Central Lake Trails and Maps

Looking for the best trails around Central Lake?

Find the top rated trails in Central Lake, whether you're looking an easy walking path or a long bike trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

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Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type
17 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Betsie Valley Trail

22.1 mi
State: MI
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Big M Trail

18.6 mi
State: MI
Dirt, Grass, Sand

Boardman Lake Trail

2 mi
State: MI
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Grass River Natural Area Rail Trail

2.2 mi
State: MI
Crushed Stone
Accordion

Grayling Bicycle Turnpike

6.5 mi
State: MI
Asphalt, Gravel

Leelanau Trail

16.3 mi
State: MI
Asphalt

Little Traverse Wheelway

26.7 mi
State: MI
Asphalt

North Central State Trail

62 mi
State: MI
Crushed Stone

North Eastern State Trail

71 mi
State: MI
Crushed Stone

North Western State Trail

32 mi
State: MI
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Shingle Mill Pathway

12 mi
State: MI
Dirt

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail

24 mi
State: MI
Asphalt, Gravel

Spring Brook Pathway

5 mi
State: MI
Ballast, Dirt

Traverse Area Recreation Trail (TART)

10.5 mi
State: MI
Asphalt, Concrete
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
Northern Michigan's natural splendor is on display during a trip along the 22-mile Betsie Valley Trail. Stretching north and west from Thompsonville to Frankfort, the crushed limestone and asphalt trail ...
MI 22.1 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Big M Trail in Manistee National Forest is a cross-country ski trail and a mountain bike trail. There are actually four segments, each with varying levels of difficulty, from easiest to most difficult. ...
MI 18.6 mi Dirt, Grass, Sand
The Boardman Lake Trail connects Traverse City neighborhoods, businesses, two parks and the district's library on a scenic route along the eastern shoreline of a large natural lake. One day, it's hoped ...
MI 2 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
From Top of Michigan Trails Council: This beautiful 14-mile trail currently exists only in the minds eye. Conceptual engineering is already well along on a route that will follow the Charlevoix-Boyne ...
MI 14 mi
The Grass River Natural Area has a system of six trails through wetlands and woodland, a beautiful retreat south of Lake Bellaire in northern Michigan. The preserve's rail-trail provides just over 2 miles ...
MI 2.2 mi Crushed Stone
Located in Grayling, Michigan, the Grayling Bicycle Turnpike runs from the north side of the Grayling downtown area at North Down River Road all the way out to the entrance of Hartwick Pines State Park, ...
MI 6.5 mi Asphalt, Gravel
...
MI 60 mi Ballast
Accordion
The 16-mile Leelanau Trail presents two distinct adventures along the former Leelanau Scenic Railroad line. Farm fields are followed by lush woods, and smooth cruising finishes off country rambling as ...
MI 16.3 mi Asphalt
The 26-mile Little Traverse Wheelway provides exciting changes of scenery—including many views of sparkling Lake Michigan—as it winds from Charlevoix to the northern outskirts of Petoskey and eventually ...
MI 26.7 mi Asphalt
The 62-mile North Central State Trail offers a multi-use trail adventure into Michigan's north woods, with connections to well-established tourist towns at both ends. With its new crushed limestone surface ...
MI 62 mi Crushed Stone
The North Eastern State Trail (NEST)—formerly known as the Alpena to Cheboygan Rail-Trail—is one of the longest rail-trails in Michigan. Surfaced in smooth, crushed limestone, the trail offers an extended ...
MI 71 mi Crushed Stone
The North Western State Trail—formerly known as the Petoskey to Mackinaw Trail after its endpoints—passes through many communities along the way, including Conway, Oden, Ponshewaing, Brutus, Pellston, ...
MI 32 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Shingle Mill Pathway is a series of trail loops for hikers, cross-country skiers and mountain bikers. Horses and snowmobiles are not permitted on the Shingle Mill Pathway. All the loops begin at ...
MI 12 mi Dirt
West of Traverse City, the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail stretches 24 miles from Empire to Good Harbor Beach along Lake Michigan's eastern shore. The trail is a beauty, traversing through Sleeping Bear ...
MI 24 mi Asphalt, Gravel
The 5-mile Spring Brook Trail crosses flat to hilly terrain in Mackinaw State Forest. The trail accommodates hikers, mountain bikers and cross-country skiers. The trail meanders along a wooded creek and ...
MI 5 mi Ballast, Dirt
The Traverse Area Recreation Trail (TART) is packed with urban excitement as it winds 11 miles through the infrastructure of Traverse City. The rail-trail cuts a west-to-east path from Carter Road to State ...
MI 10.5 mi Asphalt, Concrete
...
MI 64 mi Ballast

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Trails by activity

Betsie Valley Trail

MI - 22.1 miles

Northern Michigan's natural splendor is on display during a trip along the 22-mile Betsie Valley Trail. Stretching north and west from Thompsonville to Frankfort, the crushed limestone and asphalt trail ...

