A Michigan classic!
Celebrate 33 years of traveling spectacular Lake Michigan during the 2019 Shoreline West Bicycle Tour, August 3-10. Be part of an unforgettable seven-day vacation as you pedal tree-lined roadways and past breathtaking waterfront views. Enjoy local wineries, brewpubs, farmer’s markets, crystal-clear lakes, historic resort towns, and the iconic Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, voted Most Beautiful Place in America! This fully supported route begins in Montague and ends at the head of the world-famous Mackinac Bridge. Come and see why the west side of Michigan has been heralded as a must-cycle destination for riders of all ages.
7-Day – Montague to Mackinaw City
- LMB Members: $450
- Non-Members: $480
- Minors (17 & under): $285
- Non-Riders/Private SAGs: $265
3-Day – Traverse City to Mackinaw City
- LMB Members: $325
- Non-Members: $340
- Minors (17 & under): $190
- Non-Riders/Private SAGs: $125
Registration coming January 1, 2019
Please note that the linked routes are from the 2018 ride. They are subject to change for 2019.
Saturday 8/3/19 - Montague Check-In
- Check-in for 7-day riders.
- Pre-tour bus from Mackinaw City to Montague.
- Optional ride (no SAG support).
Join us in the afternoon at Montague High School for packet pick-up. Once you’ve settled in, feel free to hit the beach at Duck Lake Channel or Lake Michigan – the former will put a smile on your face, while the latter will most definitely wake you up! If you’re hoping to get a feel for some local history, the White River Light Station Museum is worth a check-out. There are plenty of charms to be found in downtown Montague as well, including the world’s largest weathervane.
Our first dinner will be served at the high school. Once you’ve had your fill, we will convene for a mandatory rider meeting at 7:00 pm. Welcome to Shoreline West!
Sun 8/4/19 - to Ludington (60 miles)
Get ready to sample a little bit of everything that Lake Michigan has to offer. Our route will begin with a brief cut south and west to join with the coast. After that, it’s smooth sailing as we wind our way north towards Ludington, all the while shadowed by pristine beaches and breathtaking views. In the process, we’ll pass the Little Sable Point Lighthouse. Built in 1874, it is one of the oldest brick lighthouses on the Great Lakes, and an excellent spot for a quick break.
Before entering the town of Silver Lake, we will pass by one of our favorite stops of the whole trip: Cherry Point Market, where you can chill out with your fellow riders and sample some of the delicious home-baked goods on offer. Once you’ve trucked on to Silver Lake, feel free to explore the dunes on one of several dune rides offered there.
The best lunch stop today is the small but bustling town of Pentwater. A number of public parks in the town offer excellent access to Lake Michigan.
As we get closer to Ludington, check out the Consumers Energy Pump Storage Facility, which offers a scenic overlook of the coastline that is sure to impress.
The fun doesn’t stop once we’ve arrived in Ludington, though. The Waterfront Walkway stretches from Stearns Park to Waterfront Park, where a number of awesome sculptures depict scenes from local history. Around 7:00 pm, you can watch the docking of the SS Badger. There are also a number of great beaches and a state park to choose from.
Mon 8/5/19 - to Frankfort (64 miles)
On our second day, you’ll get a peek at some of Michigan’s more varied terrain. A couple big climbs await as we make our way towards Frankfort, but you’ll be rewarded in between by the charming towns of Manistee and Onekama. Each has their own unique character and strong history. In Manistee, the North Pierhead Lighthouse was established in 1927 and is still in use today.
Today’s big climb is Arcadia Hill, located just past the small town of Arcadia. At a 12% grade, the half-mile climb can be punishing – but your mind is sure to be set on the juicy watermelon we’ll be serving at the top. As you enjoy your reward, be sure to climb to the top of the scenic overlook. The view is absolutely stunning.
Frankfort is an ideal town for us to stay in: easily walkable, with a number of great restaurants and shops. Be sure to check out Stormcloud Brewing on Main Street, then finish out the evening by watching the sunset from the public beach just down the street.
Tues 8/6/19 - to Traverse City (62 miles)
- Early check-in for 3-day riders.
