A True Off-the-Grid Adventure!
This year we have a brand new route and we are ecstatic to share with you! In 2019 MUP explores the central area of the Upper Peninsula. The Tour begins and ends in Manistique. A mid-tour layover day in Marquette will give you plenty of time to discover its treasures. From Munising, you can take a cruise to Pictured Rocks, or take a ferry to Grand Island to experience the rugged beauty on one of the Upper Peninsula’s largest islands, which features miles of hiking and mountain bike trails.
Thank you for riding with the League of Michigan Bicyclists in 2019. Tour proceeds fund LMB’s mission to make bicycling safe and convenient for everyone in Michigan. Proceeds support LMB’s Micro-Grant Program to help fund on-the-ground advocacy work that promotes safe bicycling, especially among youth and underserved populations.
- LMB Members: $450
- Non-Members: $480
- Minors (17 & under): $285
- Non-Riders/Private SAGs: $265
The Upper Peninsula (UP) contains 29% of the land area of Michigan but just 3% of its total population. Residents are frequently called Yoopers (derived from “U.P.-ers”). Locals are proud of their heritage, the region’s rugged natural beauty and disdain of the “trolls” below the Mackinac Bridge. The area’s culture revolves around food like Cornish pasties (meat pies favored by miners), the sauna and all things Finnish, and a dialect celebrated with call to “say YA to da UP, eh!” More people visit the UP to see the many waterfalls than anything else.
MUP is a paved road bicycle tour. This year, cyclists have a small, optional, gravel trail to add to their ride.
Routes are subject to change.
UPDATE, Jan. 17 2019: We’ve decided to change the stop between Escanaba and Marquette from North Dickinson to Crystal Falls.
Sat-Sun 7/6/19-7/7/19 - Manistique Check-In
After checking in at Manistique on Saturday or Sunday you may enjoy the many attractions in the area before riding begins on Monday.
Among the many sites is the big spring, Kitch-iti-kipi, Michigan’s largest freshwater spring. Stroll along the Manistique boardwalk, or visit the many lighthouses in the area. Take a tour of the fish hatchery that keeps the great lakes stocked with musky, walleye, and salmon. If you are feeling lucky, visit the Kewadin Casino. Many national forests and historic sites surround the area.
Mon 7/8/19 - Manistique to Escanaba (65 miles)
Enjoy long views of Lake Michigan as you travel from Manistique. The first day on the MUP explores the shoreline, state forests and bays along Lake Michigan, including Big Bay du Noc. Along the route, visit Garden Bay winery to visit one of the few wineries in the Upper Peninsula. The route passes through Gladstone, right on Little Bay du Noc, offering many opportunities for lunch and exploring around town, before continuing on to the route. In Gladstone, the Boardwalk offers great views of the harbor and beach. After continuing out of Gladstone, a short detour from Lambert could take you to Chandler Falls Dam before completing the ride in Escanaba. When you arrive in Escanaba, a variety of options are available, such as a visit to the Sand Point lighthouse, local breweries, or the Delta County historical museum.
Tues 7/9/19 - Escanaba to Crystal Falls (75 miles)
Day three of the tour takes into the rugged wilderness of the Upper Peninsula, to the small city of Crystal Falls. You will experience the forest canopy for nearly the entire 75 mile trip to Crystal Falls, but also pass through the tiny farm communities of Metropolitan and Felch. Metropolitan was founded by the Metropolitan Mining Company, and remains of the iron ore mine are not far from Metropolitan.
Cross into the central time zone and enjoy an extra hour of sleep or riding in the city of Crystal Falls, named after an icy waterfall on the Paint River. Founded as a mining town, Crystal Falls‘ most recent claim to fame is the nearby 100-ton “humongous fungus”, celebrated with an annual August festival.
Wed 7/10/19 - Crystal Falls to Marquette (75 miles)
Today you get to experience the many topographical features of the upper peninsula as you continue north through lakes and forests to Marquette, which is the gateway to the Lake Superior area. Along the way, you’ll pass through the tiny hamlet of Republic, and traverse over the Greenwood Reservoir, which served as an impoundment for nearby mining and offers outstanding fishing.