Boardman Lake Trail

MI - 2 miles

The Boardman Lake Trail connects Traverse City neighborhoods, businesses, two parks and the district's library on a scenic route along the eastern shoreline of a large natural lake. One day, it's hoped ...

Grayling Bicycle Turnpike

MI - 6.5 miles

Located in Grayling, Michigan, the Grayling Bicycle Turnpike runs from the north side of the Grayling downtown area at North Down River Road all the way out to the entrance of Hartwick Pines State Park, ...

Leelanau Trail

MI - 16.3 miles

The 16-mile Leelanau Trail presents two distinct adventures along the former Leelanau Scenic Railroad line. Farm fields are followed by lush woods, and smooth cruising finishes off country rambling as ...

Accordion

Leelanau Trail

MI - 16.3 miles

The 16-mile Leelanau Trail presents two distinct adventures along the former Leelanau Scenic Railroad line. Farm fields are followed by lush woods, and smooth cruising finishes off country rambling as ...

Little Traverse Wheelway

MI - 26.7 miles

The 26-mile Little Traverse Wheelway provides exciting changes of scenery—including many views of sparkling Lake Michigan—as it winds from Charlevoix to the northern outskirts of Petoskey and eventually ...

North Central State Trail

MI - 62 miles

The 62-mile North Central State Trail offers a multi-use trail adventure into Michigan's north woods, with connections to well-established tourist towns at both ends. With its new crushed limestone surface ...

North Eastern State Trail

MI - 71 miles

The North Eastern State Trail (NEST)—formerly known as the Alpena to Cheboygan Rail-Trail—is one of the longest rail-trails in Michigan. Surfaced in smooth, crushed limestone, the trail offers an extended ...

North Western State Trail

MI - 32 miles

The North Western State Trail—formerly known as the Petoskey to Mackinaw Trail after its endpoints—passes through many communities along the way, including Conway, Oden, Ponshewaing, Brutus, Pellston, ...

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail

MI - 24 miles

West of Traverse City, the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail stretches 24 miles from Empire to Good Harbor Beach along Lake Michigan's eastern shore. The trail is a beauty, traversing through Sleeping Bear ...

Traverse Area Recreation Trail (TART)

MI - 10.5 miles

The Traverse Area Recreation Trail (TART) is packed with urban excitement as it winds 11 miles through the infrastructure of Traverse City. The rail-trail cuts a west-to-east path from Carter Road to State ...

Betsie Valley Trail

MI - 22.1 miles

Northern Michigan's natural splendor is on display during a trip along the 22-mile Betsie Valley Trail. Stretching north and west from Thompsonville to Frankfort, the crushed limestone and asphalt trail ...

Boardman Lake Trail

MI - 2 miles

The Boardman Lake Trail connects Traverse City neighborhoods, businesses, two parks and the district's library on a scenic route along the eastern shoreline of a large natural lake. One day, it's hoped ...

Grass River Natural Area Rail Trail

MI - 2.2 miles

The Grass River Natural Area has a system of six trails through wetlands and woodland, a beautiful retreat south of Lake Bellaire in northern Michigan. The preserve's rail-trail provides just over 2 miles ...

Grayling Bicycle Turnpike

MI - 6.5 miles

Located in Grayling, Michigan, the Grayling Bicycle Turnpike runs from the north side of the Grayling downtown area at North Down River Road all the way out to the entrance of Hartwick Pines State Park, ...

Accordion

Grayling Bicycle Turnpike

MI - 6.5 miles

Located in Grayling, Michigan, the Grayling Bicycle Turnpike runs from the north side of the Grayling downtown area at North Down River Road all the way out to the entrance of Hartwick Pines State Park, ...

Leelanau Trail

MI - 16.3 miles

The 16-mile Leelanau Trail presents two distinct adventures along the former Leelanau Scenic Railroad line. Farm fields are followed by lush woods, and smooth cruising finishes off country rambling as ...

