Hop on your bicycle and pedal easily down paved paths that wind along scenic lakes and streams. Or get your adrenaline pumping by hurtling down a rugged, wooded trail on a mountain bike. Michigan’s varied terrain and its extensive network of pathways and trails offer some of the best biking opportunities in the country for riders of all ages and skill levels.
Biking also represents one of many ways that Michigan residents can get out and enjoy our state’s natural beauty. And as with many outdoor activities, conservation and management efforts help guarantee that bicycling Michigan’s roads and trails will be here for future generations.
How does conservation benefit bicyclists?
It’s no stretch to say that virtually all types of conservation and wildlife management efforts benefit Michigan’s bicyclists to some degree, ranging from the creation and management of trails to the preservation of the beautiful scenery and wildlife that bicyclists see while riding.
Creating riding opportunities
Thousands of miles of dedicated bicycle trails are available across the state. Bikes are also allowed on all paved and nonpaved roads in all 102 state parks and recreation areas. In addition, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has ranked Michigan No. 1 in converting former rail lines into bike trails, with 2,400 miles of rail trails.
Managing our forests
Many trails take riders past lush forests canopied by trees that sway above vibrant wildflowers. Various scientifically based management techniques, such as selective harvesting of trees, are key to maintaining healthy forests.
Michigan has 11,000 inland lakes and tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams, which puts bicyclists, no matter where they are in the state, within 20 minutes of water. Protecting those waters from threats such as pollution and invasive species is a foundation of conservation and wildlife management.
You can learn more about these and many other conservation practices on our Wildlife Conservation page.