Leelanau Peninsula Cycling Guide

With gorgeous lake views, epic sand dunes, and forests filled with abundant plant and animal life, the Leelanau Peninsula is one of the best spots in the Midwest for a cycling adventure. With a variety of routes for all levels of experience, there is something truly special for every cyclist. Here at Glen Arbor Bed & Breakfast and Cottages we’ve curated a list of our all-time favorite routes for you and put them on a handy map of the area as well. So grab your helmet and water bottle and get ready for an epic cycling adventure!  

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail

Only 500 feet away from our inn is a trailhead to one of the top trails in the Midwest, Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. This beautiful out-and-back biking trail winds through the breathtaking Sleeping Bear Dunes Park with 22 miles of hard surfaces. You can make the trip as long or as short as you’d like, making it ideal for both veteran cyclists and families.  Glen Arbor is situated in the middle of this trail, so we recommend our guests start at the trail access point about 500 feet from our front door and ride along the Western portion of the Heritage Trail. To finish a there-and-back ride on this stretch of trail would be a 20 mile day. There’s also a wonderful option through the BATA (Bay Area Transportation Authority) where you can store a car at one end of the trail and catch the bus back with your bike for only $3! If you do this, you can stop to refill your water bottles at Glen Arbor since we are at the midway point on the trail. Community Support Fund (CSF): The Glen Arbor Bed & Breakfast created our own local Community Support Fund. This means that we donate a portion of our revenue to local organizations, including those that maintain the Heritage Trail. When you stay with us, you are also supporting the health and accessibility of our local environment including the Heritage Trail.  This trail is meant for carbon fiber cycles, training wheels and wheelchairs alike. Come out and enjoy some exercise and good company with a loved one on this scenic slice of the Leelanau Peninsula.  

Palmer Woods Forest Reserve

For all those avid mountain bikers out there, we’ve got a trail system for you! Head over to Palmer Woods Forest Reserve for the adventure of a lifetime. Just five miles from the B&B, this piece of land owned by The Leelanau Conservancy is a great spot filled with plenty of drops, slopes, and jumps. Choose between the Central Ridge and East Ridge loops and enjoy both the fresh air and rush of adrenaline that accompanies a good mountain biking route in a gorgeous natural environment. There are also walking trails from the same trailhead if you are traveling with someone who wants to take it easy!  

Circling Glen Lake

Just a mile away from our B&B is Glen Lake, a beautiful spot that is a must-see while in the area. You can ride for a few miles alongside the lake or go the entire distance around it, a 15 mile round trip loop. This route includes some challenging hills on either side of the lake that will be sure to add to your workout. It is well-worth the effort, with the gorgeous views of the water and sand dunes. On a warm day be sure to bring your bathing suit, as Glen Lake is a refreshing spot to jump in mid-ride.  

45 North Winery Trail

Who doesn’t love a bike ride through a vineyard? The 45 North Winery Trail is a 3 mile loop through 45 North Vineyard and Winery’s gorgeous property open to hikers, and of course, bikers. Open to the public during the winery’s business hours, this trail is free to the public and begins near the tasting room. The route winds through the vineyards in the first half and beautiful woods in the second half. It includes a serious uphill climb that summits a hill and provides epic views of the rolling hills of Leelanau and the entire 45 North property.   

M-22 and County Backroads

M-22 is a great way for serious road cyclists to get some miles under their belt. The road circles around the Leelanau Peninsula with paved shoulders that are wide enough to comfortably explore our town by bike. Not recommended for children, this road is more for experienced cyclists.    For a slightly softer road biking experience, there are plenty of wonderful county backroads to traverse. Our roads are so calm that there is only a need for three stop lights in the county, all of them on the other side of the peninsula near Traverse City. There is plenty of beautiful scenery, including nature and gorgeous houses. Truly explore the area on these county backroads and design your own unique cycling adventure.  

Leelanau Harvest Tour

As the trees begin to change color in the fall, Leelanau hosts a wonderful biking event called the Leelanau Harvest Tour. This day of cycling includes four different routes for bikers to choose from, 26 miles, 40 miles, 65 miles, and 100 miles, and all depart from the same starting point. The routes are on well-maintained paved roads and go through adorable small towns, dunes, vineyards, orchards, and farmland. With comfortable accommodations, nutritious breakfasts, and a bike rack and pump, the B&B is a great base camp for this adventure.   

Rentals

Of course you can bring your own bikes. However, if you need to rent while you are in town or get some last minute biking gear, we have you covered. Head over to The Cyclery at Crystal River Outfitters for all kinds of gear and bikes including road, mountain, hybrid, comfort, tandem, and kids bikes. They have a fitting service so that you can find the best bike for your height! We also provide a special biking package for guests at a discounted rate and can have your bikes here at the B&B ready for you upon arrival!    Ready to ride around the Leelanau Peninsula and take in the sights? Book a stay at Glen Arbor Bed & Breakfast and Cottages and enjoy a stay of luxury and comfort at a bike-friendly location. We have a bike rack and tire pump for you to use, as well as an innkeeper passionate about bike riding and willing to share the latest tips.    Start each of your days with our fresh three-course homemade breakfast and explore our beautiful slice of Michigan on two wheels!