Traverse City, MI Birding Trails and Maps

269 Reviews

Looking for the best Birding trails around Traverse City?

Find the top rated birding trails in Traverse City, whether you're looking for an easy short birding trail or a long birding trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a birding trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

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Activities
Length
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Type
15 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

Clam River Greenway

1.6 mi
State: MI
Asphalt, Boardwalk

Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park

92.6 mi
State: MI
Asphalt, Ballast, Crushed Stone, Gravel

Grass River Natural Area Rail Trail

2.2 mi
State: MI
Crushed Stone

Grayling Bicycle Turnpike

6.5 mi
State: MI
Asphalt, Gravel

Leelanau Trail

16.6 mi
State: MI
Asphalt

Little Traverse Wheelway

23.7 mi
State: MI
Asphalt

North Central State Trail

62 mi
State: MI
Crushed Stone

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail

21.2 mi
State: MI
Asphalt, Gravel

Spring Brook Pathway

5 mi
State: MI
Ballast, Dirt
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
Remoteness and solitude describe a trip along the 22-mile Betsie Valley Trail in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula. Starting at the old logging town of Thompsonville, the trail slopes gently...
MI 22.1 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Big M Trail in Manistee National Forest is suitable for cross-country skiing, trail mountain biking, and hiking. There are actually four segments, each with varying levels of difficulty, from...
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...
MI 2 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Clam River Greenway represents a citizen-led effort to create a safe and beautiful recreational asset in what had been a neglected space. Today, the trail connects Bob Meyer Jr. Park in the north...
MI 1.6 mi Asphalt, Boardwalk
The Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park connects a bustling Grand Rapids community to the forests, farmlands, and friendly towns of Northern Lower Michigan. At nearly 93 miles, it is the state’s...
MI 92.6 mi Asphalt, Ballast, Crushed Stone, Gravel
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...
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...
MI 6.5 mi Asphalt, Gravel
The Irons Area Tourist Association maintains 60 miles of groomed trails for snowmobiles and ATVs in the Manistee National Forest. For more information, contact the tourist association or the national...
MI 60 mi Ballast
The 17-mile Leelanau Trail runs up a Lake Michigan peninsula that is known for its abundance of cherry orchards and Riesling grape vineyards. Located in northern Michigan, the paved trail connects the...
MI 16.6 mi Asphalt
Closure notice: As at April 2020, dangerous conditions due to erosion of the trail have necessitated the closure of portions of this trail. Visit the trail manager's website for closure details as...
MI 23.7 mi Asphalt
The 62-mile North Central State Trail offers a multiuse trail adventure into the hills, agricultural areas, woods, and waterways of Michigan, with connections to well-established tourist towns at both...
MI 62 mi Crushed Stone
When completed, the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail will wind for 27 miles through the stunning Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore—a national park on the shores of Lake Michigan in the northwest...
MI 21.2 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...
MI 5 mi Ballast, Dirt
The 13-mile Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation (TART) Trail provides trail users with extended waterfront access in Traverse City, the self-proclaimed Cherry Capital of the World, brushing by...
MI 13 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Wellston Area Tourist Association maintains about 64 miles of groomed trails for snowmobiling in the Manistee–Huron National Forest. For more information and maps, contact the Tourist...
MI 64 mi Ballast

Now, More Than Ever, Trails Matter!

During COVID-19, trails are being counted on as places where people can find solace and respite and we need your support to keep trails open and provide these critical FREE resources! Please continue to practice physical distancing and check the status of your trail before heading out!

Trails by activity

Recent Trail Reviews

Little Traverse Wheelway

Great Ride

September, 2020 by kimjdonaghy

We did this as a part of a ride from Charlevoix to Alpena and this was the best part of the ride by far. We parked the car for the week at the Charlevoix Township Hall and left a note on the dash of our route and contact info. Everything is paved and the signage was good. There are a couple of spots where the trail was washed out by high water, but it was easy to navigate around them. We just had to ride along the wide shoulder of the highway for a while. We were carrying full packs with camping gear so the smooth pavement was really nice.

North Central State Trail

Mackinaw to Cheboygon

September, 2020 by kimjdonaghy

We only rode a portion of the trail, but it was nice. We went in September 2020 after a hard rain the night before. In the areas near cities the trail had too much loose gravel but greatly improved as we got farther from towns. It was mostly hard packed clay and fairly smooth. Best suited for off-road bikes.

