Motorcycle Route Author
By Guest (0 McR Points) on Jul 31, 2001
March 11, 2008
If you stop riding in St. Ignace, you're…
February 9, 2011
I did this trip last fall. It was fantastic. I…
Written DirectionsStart 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.
SceneryThis 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.
Drive EnjoymentOverall 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.
Tourism OpportunitiesThere 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..