Start in Point Huron, MI and look for Pine Grove Ave heading north, which will then veer right, onto 24th Ave. These roads get you through town, and onto M-25, or Lakeshore Rd. Head north out of town on MI-25. MI-25 will follow the thumb shaped coastline all the way up to Harbor Beach, Port Hope, and Port Austin (you'll see that Lakeshore Rd. turns into Grindstone Rd. and heads west into Port Austin). Continue on to the town of Sebewaing and to the end point of Bay City, MI.
From there you can go through Bay City and hop on I-75 to go the fast way home. Or, for the more adventurous, travel directly south from Port Austin on M-53/Van Dyke Rd. towards Bad Axe. At Bad Axe, turn right heading west on M-53 and then turn right, onto Huron Line Rd heading west [about 35 miles south from Port Austin at this point]. Huron Line road will intersect Richie Rd. Turning left [south] will take you to the famous Octagon Barn [http://www.thumboctagonbarn.org/] - a true rarity and must see. After seeing the barn, keep going south on Richie Rd. to Bay City Forestville Rd. - turn right and head west again, towards Gagetown - who's claim to fame is the first bank to have FDIC!! And, if it's still there, also home of Michigan's only Anastazi Indian /Southwestern style restaurant. You can either backtrack to M-53 and continue south, or beeline straight south of Gagetown on Dodge Rd. til you T-bone M-81/Cass City Rd., where turning left [heading east] will take you to M-53, or turning right [heading west] will take you towards Saginaw where you can jump on M-23.
Once you get onto scenic highway M-25, north of Port Huron, the sense that "you're somewhere else" really takes over. The hwy takes you close to Lake Huron quite frequently, as well as pastoral farm scenes as the road twists following the contour of the thumb. You can do this whole route as a day trip, or stay overnight in Port Austin and enjoy some of that good 'ol Michigan hospitality. Either way, it's a great motorcycle ride.
North of Port Huron, M-25 it's mostly 2-lane - no dirt or gravel roads. Not many blind corners, but be wary of wild turkeys crossing the road [they go left when they should go right].
Port Austin, at the very tip of the thumb has inexpensive lodging, The Garfield Inn (yes, the fmr. President was a frequent visitor) has wonderful food and very nice rooms, also there's several local eateries and taverns all on the main strip, south of the harbor breakwater. Make sure you walk out onto the harbor breakwater for a super view of the lake and the town inland. There's fishing charter boats available as well.
I did this trip over the past fall. Great roads and cool little towns! Here's my write up with some pics: http://lcchoppers.com/?p=570
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10 riders found this road review useful
January 19, 2011
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Touring
This route links up to lots of other cool little off shoots and is a good way to burn through a good 6 hours or so (from Royal Oak area) on if you're stuck in Southeast MI. Something to add is cutting off 25 after you've come around the thumb and pass through Bay Port and are about half way between Bay Port and Sebewaing (the next town on 25) start looking for Stein rd on your left or you can pass Stein and turn left on Kilmanagh, but you are going out of your way at that point. Anyway, take Stein rd down to Bay Port rd and turn right. This will take you into the coolest little postage stamp of a "settlement" called Kilmanagh. It's a town that never was. There is this cool old building with an antique art deco shell gas pump out in front. Just go there and see if you can fight the urge to immediately park your bike in front of this old building to take a picture. You'll see what I mean when you get there. You'll find yourself standing there at the weird 5 road intersection mumbling, "Cool . . ." over and over again. Have fun.
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5 riders found this road review useful
March 22, 2009
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Enduro
I rode around the thumb as the last quarter of a trip around the whole mitt of Michigan in August of 2008. This drive was quite nice with few cars east past Port Austin and plenty of Lake Huron views. When heading east past Port Austin be sure to fill up because there aren't any service stations for at least 100 miles. I also continued on past Port Huron down the river on M-29 to Algonac. Cute little towns down there that are not on a lot of people's radar.