- View route.
Today is the day many of you have been waiting for! Our route will take us through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a federally protected stretch of coastline which is consistently voted one of the most beautiful places in the country.
We’ll pass the Point Betsie Lighthouse as we roll out of Frankfort. It was established in 1858 and is still active today. Until 1996, the U.S. Coast Guard used the attached quarters as a residence.
Along the way, you can also stop at Riverside Canoe Trips, a popular rest stop for our riders who are looking for some light refreshments. You might even be able to sneak in a quick float in a canoe or kayak!
As we approach the small town of Empire, the terrain will begin to morph into the characteristic beauty of the Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore. The rolling hills will take us past coastal dunes and clear lakes, dense beech-maple forests, and bluffs which tower nearly 500 feet over the water. You’ll need to see it to believe it.
According to Ojibwe legend, the lakeshore is named after a mother bear who fled with her two cubs from a forest fire on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The three of them swam across the lake, but upon reaching the safety of the opposite shore, the mother realized that her cubs were nowhere in sight. She decided to wait for their return. The Great Spirit, impressed with her resilience, created the North and South Manitou Islands to commemorate the cubs, and then covered the sleeping mother bear with sand. The mound which is the original ‘sleeping bear’ can still be seen today.
The town of Glen Arbor provides an ideal opportunity to stop for lunch and enjoy some local cherry delights. As we leave town, the scenery will transition into a series of peaceful farming communities. A number of climbs will be rewarded with a long descent into Traverse City.
The Traverse Bay area is one of the top vacation destinations in the Midwest, and you’re sure to see why as you explore all of the wonders that it has to offer.
Wed 8/7/19 - Layover and Traverse City Check-In
- Layover in Traverse City.
- Check-in for 3-day riders.
- Optional ride on Old Mission Peninsula or to Suttons Bay (no SAG support).
After a few tough days of riding, you owe it to yourself to take it easy during our layover day! The Traverse Bay area offers a multitude of attractions – from local breweries to kayak tours to independent boutiques, you’re sure to find something that strikes your fancy.
For those whose legs are still itchy for more pedaling, feel free to cruise up the Old Mission Peninsula, which is known for its beautiful homes, bright cherry orchards, and plentiful wineries. It is also possible to visit the Old Mission Lighthouse, established in 1870 and deactivated in 1933. This route is unsupported.
We will serve breakfast, but not lunch or dinner. Some of the best restaurants in northern Michigan can be found in Traverse City.
Thu 8/8/19 - to Charlevoix (58 miles)
For those sunflower lovers among you, this will be your lucky day! We will strike out from Traverse City heading east before curving to the north as we head towards Elk Rapids, a small town situated right between Lake Michigan and Elk Lake. This is the best time to get your sunflower fix – the fields approaching Elk Rapids are absolutely full of them!
We will continue north, hugging the coastline as we pass through tiny villages. Blink, and you’ll miss them! The terrain becomes slightly hilly as we approach Charlevoix, but you’ll be rewarded by our most peaceful and secluded campsite of the whole ride.
Fri 8/9/19 - to Harbor Springs (three options)
Spirit day! Be sure to wear your favorite jersey featuring the college, club, or ride of your choice. We will gather for a photo in the morning before rolling out for Harbor Springs.
For this journey, riders have three options. Those wishing to take it easy can follow the Little Traverse Wheelway trail on a more-or-less direct path through the town of Petoskey and into Harbor Springs. This route offers spectacular views of Lake Michigan.
If you want a bit more challenge, feel free to cut around the south arm of Lake Charlevoix, through the towns of East Jordan and Boyne City, and north to join the Wheelway. If you’re feeling it, you can test your mettle by conquering the famous Wall outside of East Jordan. Be warned, though – only the toughest can cut it!
Don’t want to ride the long route, but not sure if the trail is for you? No worries. Take the Ironton Ferry across the south arm of Lake Charlevoix and continue on through East Jordan and Boyne City. This will cut nearly ten miles off of the total distance.
