps. Hikers, bicyclists and skiers of all levels will enjoy the loop choices featuring flat terrain to long, steep hills. Five classic x-country ski loops, two skate loops and a mile-long snowshoe trail contribute to the trail’s recreational diversity. Map