Traverse City, MI Birding Trails and Maps

282 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
16 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

Boyne Valley Trailway

6.3 mi
State: MI
Asphalt

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
Though the plan for a trail along the former Boyne City, Gaylord & Alpena Railroad has existed since at least 2000, it took two decades to see the trail come to fruition. Thanks to the persistent...
MI 6.3 mi Asphalt
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 of 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

Leelanau Trail

Great Combination of Trail quality and scenery with ease of riding

July, 2021 by alacitelli

My wife and I rode this trail in July 2021 starting at the Cherry Bend trailhead riding north to Suttons Bay.

The trail is in excellent condition - no debris, no cracks or bumps. Plenty of riders on the trail, all of whom follow proper riding etiquette (including the road bikes!!) with plenty of waving and hellos.

There are only a few roads to cross, mostly rural dirt with no traffic, only two with a little traffic. From where we started at Cherry Bend Rd going north we passed several other trailheads where one can park and make it a shorter ride.

Port-a-johns and bathrooms are along the way at convenient places.

The northbound trail has a slight incline most of the way to Suttons Bay but it isn't really that noticeable, but of course on the way back down the ride is easier.

Plenty of scenery from forest to fields to farms and ponds to view and enjoy. Once arriving in Suttons Bay there is the Hop Lot Brewery just off the trail which requires a slight jog and a few feet on a main road. However, the shoulders of all the roads in this area are wide and made for bikes and the drivers are quite familiar with bikes and give us a wide berth, so don't worry.

Lots of bikes in the bike rack at Hop Lot and plenty of eating outside. The beer is cold and the food is tasty - a welcome reward for the ride up.

Just 1/2 mile on the main road shoulder takes you into Harbor Springs (unless you just skipped the lunch and stayed on the trail). We locked up at the Suttons Bay Bike Shop. You've got to visit this shop!

Nick Wierzba owns the shop, which has a ton of bikes of all sorts to rent along with a full repair shop and tons of clothing and accessories. The best part is that everyone that works there is amazing and experienced but kind to all, from novice to experienced bikers.

Jordan gave me a wonderful off-trail route on back roads to go around Lake Leelanau. They also have guided and self-guided bike tours of the wineries, and arrange to pick up your wine purchases and bring them back to the shop. The BATA bus (which also carries bikes) has a stop right behind the shop. They also rent bikes for winter rides and have an excellent winter ride program.

Overall, nothing to be critical of with this trail. Enjoy the ride!

Boyne Valley Trailway

Boyne Mountain to Young State Park

July, 2021 by bkn94

Hop on your bike at Boyne Mountain Resort and ride to Young State Park! Trail access is right at the resort. Just walk out your front door! Trail is a brand NEW paved , easy ride to Boyne City. 12 mi RT. I rode through Boyne City and picked up the Boyne City to Charlevoix Trail on to Young State Park. (RT 26mi) Overall Beautiful Ride! Note: When BC to Charlevoix Trail is completed it will add another 15 miles ONE WAY from Boyne City! Can’t Wait! So Bring Your Bike! Have Fun! I have fun

Little Traverse Wheelway

Great trail but...

July, 2021 by gillie

I just have one suggestion for the Little Traverse Wheelway and that is to add bathroom/portajohn somewhere between the Harbor Springs airport (thank you to the PortaJohn people for that one - it's always clean and well maintained!) to the Trailhead in Harbor Springs. The "restrooms" on the way to downtown are always locked though well marked :(. For women especially, having something along the way would be helpful. There is a park with a portajohn near the trailhead but you have to cross M119 which can be very busy - it is out of the way. Petoskey does a great job with this - Harbor Springs can do better! Thanks.

Accordion

North Central State Trail

Short Section

July, 2021 by xfpcdx56mb

Wife and I rode Cheboygan to Topinabee round trip 26 miles. So lucky to have experienced this wonderful reuse of old rail lines.

Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trail (TART)

NICE TRAIL, BUT

July, 2021 by wkanouse

My wife and I rode the trail this morning starting in Acme, going into Traverse City and then connecting with the Leelanau Trail. Trail was not hard to follow until we enter Traverse City. Trail markings were non-existent, and there are numerous branches. No markings on the pavement and needless to say we lost the main trail. Took some time and assistance from local riders we were able to finally find our way. This trail needs better signage.

Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park

Reed City to Leroy

July, 2021 by stevej371

Biked this section of the WP trail a couple days ago.
The section (.4 mile) of unpaved trail near Ashton, was being surveyed.
One of them said the culvert under the trail is due to be improved and the rest of the trail paved...in the near future.
Already some heavy equipment parked nearby.

Leelanau Trail

nice ride

July, 2021 by bhawkllc

This is probably one of the best trails in Michigan. Paved , smooth all the way from Traverse City to Suttons Bay. If you happen to be here in may the cherry blossoms are out. If fall the colors are wonderful. We happen to be on this trail in June this time. The trail is somewhat busy but no problems at all. Go to Suttons Bay for lunch and shopping they have bike racks all over the city. Enjoy this gem.

Betsie Valley Trail

nice ride

July, 2021 by bhawkllc

We started in Frankfort , park behind the police station. Its a great ride from Frankfort to Beulah about half way. The path up to this point is very good. Stop a Beulah for a break and go across the street to two restaurants and get some great eats. The bike path after this point gets a rougher larger rocks and and uneven surfaces. Note that if its been raining a lot this trail tends to flood by the lakes , there are detours you can take to go around.
Enjoy

Leelanau Trail

My Favorite Rail Trail!

June, 2021 by natalieolson0872

This is an absolutely beautiful trail! Since it was paved from Traverse City to Sutton’s Bay, the trail is smooth, with gentle inclines and descents. It winds through forests, orchards, vineyards, and farms. Absolutely spectacular scenery. And a great workout without huge hills that stress the joints! My husband and I have ridden many rails to trails pathways in many states and this one is in the top 5! Love it!

Leelanau Trail

great inline skating trail

May, 2021 by 9mzxsx2b9q

so hard to find a good smooth trail for inline skating in northern mi. this trail definitely is made for it! a flat rail trail with great scenery.

Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park

excellent!

May, 2021 by junkforwayne

I rode the entirety of the trail today - which at 93 miles was a plenty. The scenery is beautiful, plenty of black squirrels (don’t have those in my neck of the woods), rabbits, and best of all - peace and quiet. Plenty of amenities along the way and you end at the lake - which is beautiful!

Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park

Grand Rapids to Rockford

April, 2021 by bklemz_tl

Rode from Riverside Park to Rockford and back. Beautiful trail! Plenty of varied scenery along the way to keep from getting bored. First five miles or so follows alongside the Grand River. Rockford has a perfect setting for refreshments (food, ice cream, beverages) along with a very nice riverside park. Trail was paved the entire way and in reasonable shape, just minor bumps. Definitely worth a repeat visit -- I'll try to go further next time.

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