Great Lakes Bike Tour
This bike tour touches four of the five Great Lakes: Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario. The tour also includes Niagara Falls, the Niagara River, the Welland Canals and Ontario vineyards.
The route follows the eastern shore of Lake Michigan where wind blown sands from as far away as North Dakota and Montana have piled up over thousands of years creating massive, and ever shifting, sand dunes. It turns east at Muskegon and cuts across the center of the lower peninsula of Michigan to the shore of Lake Huron. From there it heads south along the St. Claire River then crosses into Ontario, Canada and drops to the north shore of Lake Erie.
Lake Erie provides the scenic background to the route until Port Colborne where the ride turns north and follows bike paths along the Welland Canals to Lake Ontario. The Welland Canals are used by every ship that sails the waters from the St. Lawrence Seaway to the upper Great Lakes. The final segment of the tour rolls through the vineyards of Niagara on the Lake to the Niagara River, follows the river south to the Canadian side of the falls. Riders looking for transportation home can stay on the bike trail to Fort Erie and cross the Peace Bridge to Buffalo, NY. The route continues to either Amtrak or Buffalo International Airport.
Great Lakes Bike Tour part 1 Mobile map
Great Lakes Bike Tour part 2 Mobile map
Part 1 follows the eastern shore of Lake Michigan with its massive sand dunes, pretty shoreline towns and quiet back roads, then heads east across Central Michigan to the southwest shore of Lake Huron.
The route follows the shore south to the St. Claire River, passageway for the giant Lake Freighters that ply the Great Lakes.
Stop at Marine City, the point where the tour crosses the St. Claire into Canada, or take the ferry across the river and follow a bike path south to Port Lambton.
Part 2 of the tour connects to the north shore of Lake Erie, the third Great Lake of the tour, and follows it to the Niagara Falls/Welland Canals area.
Lake Freighters use the Welland Canals to bypass the Niagara River. A quiet bike path follows the canals north from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, the fourth and last Great Lake. The route continues east through Ontario vineyards to the Canadian bank of the Niagara River.
An attractive, although often busy, bike path follows the river south to Fort Erie and a bike friendly river crossing to the city of Buffalo, New York on the United States side. Buffalo has an international airport and Amtrak for your return trip, or you can extend your ride by touring the Allegheny Mountains and historic Virginia.
Download the Great Lakes Bike Tour to your phone or tablet.
Great Lakes Bike Tour part 1: Lake Michigan shoreline, central Michigan, Lake Huron, St. Claire River
Great Lakes Bike Tour part 2: North shore of Lake Erie, Welland Canals, Ontario vineyards, Niagara River, Niagara Falls
Great Lakes Bike Tour Narrative A first person account of the tour.