Motorcycle Rides Near Me in Michigan

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Have you ever asked the question:  Where are the best motorcycle rides near me in Michigan (MI)? 

Whether you are simply looking for new motorcycle rides & roads in Michigan to try or if you are focused on trying to find only the best motorcycle rides in Michigan, learning of all your motorcycle road options can be more difficult than you may realize.  Even those riders with many years of experience driving motorcycles in the The Great Lakes State can find a great motorcycle ride that they had driven near or past a million times with out ever thinking to try it.  Or, these same riders may just happen to talk to another motorcycle rider and learn about some nearby great motorcycle roads in an area that they’ve never thought to check out.  So, (McR) has put together this short little guide aimed at helping you better answer the question - What are my best options for motorcycle rides near me in Michigan?”  

*Rankings for Michigan motorcycle rides were accurate at the time this guide was published/updated in Feb of 2020 (for more information, see Note 1 at the bottom of this article).  Additionally, McR uses a proprietary algorithm to calculate motorcycle ride popularity (for more information, see see Note 2 also at at the bottom of this article). 

Closest US Motorcycle Riding Hotspot to Michigan

First, if you are a Michigan motorcycle rider that is willing to travel a bit to wherever the best motorcycle rides are, then I need to tell you about some motorcycle riding HOTSPOTS across the United States.  After 20+ years of collecting data on 1,000s of great US motorcycle roads & rides, motorcycle rider reviews and ratings of those motorcycle roads, along with thousands of photos and videos, it has become clear that some regions of the USA are simply motorcycle riding Hotspots.  And, the particular motorcycle riding hotspot that is the nearest to the state of Michigan is located to not too far away in southeastern Ohio.  I'll provide you some specific information about that hotspot below but you need to realize that there are other hotspots located in different regions of the US that you may want to consider traveling to at some point in your "motorcycle riding lifetime."  Each of these hotspots act like “magnets for motorcycling” and are depicted in the map image below.

US motorcycle riding hotspots


Showcase: The Southeast Ohio Motorcycle Riding Hotspot

mc riding hotspot near Michigan  - Southeast Ohio

The nearest motorcycle riding hotspot to Michigan is the surprising Southeastern Ohio.  Eastern Ohio is just to the southeast of Michigan by at least a couple hour drive if you are starting in southern Michigan say near some of the larger southern towns/cities such as Detroit, Kalamazoo, or Lansing.  Of course if you live further up north in Michigan near communities like Grand Rapids, Saginaw, or the Upper Peninsula, etc., your ride will be longer for a Southeast Ohio motorcycling pilgrimage. 

And, as motorcycle riding hotspots go, Southeast Ohio is one of the more compact hotspots so once you get to that area, you will not have far distances to travel from one great motorcycle ride to another. Admittedly, Ohio is probably not one of the first states that comes to mind when you hear the concept of a motorcycle riding hotspot. When I started way back in 1998, I surely would have never guessed that this area would end up being on of the most popular in the country. However, the amount of website visitor traffic, the raving motorcycle rider reviews, and the overall enthusiasm around Ohio’s southeast corner unmistakably point to this area being a true riding hotspot.  as this region draws in motorcycle riders from all over the USA. 

Admittedly, Ohio is probably not one of the first states that comes to mind when you think about a hot spot for motorcycle riding, but the amount of visitor traffic, the raving reviews, and the enthusiasm around Ohio’s southeast corner unmistakably point this area out as a US motorcycle riding hotspot as this region draws in riders from all over the USA. 

ohio hot spot appalachian plateau

"Why is southeastern Ohio a mecca for motorcycle riders?" you may ask.  The wonderful Southeastern Ohio curves are a result of the 'marvelous for motorcycling' topography/terrain of this region which is referred to as the Appalachian Plateau.  The Appalachian Plateau is area covered in rolling hills and valleys.  The Appalachian Plateau covers portions of a number of US states but is part of a particularly that get particularly steeper and more pronounced as you go further south making this the most rugged region of Ohio and potentially that of the entire US Midwest.  Southeast Ohio absolutely dominates in terms of the most popular motorcycle rides in the Midwest region with 4 of the Top 5 ranked routes.  So if you are looking for a Midwestern motorcycle hotspot and love curves and twistees, you will want to focus on these stand out Ohio motorcycle rides:

Since the remaining three motorcycle riding hotspots are significantly further away than the Southeastern Ohio hotspot, I didn't go over those other hotspots.  However, if you are interested in learning about those any of those other US motorcycling centers of gravity, simply visit our Motorcycle Rides Near Me in the USA guide where you can read the detailed and full report.


