The Best Guide to Motorcycle Roads, Rides & Events

Michigan's "East Coast" Cruise + ADD NEW ROUTE


6   in Michigan Michigan220 Miles

By Anonymous
on August 1, 2001

4.0out of 5

12 Riders rated

 Scenery

 Road Quality

 Roadside Amenities

Written Directions

Start your route about 45 miles north of Flint Michigan in the town of Bay City. From Bay City take state route 13 north until it meets US route 23 (near Standish MI). Then simply take route 23 the entire way up to East Tawas, Alpena, Cheboygan and on to Mackinac Island.

Scenery

This is a great route that hugs the Lake Huron shore as it makes its way up the coast towards Upper Peninsula Michigan.Michigan is one of the more scenery-blessed states in the Midwest and this route shows you a wide variety of what the state has to offer.Not only will the scenery keep you smiling but the pretty little resort towns and impressive beachfront homes (both old and new) will also give you plenty to gawk at.

Road Quality

Overall the roads are relatively flat and there aren't too many fun turns ... it's more of an open road drive so I gave it a fairly low rating.

Roadside Amenities

There are a ton of things to do and see along this route.I've listed just some of the highlights below following the route's south to north path.

Start out in Bay City.It has a population of 30,000 and a history based on the timber industry.There are many large and impressive Victorian style homes and buildings as well as a collection of mansions built by the former timber barons that once ran the town.The city offers beaches for swimming at Bay City State Park and the great panoramic view from the 1895 city hall stone bell tower.

In Tawas you can walk along a boardwalk that connects Tawas to East Tawas.Once crossing the boardwalk into East Tawas, you will be able to shop at the many craft and gift stores that line a brick street.Up the road you'll find Tawas Point State Park with its nature trails, lighthouse and picnic areas. Alpena is a coastal town that has a reputation for hazardous waters that have wrecked about 80 ships over the years.You can see a ship named the Shamrock that went down in 1905 lies helplessly in 12 feet of water ever since.Because of all the wreckage, the waters around Alpena have become one of the few underwater preserves in the U.S. and are a favorite for scuba divers.You can also visit the Jesse Besser Museum (inventor of concrete blocks) to learn about local history and later you can drive over and see his impressive collection of homes that line the coast.About one mile north of town you can take a short one-mile trail in the Besser Natural Area that takes you through a strange looking abandoned village, by a lagoon, and past a thick pine forest.

Alpena hosts the Great Lakes Lighthouse festival the second weekend in October (800-4A:PENA).

The town of Presque Isle has a museum built into the Old Presque Lighthouse.

When you get to Rogers City you may want to take a detour west on Rte. 68 (about 8 miles, watch for signs) to find the Ocqueoc Falls.These are listed as the largest falls in Lower Michigan.Hikers are allowed to take a dip in the pool at the base of the falls.

Huron Beach offers a mile long beach that will give you great views of the immense Lake Huron.

In the town of Cheboygan you will find some dockside restaurants and may be able to catch a play at the old Oprah house built in 1888. Mackinaw City is the farthest point on Michigan's Lower Peninsula.

Because of Mackinaw City's position you can see a sunrise to the east over lake Huron and a sunset to the west over Lake Michigan.The town has built a replica of a fur-trading post and fort that you may want to checkout.This town offers eight championship golf courses. You can't finish this trip without traveling over one of the world's largest suspension bridges that connects Lower Michigan to Upper Michigan - Mighty Mac - at 5 MILES LONG!!!

The highlight of you trip will be Mackinac Island (800-454-5227).Here you will have enough to do for an entire vacation ... however, the island's ban on motorized vehicles will allow you to choose alternative means of travel such as one of the islands many horse drawn carriages.On the island you can ride bikes, roller-blade or simply walk to its many Victorian Inns and many craft and art stores.You may want to tour the reconstructed Fort Mackinac that represents a 19th century British fort. Makinaw City tourism bureau: 1-800-666-0160..

Additional Info

- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather .

Nickname (optional) : Anonymous

What Riders Say About this Route Add Review & Rating

By Guest
on February 9, 2011 3 out of 3 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2007

Motorcycle Make Yamaha

Motorcycle Type Touring

I did this trip last fall. It was fantastic. I stopped in Alpena and went to the Maritime Museum. I continued along the coast and even took a side trip to Tahquamenon Falls in the UP. Here are the videos and pics of my trip: http://lcchoppers.com/?page_id=643

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By Guest
on March 11, 2008 3 out of 3 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year

Motorcycle Make

Motorcycle Type

If you stop riding in St. Ignace, you're missing a lot of good road to be ridden in Upper Michigan. Not a lot of twisties, but if you know where to ride they're there. If you want more info there is a website called U.P. Cruising dedicated to motorcycling da U.P.

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By Guest
on March 11, 2010 2 out of 2 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2007

Motorcycle Make Suzuki

Motorcycle Type Standard

I am originally from the area. As Jeff mentioned Desi's is a great place and Old Orchard Park is a nice campground. You should continue a little way past Desi's to check out the River Road National Scenic Byway. Nice views, sweeping curves with places to get off the bike for a bit. There are some nice hills north of Harrisville. This is a nice comfortable ride with great views and quaint small towns.

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By Guest
on August 6, 2009 2 out of 2 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2004

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Touring

beautiful ride ,hard to keep your eyes on the road..! check out some of the mom and pop eateries.along the way.. you may even catch the gypsum ship being loaded..

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By Guest
on January 16, 2008 2 out of 2 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year 2001

Motorcycle Make Yamaha

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

Just about 15-20 miles north of East Tawas there is a little fishing town named Oscoda, if you have a mind ask a local how to get to "desi's" and you will find some suprisingly good spanish/mexican food. Just down the road from Desi's there is a city owned campground that is VERY affordable right on the river.

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By MelL
on February 25, 2015 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2004

Motorcycle Make Harley XL1200C plated HD2R

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

Live East of Grayling, so I head this way quite often. Once I get up to Mackinac there are dozens of back road routes to get back home. I like to travel South along Black Lake and down through Hillman/Atlanta.

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By critter1059
on January 14, 2015 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 1990

Motorcycle Make Harley Davidson

Motorcycle Type Touring

I ride this route all the time. Very scenic and lots of great stops.

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By fn
on July 14, 2014 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 1992

Motorcycle Make Honda Goldwing SE

Motorcycle Type Touring

Rode this the first week of July, 2014 right after the ride around the thumb and continuing all the way clockwise around Lake Huron, into Canada and back through Manitoulin Island on to home near Toronto. Stayed for night at a nice hotel on the river in Cheboygan. Swam in the river to cool off. Next time will stay for night in Mackinaw City. Didn't spend much time there, but it was a fantastic town. Hoped to see more of the waterfront while on this ride, but it was not nearly always visible. Good road quality, and very light traffic. A pleasure to ride. Stopped in Alpena at the beach to cool off and rest, but did not see the museum or shipwrecks. Maybe next time.

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By Gyro-HD
on July 12, 2014 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2014

Motorcycle Make H-D

Motorcycle Type Touring

Took this road in June 2014. As mentioned in the main review, the road is not challenging or spectacular, but it has many great places to stop along the way. East Tawas is a nice little resort town with a pleasant feel and a great sunrise.

There are many little cottages along the shore that look out over the lake. Reminded me of early mornings with my grandfather, up at sunrise to go fishing.

The road from Presque Isle to Mackinac bridge was really deserted. It seemed like 10 cars the entire way. Absolutely wonderful for soaking it all in without worrying about going too slow or fast.

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By jim.kubinski
on December 3, 2013 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2004

Motorcycle Make Harley

Motorcycle Type Touring

Been traveling this way for years because my family owns property nearby. Me and the old man bought bikes this year and took a trip all in Michigan over 1400 miles. Took US 23 all the way to the Mighty Mack and into the UP. This is by far a better way to get up there than I75. Much nicer scenery and small town. My favorites: the hills just north of Harrisville. Just before the hills stop at The Mountain Bar for a bite to eat.

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By jim.kubinski
on December 3, 2013 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2004

Motorcycle Make Harley

Motorcycle Type Touring

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By Trapper
on November 26, 2011 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

3.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2008

Motorcycle Make Yamaha "Raider" V-Twin, 119 c.i./1900 c.c.

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

Enjoyed this ride very much on July 29, 2010. U.S. Hwy. 23 around the east coast has a lot to offer.

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