As H.G. Wells once said, “Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the human race.” There are no cars on Mackinac Island, so horses and bikes reign supreme. Even those who do not consider themselves biker extraordinaires scan discover a newfound joy in the paths on the island. Bikers on the island are privy to 70 miles of paved, road-friendly paths and idyllic mountain bike trails. The island is about 8 miles around, so it is manageable for both the experienced and the novice biker to tackle.
For those looking to enjoy a leisurely ride with a view, frequent visitors have said that the East View Bluff trail offers breathtaking views, with glimpses of both the island town and the waterfronts. The most popular path, which spans the 8 mile length of the island, is known as Lake Shore Boulevard. Fun fact: it is the only highway in the country that is automobile free. The beauty of Lake Huron will be in full force along the way, and the Mackinac Bridge will also be available for viewing pleasure.
The Mackinac interior is another stunning route that bikers can take, and is ideal for those wishing to set their sights on more of the architecture on the island. Along this path, bikers will see stone-walled Catholic and Protestant cemeteries, Skull Cave and the battlefield turned golf course, Wawashkamo. For more experienced bikers or anyone who simply wants to take on an adventure, mountain biking on Mackinac Island is another beloved pastime. Two premiere options for soon to be mountain bikers are Cheboygan State Park and Wilderness State Park. Cheboygan State Park has a system of well-marked trails that provide access to Lake Huron vistas and rare wildflowers. At the Wilderness State Park sits 26 miles of beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline where bikers can explore the 10,000 acre park terrain.
There is a variety of options for vacationers who would like to rent a bike during their stay. Mission Point Bike Rentals, which lies within Mission Point Resort, is one of those options. Bikes are on a first come first serve basis and can be picked up across from Lakeside Spa & Salon. Mackinac Island Bike Shop is another great local business. They do not require deposits for bicycles and they carry a large selection of TREK rental bikes, comfort bikes, hybrids, and even tandem bikes and tag-a-longs for those who want to make a day of it with friends.
Similarly, Island House Bike Shop, located adjacent to the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau, offers bike rentals by hour or day. Lastly, Ryba’s Bike Rentals, located right across from Kingston Kitchen at the Village Inn, offers a great selection of bicycles and strollers as well. The gorgeous views and childlike nature that the bike lifestyle exudes speaks for itself. There are countless idiosyncrasies about the Mackinac experience that one has to be there in order to learn. However, after the first visit, guests tend to feel that they have found a second home, and upon each return, the memories come back to them just like riding a bike.