Regardless of how you get there, Harbor Springs offers much to the touring cyclist. The ride into town along Beach Drive takes us past some mind-bogglingly beautiful summer homes, while the town itself hosts great restaurants, tasteful art galleries, a large marina, and fudge shops galore!
Sat 8/10/19 - to Mackinaw City (43 miles)
- Ride end.
- Post-tour bus returns to Montague.
- View route.
This is it. The final day of Shoreline West. As you pedal through the historic and endlessly scenic Tunnel of Trees on your way to our final destination of Mackinaw City, your mind is sure to be overflowing with all of the memories made over the past days. Thankfully, the final stretch through the Tunnel is a beautiful sendoff.
Passing through the town of Cross Village, be sure to stop and check out the Legs Inn. The historic building is built on a bluff overlooking the lake, so be sure to get a glimpse of the lighthouses and islands visible from the back.
Once you see the unmistakable towers of the Mackinac Bridge, you’ll know that you’re nearing our destination. Enjoy the last few miles as you roll into Mackinaw City.
From Our Riders
“I love Michigan, to ride my bike, and this tour was like a trip back in time to childhood places I knew and loves. I really enjoyed meeting so many people from all over…that be the best part of the trip!”
B. Flannery, 2015 Participant
“I love the beautiful route! I love that there are too many things to do each day. I love the wonderful, helpful staff and volunteers! I love the maps and daily information sheets. Loved all of the fruit and vegetables offered with the meals. I’ve done numerous state rides over the years and while they all have something to offer, this is my all-time favorite ride.”
J. Grey, 2015 Participant
“It goes through a beautiful part of the state; wonderful to meet so many people from out of state and fun to ‘show off’ Michigan. Makes me proud to be a Michigander. I like large group rides, and I like the enrgy it generates.”
D. Sherman, 2015 Participant
“Not being familiar with Michigan, I enjoyed seeing the beautiful countryside and becoming acquainted with the charming towns along the route. Specifically, I enjoyed the miles of Michigan’s respect for keeping the countryside trash-free. The spectacularly crystal-clear lake water was stunning, and being an avid swimmer, I made sure that I took time out from riding to get some laps in! I also enjoyed meeting so many nice bicyclists who participated in the ride. One of the most incredible highlights of the ride were the long-term volunteers who were the backbones of the tour.”
J. Dvorak, 2015 Participant
LMB offers two busing options to ensure you get back to your car after ride’s end:
- Pre-Tour Bus – Aug. 3 from Mackinaw City to Montague – $65
- Post-Tour Bus – Aug. 10 from Mackinaw City to Traverse City and Montague – $65
Bus tickets can be purchased during registration or by clicking on the button below. Please note that riders who are signed up for the post-tour bus will not have time to visit Mackinac Island at the end of the ride.
For additional information concerning busing, please consult the rider information guide linked above.
Mackinac Island Ferry Tickets
Don’t miss out on your chance to visit Mackinac Island – voted one of America’s best islands by Condé Nast in 2018. Sample delicious fudge, enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride, or simply marvel at the countless breathtaking views scattered throughout miles of protected wilderness. With no cars to get in your way, you’re sure to love the time spent pedaling around the island – and around, and around…
Tickets can be purchased during registration or by clicking the button below. They can be picked up from the Shepler’s Ferry booth in Mackinaw City. Please note that riders who are signed up for the post-tour bus will not have time to visit the island.
For additional information concerning ferry tickets, please consult the rider information guide linked above.
Shoreline West 2019 Jersey
This year’s jersey can be purchased during registration or by clicking the button below:
A standard cotton T-shirt is included with all registrations. Upgrade to a moisture management performance fabric T-shirt for $18.
Tired after a long day of riding? Camping not exactly your specialty? No worries. Joining us for their eighteenth year on Shoreline West, Bubba’s Pampered Pedalers are ready to cater to your every need.
Amenities provided by Bubba and his crew include tent setup and teardown, air mattresses for added comfort, bath towels, baggage transportation, and much more. Click the button below to check out a full list of benefits and to register for pampering.
And remember: with Bubba, it’s ALL GOOD!
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!
Registration coming January 1, 2019
4900 Stanton Blvd
Montague, MI 49437