If you are a ski fan, be sure to plan a visit to the National Ski Hall of Fame in Ishpeming, a town of 6,000 along the route that also hosts the Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum and Michigan Iron Industry Museum. You’ll spend some time on the paved Iron Ore Heritage Bike Trail as you continue through the forest, and enjoy a five-mile descent into Marquette, where you will spend the next two nights of well-earned rest.
Thu 7/11/19 - Layover Day in Marquette (optional 16 or 55 miles)
Today is your day to do as you please. The layover day in Marquette offers the opportunity to visit the many historical, maritime and cultural attractions in the area. Visit the historic iron ore upper dock to see freighters loaded with ore. Explore the many local breweries in the charming downtown area. Local museums highlight the history of the area, including the Maritime Museum and the Regional History Center. Presque Isle Park is a must-see, with gorgeous views of Lake Superior, cliffs, and beaches, and several hiking trails.
An optional unsupported out and back bike tour of up to 52 miles on the Big Bay 550 route will be offered for those who wish to continue the pedaling during the late morning of the layover day. This route offers gorgeous views of the bay. For a shorter ride, take the 12-mile Marquette self-guided bike tour, which includes a trip to Presque Isle Park, where you can add an additional 10 miles of beautiful riding around the park.
Fri 7/12/19 - Marquette to Munising (44-54 miles)
Always on your left, the Lake Superior shoreline is skirted by the route in many locations. As you exit Marquette, you will ride on the paved portion of the Iron Ore Heritage Trail for approximately six miles to Harvey, offering close up views of the lake. The quirky Lakenenland Sculpture Park, about 15 miles outside of Marquette is a must-see, featuring scrap-iron sculptures and interactive exhibits.
After exiting Lakenenland, you will visit the interior shoreline of Lake Superior before passing through Au Train and Au Train Beach. Feel free to stop and swim, or just visit Au Train for lunch before continuing on to Munising, the gateway to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Upon arriving at Munising, many opportunities to explore Pictured Rocks await. The short mileage day leaves plenty of time to take a Pictured Rocks cruise, bike to Munising Falls, or take the ferry to Grand Island to explore the numerous trails on the island. Try your hand at mountain biking or even rent a kayak. A side trip to Sand Point Marsh and lighthouse offers more scenic vistas of the shoreline and topography of the region.
Sat 7/13/19 -Munising to Manistique (49 miles)
Hope for tailwinds on your final day as the route on the final day takes you nearly due south the entire way to Manistique. You’ll spend your day in the Hiawatha National Forest. This forest was founded in 1909 by President Theodore Roosevelt.
Pictured Rocks Boat Tour
Join LMB for a boat tour of the Pictured Rocks, voted the most beautiful place in Michigan by Condé Nast Traveler! View the breathtaking cliffs, mysterious caves, and eye-popping colors of one of Michigan’s most well-known destinations. LMB has chartered a private boat for our riders, so space is limited.
The tour will take place on Friday evening. Sign up now!
MUP 2019 Jersey
The 2019 jersey design is coming soon. You can be pre-purchase it during registration or through LMB’s shopping cart using the link below. A limited supply will be available during the event. Past jerseys and other MUP gear are also available for pre-order through our store.
A standard cotton T-shirt is included with all registrations. Upgrade to a moisture management performance fabric T-shirt for $18.
Comfy Campers Tent Service is available on this tour! You can choose full service or a la carte and have their friendly staff set up and take down your camp. They supply you with a tent, air mattress, bath towel, and/or camp chair. Please visit the Comfy Campers website for more information and to sign up.
Optional Third Bag
Riders are politely reminded that their luggage should be limited to two soft-sided bags each weighing forty pounds or less. Can’t fit it all in two? Add an extra bag for a small fee.
- Helmets are required whenever a rider is on a bicycle.
- Riders must be able to ride 60+ miles a day. The terrain can be hilly.
- Riders must carry spare tubes and be able to change a flat tire.
- Riders must have at least one and preferably two water bottles on their bicycle.
- Riders must have a positive attitude at all times!
W Lakeshore Drive