7 best biking trails in Metro Detroit, from chill to challenging

7 best biking trails in Metro Detroit, from chill to challenging

Photo courtesy of Philippe Oursel via Unsplash.

By Ellery Weil

June 21, 2024

Discover the seven best biking trails in Metro Detroit, ranked by difficulty.

Calling all Wolverines on wheels! While Detroit may be known as the Motor City, there’s more than one way to get around — and for those looking for a fun, environmentally-friendly way to get from place to place while getting some exercise, cycling is hard to beat. Especially in the warm summer weather, it’s a perfect time to grab a helmet and hit the biking trails.

But where to begin? Well, here’s the thing — whether you’ve just taken off your training wheels, or you’re almost ready for the Tour de France, there’s a biking trail in the Detroit area that can give you a good day out. So, let’s check out Metro Detroit’s best biking trails for every type of cyclist:

1. Belle Isle Loop

Difficulty Level: Chill

Beautiful Belle Isle, located in the Detroit River that separates Michigan from Canada, is a beautiful place to relax, explore the Museum of the Great Lakes, or go for a walk. But did you know it’s also home to one of Metro Detroit’s most beautiful biking trails, the Belle Isle Loop?

At 5.4 miles, this popular trail is perfect for families, and birdwatchers love it for this state park’s abundant avian residents!

2. Clinton River Trail

Difficulty Level: Chill

Celebrating its 20-year anniversary in 2024, the Clinton River Trail is a multi-use recreational trail running through Sylvan Lake, Auburn Hills, Pontiac, Rochester Hills, and Rochester. Popular among runners, cyclists, and those out for a good stroll, the 16-mile trail is well-stocked with public restrooms, drinking fountains, and other amenities to keep you comfortable on your ride.

Keep your eyes out for local wildlife along the river — including the humans who enjoy kayaking in the river nearby!

3. West Bloomfield Trail

Difficulty Level: Chill

Want to go on a ride that’s rich in Michigan history? Located in West Bloomfield Township, the West Bloomfield Trail is a 6.8-mile, mostly-paved trail that was converted from a historic railway! Since opening to the public in 1993, this trail has become popular with hikers and cyclists alike, who enjoy not only the gentle roll of the trail, which takes roughly two hours to complete by bike, but also the views of the 162-acre West Bloomfield Woods Nature Preserve, which the trail runs through.

There are two trailheads: the Central Trailhead can be found at 4655 Arrowhead Rd., and the East Trailhead is at Sylvan Manor Park 2294 Woodrow Wilson Blvd.

4. Hines Park Trail

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Stretching across more than 19 miles of Wayne County from Dearborn through Northville, the Hines River Trail is actually two biking trails in one, comprising both the official Hines Park Trail and the Rouge River Gateway Greenway. Whether you want to challenge yourself to complete the whole trail or try some mountain biking around the Riverview loop, you’ll find views of beautiful woodland, and well-maintained, accessible trails, plus access to one of Dearborn’s most unique attractions — historic Greenfield Village, which marks one end of the trail!

5. Lakeside Trail

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Despite the name, Lakeside Trail isn’t just one trail — it’s a full network of them!

With more than 25 miles of paved trails through Oakland County, Lakeside Trail is popular among locals and visitors alike, passing through towns, villages, and a state park. Choose a trail for a fun day out, or “go big” and attempt them all! You can also stop off at the numerous restaurants, public restrooms, and even lodgings to stay the night along the trail.

Along the way, you’ll also find side paths leading to the shore, so if you like, you can double your bike day with a beach day!

6. Macomb Orchard Trail

Difficulty Level: Moderate

While the Macomb Orchard Trail may not be on the roughest of terrain, it presents a challenge all its own for those looking to cycle the trail in its entirety. At 23 miles long, this trail can take over six hours to complete in full, making it a great way to challenge your endurance.

Whether you’re tackling the whole trail or just a piece of it, you can enjoy the views of farmland, suburbs, and historic Michigan small towns — like Romeo, which was one of the northernmost stops on the Underground Railroad!

7. Highland Recreation Area

Difficulty Level: Challenging

For experienced mountain bikers in the Motor City, Highland Recreation Area is full of ways to challenge yourself. With ten different trails and four mountain biking loops labeled A, B, C, and D, this is the most advanced mountain biking trail in the greater Detroit area.

Because the terrain is rough and heavily wooded, be sure to check trail access online before you go.

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.7 best biking trails in Metro Detroit, from chill to challenging7 best biking trails in Metro Detroit, from chill to challenging


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