Winter fat tire biking is growing in popularity with groomed trails and competitive races across the Northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula from Traverse City to Marquette. If you’re new to fat tires, check out MyNorth’s comprehensive guide: Northern Michigan Fat Tire Biking. If you’re already an enthusiast, read on for some of the best trails.
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Fat Tire Bike Trails
Winter Sports Singletrack, Traverse City
This hilly 9-mile trail is cared for by the Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association December through March. The trailhead is on Supply Road (trail map).
45-North Vineyard Trail, Lake Leelanau
The groomed 3-mile trail starts near the tasting room and wanders through the scenic vineyard offering views of the surrounding countryside. Shortcuts along the way offer shorter routes.
Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville
The bike trail is nearly 6 miles. Adult bike rentals are available for one hour ($15 per person) or two hours ($25 per person) at the Park at Water’s Edge, which is where the trail begins and ends (trail map).
Manistee Non-Motorized Trail Park, Manistee
The 173-acre non-motorize trail park is just east of M-55. The four-season park is used for mountain biking, walking, running and cross-country skiing. There are two fat bike loops: the West Loop is about 1.6 miles and the Outer Loop is 3.8 miles (trail map).
Big M, Manistee
Ride about 20 miles of groomed trail through the Manistee National Forest. The separate entrance to the fat bike loops is off the parking lot slightly to the east of the signboard. Grooming conditions are posted on Shoreline Cycling Club’s website (trail map).
Ludington School Forest, Ludington
The Shoreline Cycling Club maintains 7–8 miles of hard-packed trail in the Ludington School Forest. Best winter access is to park at the Methodist Church on Bryant Road (west of Jebavy) and ride west to trail crossing just before Sherman. Find winter updates here.
Boyne Highlands, Harbor Springs
The resort has a winter bike loop of 3.5 snowy miles. A day pass costs $5 (season pass for $49), and bike rentals are available for 2, 6, and 24 hours. Bike rentals and the trailhead are located at the Boyne Highlands Cross Country Center.
Glacial Hills, Bellaire
Fat bikes should use the Vandermark Trailhead (2771-3377 Vandermark Rd., Bellaire) to access three loops of groomed trails (1.7 miles, 1.4 miles and .8 mile). View the current trail conditions (trail map).
Hanson Hills, Grayling
The fat tire bike trail is nearly 3 miles basically following the Easy Rider Loop. Seasonal signage is placed when grooming starts. There is a $5 trail fee which can be purchased in the lodge (trail map).
NTN Snow Bike Route, Marquette
The Snow Bike Route includes 10.58 miles of groomed trails. The trail is part of the Noquemanon Trail Network. All Noquemanon Trails are open to snow bikers on Wednesdays after 5 p.m. and Saturdays after 3 p.m. The trail from The Marquette Board of Light and Power Tourist Park trailhead to the NTN Forestville trailhead is open at all times (trail map).
Fat Tire Bike Rentals
Einstein Cycles: Offers half-day, day and week rentals. Located seconds away from the TART Trail (1990 US 31 North, Traverse City, 231.421.8148).
Brick Wheels: Range of fat bikes available for a day or full week. No charge for helmets, locks, baskets, flat packs and specialty pedals for cycling (736 E. 8th St., Traverse City, 231.947.4274).
City Bike Shop: Downtown Traverse City’s bike shop offers fat bike rentals at half-day, full-day and weeklong rates. (322 S. Union St., Traverse City, 231.947.1312)
McLain Cycle & Fitness: With locations on Eighth Street and Garfield Road in Traverse City, as well as Mitchell Street in Cadillac, this shop offers helmet, lock and local map with each rental. (2786 Garfield Rd N, Traverse City, MI 49686, 231.941.8855)
Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak: Located in the heart of Empire, Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak has rentals for half day, full day or one week—perfect for hopping on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail (10228 W. Front St., Empire, 231.326.9283).
Suttons Bay Bikes: With plenty of backroad trails and the Leelanau Trail in close proximity, Suttons Bay is a prime destination for biking. Suttons Bay Bikes rents fat bikes for daily use (multiple-day discounts are available starting at two days), and all rentals come with a helmet, lock, map and repair kit. They also deliver rentals anywhere in Leelanau County (118 N. St. Marys Ave., Building B, Suttons Bay, 231.421.6815).
Latitude 45: Petoskey‘s premiere cycling and fitness shop offers 4-hour rentals for walk-in customers and 1-day, 3-day and week-long reservations (476 W. Mitchell St., Petoskey, 231.348.5342).
More Northern Michigan Biking
Epic Fat Tire Snow Biking Photos in the U.P.
[Video] Amazing Fat Tire Biking on Ice that is Crystal Clear
Jorden Wakeley: Northern Michigan Fat-Tire Biker on Fire
Au Jus Cycling Club Creates TART Trail Bike Community
Boyne City to Charlevoix Trail Connects Communities
Cornerstone: Northern Michigan winter fat tire biking