Little Traverse Wheelway

MI - 26.7 miles

The 26-mile Little Traverse Wheelway provides exciting changes of scenery—including many views of sparkling Lake Michigan—as it winds from Charlevoix to the northern outskirts of Petoskey and eventually ...

North Central State Trail

MI - 62 miles

The 62-mile North Central State Trail offers a multi-use trail adventure into Michigan's north woods, with connections to well-established tourist towns at both ends. With its new crushed limestone surface ...

North Eastern State Trail

MI - 71 miles

The North Eastern State Trail (NEST)—formerly known as the Alpena to Cheboygan Rail-Trail—is one of the longest rail-trails in Michigan. Surfaced in smooth, crushed limestone, the trail offers an extended ...

North Western State Trail

MI - 32 miles

The North Western State Trail—formerly known as the Petoskey to Mackinaw Trail after its endpoints—passes through many communities along the way, including Conway, Oden, Ponshewaing, Brutus, Pellston, ...

Shingle Mill Pathway

MI - 12 miles

The Shingle Mill Pathway is a series of trail loops for hikers, cross-country skiers and mountain bikers. Horses and snowmobiles are not permitted on the Shingle Mill Pathway. All the loops begin at ...

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail

MI - 24 miles

West of Traverse City, the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail stretches 24 miles from Empire to Good Harbor Beach along Lake Michigan's eastern shore. The trail is a beauty, traversing through Sleeping Bear ...

Spring Brook Pathway

MI - 5 miles

The 5-mile Spring Brook Trail crosses flat to hilly terrain in Mackinaw State Forest. The trail accommodates hikers, mountain bikers and cross-country skiers. The trail meanders along a wooded creek and ...

Traverse Area Recreation Trail (TART)

MI - 10.5 miles

The Traverse Area Recreation Trail (TART) is packed with urban excitement as it winds 11 miles through the infrastructure of Traverse City. The rail-trail cuts a west-to-east path from Carter Road to State ...

Betsie Valley Trail

MI - 22.1 miles

Northern Michigan's natural splendor is on display during a trip along the 22-mile Betsie Valley Trail. Stretching north and west from Thompsonville to Frankfort, the crushed limestone and asphalt trail ...

Big M Trail

MI - 18.6 miles

The Big M Trail in Manistee National Forest is a cross-country ski trail and a mountain bike trail. There are actually four segments, each with varying levels of difficulty, from easiest to most difficult. ...

Boardman Lake Trail

MI - 2 miles

The Boardman Lake Trail connects Traverse City neighborhoods, businesses, two parks and the district's library on a scenic route along the eastern shoreline of a large natural lake. One day, it's hoped ...

Boyne City - Charlevoix Trail

MI - 14 miles

From Top of Michigan Trails Council: This beautiful 14-mile trail currently exists only in the minds eye. Conceptual engineering is already well along on a route that will follow the Charlevoix-Boyne ...

Accordion

Grass River Natural Area Rail Trail

MI - 2.2 miles

The Grass River Natural Area has a system of six trails through wetlands and woodland, a beautiful retreat south of Lake Bellaire in northern Michigan. The preserve's rail-trail provides just over 2 miles ...

Grayling Bicycle Turnpike

MI - 6.5 miles

Located in Grayling, Michigan, the Grayling Bicycle Turnpike runs from the north side of the Grayling downtown area at North Down River Road all the way out to the entrance of Hartwick Pines State Park, ...

Leelanau Trail

MI - 16.3 miles

The 16-mile Leelanau Trail presents two distinct adventures along the former Leelanau Scenic Railroad line. Farm fields are followed by lush woods, and smooth cruising finishes off country rambling as ...

Little Traverse Wheelway

MI - 26.7 miles

The 26-mile Little Traverse Wheelway provides exciting changes of scenery—including many views of sparkling Lake Michigan—as it winds from Charlevoix to the northern outskirts of Petoskey and eventually ...

North Central State Trail

MI - 62 miles

The 62-mile North Central State Trail offers a multi-use trail adventure into Michigan's north woods, with connections to well-established tourist towns at both ends. With its new crushed limestone surface ...

North Eastern State Trail

MI - 71 miles

The North Eastern State Trail (NEST)—formerly known as the Alpena to Cheboygan Rail-Trail—is one of the longest rail-trails in Michigan. Surfaced in smooth, crushed limestone, the trail offers an extended ...

