The Best Bike Path Ride in Michigan - Iron Ore Heritage Trail
It is a pretty bold claim but one that we will defiantly stand behind! Hands down, the Iron Ore Heritage Trail is our favorite bike path ride EVER! This trail is a 47-mile, year-round, multi-use, interpretive trail that crosses the Marquette Iron Range in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The trail was developed with the intention of linking Upper Peninsula communities and visitors to the region’s history. Winding its way through three downtown areas, the trail is a multi-use corridor that cuts through the heart of the Marquette Iron Range. Interesting interpretive signs and art pieces are scattered throughout the trail system allowing riders to take a break from pedaling, and learning about the 160 years of iron ore mining in Marquette County. The trail is a mix of crushed limestone and asphalt, making it rideable for any type of bike. So, the biggest question you might have is what makes this trail so special?
First of all, the scenery is spectacular. From deep canopied forests, wide open meadows, to interesting lakes and streams. While riding you are more apt to see wildlife than other riders. But that is not why we like this ride so much.
The Upper Peninsula, and some might say this country, were developed by the backs of miners in the U.P. This trail weaves through the vary mines and communities that have brought so much to this country and the interpretive signs do an amazing job of educating on the hardy souls of the Iron Range and taking one back in time when the U.P. was experiencing this boom. But that is not why we like this ride so much.
While pedaling along one might get a bit thirsty and this trail has 4 breweries along the trail! Taking a summer scenic ride will prepare you for a top-notch craft beer and this trail has plenty of options for you to choose from. Taking in the cool crips flavor of hops and carbs will help refresh you and get you ready and relaxed for the rest of your ride.
How many bike paths in this country end up at the greatest fresh water lake in the world? This one does. After a long ride it is so refreshing to jump in (or even just dip your toes in) Lake Superior, revitalizing and sore muscles you might have picked up along the way.
Do You Even Need to Pedal?
We aren’t going to say that it is downhill all the way, but if you start in Republic and ride to Marquette there is a 1000-foot drop in elevation, so yes it pretty much is downhill all the way! This in combination with all of the other highlights of the IOHT is way THIS IS the best bike path ride in the state of Michigan!