Richland to Shelbyville + ADD NEW ROUTE
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From Richland, head north on M-43 for about 22 miles and as 43 turns due east you will see M-179 on your left. At this point, you have 2 options...turn left to continue the route, or carry on into the town of Hastings, which has a lot of services. We'll assume you have what you need, and you'll be making the left turn onto M-179.
Follow M-179 west for about 19 miles until mile 38 of your trip. Turn left onto 10th Street. (Note...if you carry on straight, you'll hit Gull Lake Casino. I purposely avoided the area due to traffic)
At mile 40.5, we'll turn right on 124th Ave. This is the entire town of Shelbyville (don't blink). About 1 mile on 124th takes you to US-131, where this route ends. Head north to get back to Grand Rapids, and head south to get to Kalamazoo.
This is one of my go-to rides when I want to get away for an afternoon. The first part of this route (M-43) is a lovely combination of wooded and farmland roads. Several lakes can been seen along it. The remainder is wooded, and cuts through Yankee Springs State Recreational Area.
There are a couple tight 90 degree turns, and a lot of more open sweeping turns on M-43. M-179 is mainly straight, but does have 3-4 sections of turns. The pavement is in reasonably good shape for Michigan. Do watch out for areas where farm equipment enters the road, leaving dirt.
Gas is available at the start of the route in Richland, in Delton, just off-route in Hastings, and along M-179.
The route starts in "Downtown" Richland. If you need food or fuel, there are options here. Head north on M-43 for the first twisty part of the ride, bordering Gull Lake. There is a park on your right at the 4.5 mile mark, if you want to stop and take a look at the lake. Note there is an entry fee.
Continuing north, at the 5.5 mile mark, is the Gilmore Car Museum, which hosts a very impressive collection of classic cars. They also host a couple vintage motorcycle events throughout the year. Next up is the small town of Delton at mile 10(a couple gas stations and restaurants along the route).
Continuing north into the 2nd set of twisties as you weave between several lakes (including Podunk Lake), towards the first turn of the route at mile 22.
At this point, you can carry on into the town of Hastings if you anything (gas, food, etc).
After you travel west on M-179 and pass the 31 mile point of the route, if you want to Visit Yankee Springs State Recreational Area, go south on Briggs Road South and the entrance to the park will be on the right.
Continuing west on M-179, after the 38 mile point, if you carry on straight, you'll hit Gull Lake Casino.
At mile 40.5, we'll turn right on 124th Ave. This is the entire town of Shelbyville (don't blink).
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