North Western State Trail

MI - 32 miles

The North Western State Trail—formerly known as the Petoskey to Mackinaw Trail after its endpoints—passes through many communities along the way, including Conway, Oden, Ponshewaing, Brutus, Pellston, ...

Shingle Mill Pathway

MI - 12 miles

The Shingle Mill Pathway is a series of trail loops for hikers, cross-country skiers and mountain bikers. Horses and snowmobiles are not permitted on the Shingle Mill Pathway. All the loops begin at ...

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail

MI - 24 miles

West of Traverse City, the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail stretches 24 miles from Empire to Good Harbor Beach along Lake Michigan's eastern shore. The trail is a beauty, traversing through Sleeping Bear ...

Spring Brook Pathway

MI - 5 miles

The 5-mile Spring Brook Trail crosses flat to hilly terrain in Mackinaw State Forest. The trail accommodates hikers, mountain bikers and cross-country skiers. The trail meanders along a wooded creek and ...

Traverse Area Recreation Trail (TART)

MI - 10.5 miles

The Traverse Area Recreation Trail (TART) is packed with urban excitement as it winds 11 miles through the infrastructure of Traverse City. The rail-trail cuts a west-to-east path from Carter Road to State ...

Recent Trail Reviews

North Central State Trail

Share the trail with some animal buddies

December, 2016 by spm138

Biked from Gaylord to Topinabee. The trail is very nice and secluded. Check the wind direction before you begin. We had a strong headwind for some of the ride. However, even with the wind there were areas where you tucked behind the trees. Trail is cinder and moves from farmland to forest. Deer, Skunks, Racoons, and Fox all shared the trail or crossed it during our ride. Sheep and goats grazed in fields along the way. Very enjoyable and crosses creeks and rivers with bridges that tempt you into a water stop. Just outside of Topinabee (Breakers) is a bar/restaurant (about 33 miles of biking). It is parallel to the trail on the left and hard to miss. Reward was a great beer, wonderful atmosphere, and the food (did not eat) looked great. Next year plan to do the trail from Mackinaw.

North Western State Trail

Beautiful, Mixed Surface Trail in Good Condition

October, 2016 by roadkillbill

We rode the entirety of the trail from Spring Lake to Mackinaw City and back. It is asphalt from Spring Lake to Alanson, crushed limestone until Mackinaw City. I have found surfaces described as “crushed limestone” to range from coarse, gray dust to pea gravel; think of this trail surface as a 75/25 mix of lentils and peas. For most of the non-paved section, the crushed limestone is applied as an ideally thin layer, although it is a little thicker in Alanson and Pellston. Nothing to whine about, but traction is diminished and you’ll pedal just a little bit harder in those areas (until traffic and winter compact the surface). I used 700 x 42 mm tires, my riding companion used 700 x 38 tires. That size range seemed just about right for the non-paved areas. The trail is very close to completely flat and grades are barely perceptible. As of October 2016, the trail is very well-groomed for its entirety.

You’ll get views of some nice lakes and ponds at the southern end of the trail. Portions to the north are almost completely tree-lined, even though you are just off the highway. Trail facilities (water, restrooms) are non-existent, but the trail is so close to the highway that there is no problem.

Very nice scenery overall. I recommend this trip.

Leelanau Trail

Area bus service will accomodate bicycles

October, 2016 by deckheck

If you aren't up to a 32 mile up-and-back ride, consider the Bay Area Transit Authority Bike-n-Ride service. You can load up your bike and take a 40 minute bus ride from downtown Traverse City to Suttons Bay with great views of Grand Traverse Bay along the way. I've done it twice now and it is a slick way to enjoy this beautiful trail if time and/or stamina are limited. Check out their website at http://www.bata.net/maps-schedules/bike-n-ride-schedules.html. Caution - there are fewer departures on weekends when compared to weekdays so make sure you check the appropriate schedule.

Accordion

North Western State Trail

Beautiful easy ride between Alanson and Oden

September, 2016 by mikehammack

We parked in Alanson and rode to Oden and back. The trail was smoothly paved and easy in this section. We visited the State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center in Oden and found it interesting, fun and a beautiful setting. Note that the Hatchery is not in Alanson as it says under "Parking and Access", but on the West side of Oden.

Leelanau Trail

Delightful trail!