North Central State Trail

north central state trail

September, 2020 by djessie413

Worst trail ever! Loose gravel all the way to mackinaw. It would be better to ride on the actual railroad ties than to ride this trail. Needs ALOT of work.

Accordion

Leelanau Trail

Incorporate a Winery Visit into the Ride

September, 2020 by donnacreamer_tl

We parked our car on the roadside, near Shady Lane Winery, on Shady Lane Road( off of M 22). We rode into Suttons Bay and enjoyed the shops and lunch. You can ride back through the beautiful countryside and then go to the Shady Lane Cellars. The winery is gorgeous and welcomes cyclists.

Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park

Very nice trail

September, 2020 by ridem41

My favorite is the non paved section between Sand Lake and Big Rapids. Very unpopular section for most cyclist and families. That’s why it is very quiet. Don’t have to deal with walkers or bikers taking over the trail walking or biking multiple people across. I ride it few times a week.

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail

Spray paint is cheap

September, 2020 by utahfoto

First off, the hills and grades were no big deal. The trail had beautiful scenery and is probably the best maintained trail in Michigan. Definitely worth coming back to ride again and again. However, would it be too much to ask to spray paint trail turns on the asphalt, especially in the Glen Arbor area. Since many of the signs are obscured or missing altogether, it would be very helpful if the tarmac was marked. I plan to come back once the pending trail extensions are completed.

Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park

Getting really dangerous

August, 2020 by dballouksu23

Moved to Rockford because I wanted access to the White Pine Trail system. The trail is incredibly rough, especially for road bikes. The sections just north of Rockford after clearing the newly paved area are dangerous. I recently hit one bumpy series of ridges, and it instantly blew my front tire and I crashed. Additionally, the trail looks like a war zone with all the trees that have been uprooted and fallen across it from Rockford pretty much all the way up to Sand Lake. The windy conditions are not just a night time occurrence and it is just a matter of time before a tree falls and causes injury or worse to people during daytime hours when so many of us are on the trail. There needs to be a robust clearing of those trees that get uprooted so easily right on the trail. Finally, the ability to see at some of the road crossings is really limited and cyclists nearly have to get out into the roads before being able to see if cars are coming, and cars likely can't see the cyclists either because there is very little trimming of the heavy growth of vegetation. It's disappointing that a trail system that gets so much use, and that is one of the highlights that Rockford business people use as a selling point to attract residents, has not been maintained at a better level. I understand there are different townships the trail passes through, but the Rockford area (both north and south) is getting too rough and needs a great deal of work. There are rough spots all the way from 5/3 Stadium to Sand Lake that also need attention. What could be an outstanding trail has fallen into a state of disrepair in multiple places. Thank you.

Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park

Needs upgrading..

August, 2020 by gzymmb1

I rode this very nice trail starting in Comstock Park going north. From there to Sand Lake, the trail is a very nice one to ride: gently uphill, some small towns, smooth asphalt, and spots to rest. However, north of Sand Lake, the trail turns from asphalt to a gravel two-track, and sometimes just a one-track. It is a rough ride that a road-biker would not enjoy. It's a shame that this part hasn't been improved since it is a Michigan State Park. That's why I only give it 3 stars.

Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trail (TART)

Good

August, 2020 by adeleromain60

Good trail, we made the part along the lake with kids. The trail is too closed to the busy road, so it is noisy and dangerous with the young kids.

Little Traverse Wheelway

MI trail

August, 2020 by hkroseberry

August 2020 Rode on the trail twice on my first visit to the Lake Charlevoix area. Nice trail with some small hills, bumps and great views! Highly recommended!!

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail

Great trail, mostly through SBD. Southern third (Empire to Dune Climb) very hilly, with up to 10% grades. Fun for fit adults and teens. Was too much for my 10-year-old. Middle third (Dune Climb to Glen Arbor) paved, smooth, pretty flat, beautiful.

August, 2020 by christopher.e.dunn

Great trail, mostly through SBD. Southern third (Empire to Dune Climb) very hilly, with up to 10% grades. Fun for fit adults and teens. Was too much for my 10-year-old. Middle third (Dune Climb to Glen Arbor) paved, smooth, pretty flat, beautiful.

Little Traverse Wheelway

A little disappointed

August, 2020 by elizabeth.scuderi

Please note we only rode five miles from Magnus Park west. Three quarters of it were very picturesque but then we came to an area where the trail became a bike lane along a very busy, unattractive road. We turned around.

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