3 Memorable Mackinac Island Biking Adventures

The breeze in your face. Adrenaline pumping through your heart. The breathtaking beauty of the scenery.

Biking isn’t just a way of getting around on Mackinac Island, from point A to point B. It’s an activity to experience and enjoy. An adventure that taps into your emotions as you explore one of the world’s best islands.

As a car-free destination with more than 70 miles of paved and natural trails, Mackinac Island is a bicyclist’s dream. Whether you bring your own bike on the ferry boat or rent from one of many Mackinac Island bike vendors, there are endless routes to take for all different kinds of rides.

Here are three of the best Mackinac Island biking adventures to try on your next visit:

Riding a Bike Around Mackinac Island

This classic Mackinac Island biking excursion is a popular route for both avid cyclists and novices, too. Pedaling the 8.2 miles around the perimeter of Mackinac Island on the M-185 roadway is a highlight of many people’s visits. You ride next to the water the whole way and see unique rock formations including Arch Rock and Devil’s Kitchen. Whether you go at a leisurely pace or something brisker, this is the ride you absolutely must do on Mackinac Island. (Fun fact: M-185 is the only state highway in the country without any cars!)

What to expect on the 8.2-mile ride around Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island Bike Shop map of attractions to see on a self-guided bicycle tour of Mackinac Island

Biking to Mackinac Island Landmarks

There’s a lot to see on Mackinac Island, and both a horse-drawn carriage tour and a bike ride are great ways to see it all. From majestic views atop the bluffs to historic attractions such as Fort Mackinac and natural features such as Skull Cave, many of the most popular sights are easily accessible from the trails. What’s fun about this route (map courtesy of Mackinac Island Bike Shop) is it takes you into the island’s interior without steering you too far from downtown. While this route can easily be accomplished in a short time, it’s best to stretch it out and really take in the attractions including Mackinac Island’s historic churches, Mackinac Island cemeteries, the Michigan Governor’s Summer Residence and Grand Hotel. Don’t hesitate to hop off that bike to take photos and explore by foot.

7 sights to see on a horse-drawn carriage tour of Mackinac Island

A man takes his feet off the pedals of a bicycle while riding down a paved path in the woods of Mackinac Island with leaves on the ground in fall

Biking the Trails Through Mackinac Island State Park

Typically, someone telling you to “get lost” is negative, but it’s a great way to spend an afternoon on a bike on Mackinac Island. With more than 70 miles of trails, there’s always something new to see around the next turn – sights that often go unseen by the typical visitor. Immersing yourself into the natural beauty of Mackinac Island State Park is a delightful way to experience the island. (And because the island is so small and there are plenty of trail markings to find your way back to M-185 or to downtown, you won’t really get lost.)

4 hiking and biking trails to explore on Mackinac Island


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