September, 2016 by nancidrum

We biked this on Labor Day weekend (Sunday)2016. The weather was perfect and so was the trail. Even on a beautiful holiday weekend the trail was not crowded. There is much variety on this trail as you pass by a pond, view Lake Michigan in parts, farm land and apple orchards. It has many portajohns along the way and even an area to pump some fresh drinking water. It's very flat and is great for families as well as serious riders. There are a few crossings, but most have little to no traffic. There are a few crossings with blind crossings, so use caution there. We started at the trailhead near downtown Traverse City and rode to the cute little town at the end of the trail where we had a great lunch and then biked back. A perfect day!

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail

So Much Fun!

September, 2016 by lisajarr14

Let me preface this by stating that our 19-mile ride included NONE of the hills. We started at the Dune Climb parking lot, on the 100th birthday of the nat'l park system which was cool, and rode north toward Glen Haven. The small town is really cute and very biker friendly. The trail is very well marked until you get past the town then you must look for the right hand turn onto Pine Haven Dr. You'll bike along the road for a short distance but it was very safe and not heavily traveled at all. One of the highlights was the Crystal River kayak launch. Stop and check out the clear water. Looks like fun! The entire path we rode was very smooth and plenty wide for riders. We stopped and turned around when we came to the gravel section because of our tires. So here's my commercial, if you aren't a member of RTC, please join today so that some of these awesome trails can come to fruition. Loved the Sleeping Bear Dunes area so much!

North Central State Trail

Beautiful Trail! Gaylord out 13 and Back.

September, 2016 by sweetcat

We got a late start and found the trial head in Gaylord at the soccer fields. We biked about 13 miles out and returned getting back before sunset. The trail is a gentle downgrade from Gaylord. When you head back be prepared for it to be a slight uphill the entire way. This is a beautiful trail. We rode several miles beyond Vanderbilt and then turned around. Had we gotten an earlier start we would have gone further. It is one of those trails where you must force yourself to turn around and head back. Even my companion who rarely bikes and was getting tired and dreading the ride back experienced some moments of wishful thinking that he could handle a longer ride just so we could go a bit further down the trail! It really is that beautiful. You feel as if you are out in the middle of the woods even though you are often quite close to the highway. The trail is well cared for and even though we went between rain storms the trail was fairly firm under our wheels. Since we left fairly late we only saw three other people on the trail but many more were returning to the trailhead as we were unloading the car to start. We plan on returning Michigan and biking the rest of the trail!

Leelanau Trail

Amazing

August, 2016 by cmeisinger

I was in town for only 2 days to bike and brewery hop before heading to Grand Rapids. I had no idea what to expect since this was my first time to Traverse City, I was very impressed with the trail system. We jumped on off the TART in Traverse City and rode it up to Suttons Bay. It's probably one of the most beautiful and well maintained rail trails I have ever been on! Beautiful views and smooth riding the whole way! There is a great brewery around the corner from the trail head called Hop Lot in Suttons where we grabbed some refreshments before turning around to head back to Traverse City. I couldn't have asked for a better experience! I am already planning a return trip!

Traverse Area Recreation Trail (TART)

Very nice!

August, 2016 by cmeisinger

I was in traverse City for a quick couple days for the first time last week we went up there to bike and brewery hop before meeting a larger group in Grand Rapids. I have to say I was very impressed with the trail system and how well maintained it is. Once I got used to the signage I found it very easy to navigate and my GPS was able to follow it which was helpful as well.

Little Traverse Wheelway

Magnificent Sunset over Little Traverse Bay

August, 2016 by twotandemfamily

The sunset over the water was spectacular on our evening ride/picnic. It must often be so, as we observed several people with nice cameras, some prepared with tripods.

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail

Fantastic but not all asphalt

August, 2016 by rogerrodby@mac.com

One of the trails we have found yet. It clearly has it hill challenges but doable, and a nice route. My only complaint is that about 2/3 the way from Empire to the end it became a gravel (not asphalt) and we had no idea how long the gravel lasted before it went back to (if it did) asphalt. Out bikes are not gravel friendly so we turned around. Other than that it was a great trail, never boring, always beautiful.

Little Traverse Wheelway

Michigan Gem

August, 2016 by catalina30

Made our annual summer trip to Petoskey to ride this trail. We have nothing like it downstate. We rode from Bay View to Spring Lake Park and back. It runs along Lake Michigan with great views and a wonderful breeze. There are places to picnic and fill our water bottles and use the restroom all along the way. We rode 22 miles RT and it was awesome. All asphalt and flat and not heavily used as you might expect. A perfect trail and one of our State's gems.

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