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Traverse City Bike Ride Routes: The Leelanau County Ride
July 9, 2018, 9:37 am

It’s summer, the traffic of Cherry Festival is already in the rearview mirror, and the excitement of the Tour de France is in full swing! July is the best time to put in some big miles in Leelanau County, and we’ve put together a route we think you’ll really love.

Our first ride is all paved and offers over 55 miles of scenic roads, big climbs, and unbelievable views. The LC Ride leaves Traverse City’s west side from Darrow Park, the real hub of road rides leaving town all summer long. The parks have restrooms through Labor Day, so if you’re dressed to roll, it’s a great place to start and end a ride.

Hopping on the TART, it’s a safe spot to cross M-72 before hitting Grandview, a long and gradual climb that serves as the gateway to Leelanau County. The climb gets steep twice, but overall, it’s a gentle 3% grade that gets the blood moving. You’re rewarded with a long descent on the other side, but take note; you’re coming up this same climb on the way home!  

It’s another climb on Kasson Road before you have your first views of Glen Lake. After climbing to beautiful Inspiration Point (you’re going to want to stop and see both lakes!) you round the lake and find the Sleeping Bear Dunes. The Dune Climb is one of the most famous stops in the world and it’s the pride of the County, but make sure you plan to see all the other great sights on the lakeshore, including Pierce Stocking Drive.

If you’re going to make a pit stop, it’s tough to beat Glen Arbor. There are a dozen great coffee shops, restaurants, and a market to fill up water bottles and fuel up with a cookie, fresh fruit, and a cup of coffee or two. There are also public restrooms that open at 8 am just off the main street; when you see Art’s Tavern, it’s on the next street to your right.

After your pit stop, get ready to climb up and away from the lakes. The famous climb up Trumbull Road is short but steep, with pitches of over 11% making you earn every foot of elevation. Make sure you take a look backward of your shoulder, however, because it’s a stunning and final view of Glen Lake before you spill over the top and head back to Traverse City.

For this route, we have you heading up Shimek Road, which is a gentle climb to get you close to Maple City. If you want to make the ride an even metric century, you can head north on Bohemian Road to Hlavka for a shaded climb that will add about 300 feet of elevation to the ride. After getting through Maple City, you’re in for a long climb back up Hoxie Road, which you’ve already gone down. Hoxie is more popularly known as “Philosophy” by area cyclists because while it’s never steep, it’s around 3 miles long and gives you plenty of time to think about life, bikes, and your sanity.

Stay tuned all summer as we feature some of our favorite routes, and let us know how you like them!


Cherry Festival Week Hours at City Bike Shop
July 2, 2018, 12:00 am

It's a big week in Traverse City! See what we've got cookin'. 

Explore Traverse City By Bike!
June 19, 2018, 12:00 am

There is no better way to experience, explore, and enjoy a new place than by bike! 

Go By Bike! Commuting To Beat Summer Traffic
June 12, 2018, 12:00 am

You get around faster and have way more fun by parking the car this summer! 

Great Race, Great Cause: Racing For Home
June 4, 2018, 12:00 am

This weekend, your bike racing habit can do some good. Head to Forty Five North Vineyard to support the Grand Traverse Region Habitat for Humanity at Racing for Home! 

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