Iconic US Motorcycle Rides

Now if you are interested in not just hotspots but the USA's hottest individual motorcycle rides that are generally considered to be the very best motorcycle roads in the entire USA, then I need to tell you about the motorcycle rides that have reached iconic status. And, fortunately for you, one of these iconic motorcycle rides is located in your state of Michigan!  Overall, these are rides that all die hard motorcycling riding enthusiasts should add to his/her motorcycle riding bucket list.  The short list of these premium motorcycle rides in the USA are as follows:


  tail of the dragon photo

The Dragon – This is a route that starts at the North Carolina and Tennessee border and goes north from there for 11-miles into Tennessee.  This motorcycle ride goes by many names such as The Dragon, the Tail of the Dragon, Deal’s Gap, and/or the Dragon’s Tail.  Call it what you want, but this is most likely the most famous motorcycle road in the entire world … yes, world.  It is known for its collection of incredible curves compressed into a short stretch of 11-miles ... 318 curves in those mere 11-miles.   


  blue ridge parkway photo

The Blue Ridge Parkway – like The Tail of the Dragon discussed above, the next iconic motorcycle ride is also world famous yet this is anything but a short ride as it covers a whopping 469-miles!  This route is covers large portions of both Virginia and North Carolina and has been enchanting both motorcycle riders and car drivers for decades.


  three sisters motorcycle ride texas

Three Sisters – the next iconic motorcycle ride takes us down way down south & “deep in the heart of Texas” with a motorcycle ride that also goes by a few different names (Ranch Roads 335, 336,337a, or “The Twisted Sisters,” or simply “The Three Sisters”) and is positioned in an area known as Texas Hill country just northwest of San Antonio, Texas.  The ride has a cult following of riders and like the other iconic rides, draws motorcycle riders in from not just the USA but all parts of the world. 


  pch motorcycle ride

Hwy 1 - Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) – Beyond a doubt, the most iconic motorcycle ride in the west is the Pacific Coast Highway and is also one of the most famous scenic drive in all of the world.  This quintessential road trip up (or down) the California coast became popular when it was glamorized by a variety of movies and TV shows and has only grown in popularity over time.  It offers gentle curves and breathtaking scenery as well as world class amenities along the coast and in the cities/towns that grace its path.  


  tunnel of trees motorcycle ride michigan

If you’re looking for a iconic motorcycle ride in the Midwest, The Tunnel of Trees Road is like the PCH of the Midwest and like PCH (described above), this route is also a “shore hugger.”  It offers riders great lake shore scenery off to the west with a canopy of green foliage from above.  The ride is a favorite among Midwestern motorcycle riders and is particularly captivating in the fall when the autumn colors mesmerize riders as the ride beneath a canopy of golds, oranges, and scarlet reds.  


  beartooth motorcycle ride montana wyoming

The last iconic American motorcycle ride on our list is the most extreme in many aspects as it is located in a sparsely populated area in northern Wyoming and crossing over into an equally sparsely populated area of Southern Montana and is referred to as Beartooth Pass .  The route is extreme for the fact that for the sheer mountain cliffs and switchbacks as well as the fact that it can throw snow & ice into the mix as late as July.  It not only offers riders unrivaled mountain scenery but also has the added bonus of putting riders within a short drive to the quintessential US National Park - Yellowstone.   





