By William Orr
For those interested in calm breezes, bikes, and beautiful sights and scenery, here’s a guide to Mackinac Island Bike Rentals and Trails on the Island.
One of my favorite ways to explore Mackinac is on two wheels. Whether I’m bike riding along the Lake Huron coast on the paved trails or exploring the interior of the island on the unpaved trails, biking on Mackinac Island is an unforgettable experience.
If you’re up to it, try biking the eight miles around the perimeter of the island. You’ll find the perfect biking trip with amazing views of Lake Huron, with Lake Michigan and the Mackinac Bridge in the distance. You’ll pass the famous Skull Cave, Sugar Loaf Rock and Arch Rock, too. You can discover all the major attractions in our Visitors Guide to Mackinac Island MI. If you’re brave, midnight rides around the island are spooky fun.
PRO-TIP: The Lilac Festival in early summer is a perfect time to ride a bike around the island and take in the sweet fragrance of the flowers.
Fortunately, if you enjoy biking, you can bring your own bike over on the Mackinac Island Ferry from Mackinaw City or St. Ignace. Both Sheplers Ferry and Star Line allow bikes. You can also find rental bikes all over the island, offering everything from single speed, speed cruisers, tandem bikes, adult bikes and kids bikes, too.
PRO-TIP: Bicycle rentals on Mackinac Island offer many options from multi-day to full day to half day and by the hour. The Island House Hotel also rents bikes, and the Bicycle Street Inn and Suites provides complimentary bikes for guests.
Mackinac Island Trails
Gorgeous Mackinac island is situated between the Upper Peninsula and Lower Peninsula of Michigan, and offers some of the best biking trails in the state, in addition to its spectacular landscape and countryside. With dozens of paths to choose from, you only need get out there; the adventure awaits all.
Where to Rent Mackinac Island Bicycles
After arriving on the island by ferry, you will have the opportunity to choose from several bike rentals in the area. Here are several affordable options ir you’re looking forward to exploring the island by bike.
For those looking not to venture far from the ferry to look for wheels, places like the Mackinac Island Bike Shop and Mackinac Wheels are for you, situated only a few blocks from the water on Main Street.
At both shops, bikes go at 15 dollars per hour, with special four-hour and eight-hour rentals costing 56 dollars and 86 dollars respectively. Children’s rentals are a bit cheaper at 14 dollars, 50 dollars, and 74 dollars per the same hours listed above.
If these prices prove a little too costly, other stops like Ryba’s Bike Rentals and Mackinac Cycle go for 10 dollars per hour instead. These sites are also located on Main Street, making them the perfect money-saving option. All location addresses on Main Street are listed below:
- Mackinac Island Bike Shop and Ryba’s Bike Rentals (7421 Main St)
- Mackinac Wheels (6929 Main St)
- Mackinac Cycle (7271 Main St)
- Mackinac Bike Barn (7411 Main St)
- Island House Bikes (6966 Main St)
Mackinac Island’s Trails
There are several trails to choose from when biking Mackinac Island, but none are as grand as the M-185 highway that circles the island.
Mackinac Island Perimeter Ride
Circling the entire island with a length of 8.2 miles, this road provides exquisite views of the water, Michigan’s peninsulas, and the majestic Mackinac Bridge linking the two. Worry not about traffic: no cars are allowed on Mackinac Island, making travel on its highway free and spread out.
Northern Bicycle Trail
Another popular trail the island offers is the Northen Bicycle Trail. To reach this path, you must take the same route as taken to Arch Rock and turn left onto Garrison Rod a few hundred feet before the turn onto Arch Rock Road. This scenic path stretches east from the historic South Barracks (back when Mackinac was a former military outpost) up to the Sugarloaf Rock formation, another famous rock formation and tourist destination on the island.
Nearly 80 feet in height, this grand boulder sits proudly in the sky at about 300 feet above the water level, extending its rocky hand high toward the heavens above.
The site used to be a popular spot for local amateur climbers back in the day but make no mistake; it is not safe to climb, and any attempt to do so can get you in big trouble with local authorities.
Path to Arch Rock
If you’re interested in more rural trails, consider the path to Arch Rock. To reach this trail, you must go north on Fort Stand and take a right onto Huron Road. After a short while along this path, you will eventually reach Arch Rock Road, which splits off east from Huron after a short time.
This trail provides some of the best views of the iconic rock formation the island provides. Indeed, the forest surrounding this area proves adequate and beautiful cover from the summer sun; it’s hard to find a more delightful sight in Northern Michigan.
Finally, one of the most beautiful trails on the island is a small path that lies north of the Soldier’s Garden called Leslie Road. This wondrous little lane extends east of the Wawashkamo Golf Course and splits off into two paths that stretch out north and south on the island.
It’s one of the quieter places on the island, far away from the bustle one finds on Main Street and amongst the tourists at Fort Mackinac. It is a sight to behold, but more importantly, a sight for all to see and to experience themselves.
Biking on Mackinac Island
It’s impossible to fully encapsulate all the trails on Mackinac Island, but in a way, this is one of the strengths of Mackinac, especially if you enjoy biking.
Mackinac is a wonderful location to visit for the summer, and its many parades and events are ones you will not want to miss. However, the adventure and discovery the island provides truly are the greatest offerings of the island; you don’t want a chance to miss the great thrills that one might find on its trails.
More Ways to Explore Mackinac and Mackinaw City
About the Author-
William Orr has been a native Michigander all his life. He was born in Plymouth, Michigan in 2002 and now attends college at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor studying English and Communications. William is currently a content writer for My Michigan Beach and in the future, he dreams of becoming a novelist. William’s interests include guitar, fitness, and writing.