So far we have told you about Michigan's nearest motorcycle riding hotspot as well as some iconic US motorcycle roads that are spread out around the USA. Yet if you are not up for the travel and simply want to find the answer to the question - "Where are motorcycle rides near me in Michigan?", then read on as I describe 5 of the very best motorcycle rides in Michigan below.  Each of these rides has been a top ranked motorcycle ride in Michigan for years as our McR ranking algorithm (see note 2 below) doesn't let a newly added ride simply jet right up to the top of the list of motorcycle roads but instead factors in the route's popularity over time by looking at many different factors that indicate a motorcycle road's popularity (e.g., page views for that motorcycle road, the number of motorcycle riders following that route, the number of times that route has been saved to riders' To Ride list, the number of times that motorcycle ride has been saved to a riders' Rode It list, the number of motorcycle ride photos or videos that have been uploaded to that page, etc, etc.).  Keep in mind however, that even though we use a somewhat complex rating algorithm to keep 'undeserving routes' from erratically rising to the top, certainly the ratings can & do change over time and so the list you see below of the best motorcycle rides in Michigan was current at the time of the publication of this guide to the best motorcycle rides near me - Michigan (date of last update is found at the top of this guide in the "note" section). Currently there are 43 Michigan motorcycle roads registered on McR and some of those are ranked not only in the Top 100 Motorcycle Rides in the USA but also has one of it's roads ranked among the best motorcycle rides in the Midwest and ranked as one of the top motorcycle rides in the entire USA (i.e., the Tunnel of Trees Road)


The Top-5 Best Motorcycle Rides in Michigan: 

Tunnel Of Trees Road - michigan motorcycle rides near me

  1. Tunnel Of Trees Road

There is nothing motorcycle riders of Michigan would enjoy more than riding down roads that look like they’re right out of a magazine! Roads along the eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan, the colors of fall along the Northern Michigan Coastline, the narrow twisty roads through dense forests and its name sake: the narrow tunnels of trees, are all reasons why it is ranked as the best motorcycle ride in Michigan (and one of the best if not the best motorcycle ride in all the Midwest). Riders are known to prefer September as the best time to visit the Tunnel of Trees Road.


Copper Harbor Run michigan motorcycle rides near me

  1. Copper Harbor Run (Keweenaw Peninsula)

Riders who have reviewed the Ridge of Keweenaw Peninsula have described the thrill of what some describe as the feeling of ‘literally driving to the end of the world!’ This entire Michigan motorcycle ride showcases beaches, forests and other spectacular views, with the ridge overlooking the vast Lake Superior being the highlight of the ride. It is the second-best motorcycle ride of Michigan for the adventure it offers with sections like the Mandan Road around the tip of the Peninsula to reach the back roads of the Southern shoreline when you head back (riders warn that the roads of Brochway Mountain are not for the faint-of-heart and requires driving caution care).


East Coast Cruise - michigan motorcycle rides near me

  1. Michigan's "East Coast" Cruise

Although a mostly flat open road ride, this journey beginning at Bay Town and gives riders quite a view of this scenery-blessed state of Michigan. A motorcycle ride along Lake Huron’s shore showcases some impressive Victorian-styles homes and inns, boardwalks, restaurants, beachfront homes, craft & gift stores and quite a few sites of historic significance. A highlight of this Michigan motorcycle ride are getting up to the bridge to Mackinac Island ... but motorcycle riders be warned that if you plan on visiting the island, you’ll have to pick an alternate means of travel as motorized vehicles are banned here.


Ride Round the Thumb - michigan motorcycle rides near me

  1. Ride Round The Thumb

Riders begin at Point Huron and head out of town and follow the thumb-shaped coastline covering Harbor Beach and passing by Port Hope, Port Austin, and ending at Bay City. The author says it felt like ‘being somewhere else’ once on the scenic highway M-25. Plan a day trip or stay overnight in Port Austin; either way it makes for a great Michigan motorcycle ride!


Manistee to Traverse City - michigan motorcycle rides near me

  1. Manistee To Traverse City; Lake Michigan Shore Tour

Head out of the town of Mainstee, MI on a fun road that runs past Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore and into the peninsula to lead out to the Grand Traverse Lighthouse. From here, riders can choose to explore wineries and go up the narrow Peninsula or do the Tunnel of Trees Run or simply turn back. Woods along the lake’s shoreline, bays, farms, inland lakes, wineries, ski slopes and the peninsula give this path an abundance of scenic features.

Overall, Michigan is a state with diverse landscape and rich history. It has some remarkable tourist spots worth a visit.  For these reasons, it's not difficult to put together great motorcycle rides in the state of Michigan as long as you combine any of the best Michigan motorcycle roads listed on McR and some of the following top tourist destinations/attractions:

  • The Mackinac Island offers a throwback to the simpler way of life, back in the day before cars and buses existed. Visitors take a ferry to the place and need to use horse-drawn carriages or hike to explore the island. Fort Mackinac, Mackinac Bridge that connects Mackinaw City to ST. Ignace (one of the longest suspension spans in the world) and the Mackinac Bridge Museum with original artifacts from the construction of the Mighty Mac are some must visits.
  • The Henry Ford is a collection of three attractions around the auto legend’s life and work with glimpses into American innovation. It includes an experience of 19th century life at Greenfield Village with working farms, restaurants with foods served from the 1830s and a train depot with a steam-powered locomotive. The other parts are the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and the Ford Rouge Factory.
  • The Detroit Institute of Arts has an expansive collection of over 65,000 creative human works from the earliest of cultures to date in 100 galleries. Some of the known exhibits include the Islamic collection, Classic Antiquity, medieval Europe, Oceania, Africa and the Americas. While here, one can also visit the Detroit Public Library and the Detroit Historical Museum.
  • The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is a perfect blend of art and nature. Outdoor gardens with traditional foliage, Butterfly Maze, the Japanese Garden with twin waterfalls, a 1880s replica of Lena Meijer’s home are some special attractions. The Lena Meijer Conservatory houses several rare exotic species of plants. Sculptures are found throughout.
  • Isle Royale National Park, northwest of Lake Superior, is at the Candian Frontier. The 432 sq mile island shaped of Ice Age Glaciers features lakes, streams, forest cover and wildlife including wolves, otters, falcons, moose and more. Boat trips and hikes are the best way to explore the wilderness.
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is known for the dunes perched on the headlands along the shoreline. It is one of the most visited state parks at Lake Michigan for its variety of hiking trails and the 7.5-mile Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. Other attractions nearby include the Michigan Maritime Museum, the Beaver Island Archipelago and more.
  • Pictured Rocks National Seashore at the south of Lake Superior displays colored copper, iron and manganese oxide rocks. The landscape offers breathtaking views of cliffs, rocky shorelines, beaches and dunes. Hiking, camping and boating here is a great way to experience nature.


Interested in more motorcycle ride articles like this?

  Midwest's Best Motorcycle Rides


The Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in the Midwest  


The Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in the Northeast  
  South's Best Motorcycle Rides


The Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in the South  
  West's Best Motorcycle Rides


The Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in the West  


Note 1:  All facts and figures below were gathered during early Jan 2019 and will change over time as new motorcycle roads are added to the collection. 
Note 2:  How were these popularity ratings calculated? 
A motorcycle road’s popularity can be based on a wide variety of factors.  Our analysis considered some obvious indicators of motorcycle road popularity such each roads’ “Rider Rating” scores (star ratings) and which motorcycle road description pages were visited the most.  But, the analysis dug deeper and looked at some less obvious yet valuable indicators of a motorcycle road’s popularity such as how often a given motorcycle road was added to riders’ “To Ride” lists, how often a given motorcycle road was added to riders’ “Rode it” lists and enthusiasm indicators such how often photos and/or videos were uploaded for a given road and which roads are attracting the most buzz among motorcycle roads indicated by those roads that are receiving the most number of new/recent comments.  For the sake of being consistent and as objective as possible we use a popularity algorithm that “crunches those number” and allows us to develop a ranking of the popularity of each of the motorcycle roads used as a basis for this guide.



As always, I hope to provide you with insightful & valuable motorcycle riding community information to help you get the most out of all of your motorcycling experiences.

I'm always looking for ways to make better and more helpful so if you have any suggestions to improve the website, just contact me through the Feedback button you'll find near the top of every page.  And as always, if you have a favorite motorcycle road of yours that is not yet registered on, please get that favorite of yours "on the map" by registering it at  Registering a motorcycle road (or event, or club, or place) is quick and easy and you'll be helping out our motorcycle riding community!!! 

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McR - Great motorcycle roads lead to great motorcycle rides!