Planned by Zach Steindler, the idea for this trip was what if we started at Short's, where the last Michigan trip in 2013 left off, and kept going north? Even some of the BBTXL riders who lived in Michigan hadn't spent much time in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (UP), so we wanted to hit some of the sights there and end at Pictured Rocks. While the UP is connected via the (famous?) 5 mi Mackinaw Bridge, it is usually only open to car traffic, posing a unique challenge.
While incredibly scenic, parts of the UP can be quite remote. It's a good idea to plan ahead on supplies and contingencies. On this trip, one cyclist had serious but not life threatening injuries, and we were incredibly lucky to be near the hospital center in Newberry. Some roads can be quite sandy, seasonal, or more suitable to off road vehicles; you can contact county road commissions for advice on which roads are passible on bike.
Lunch: Short's Brewing Company
Dinner: Stiggs Brewing Company
Camping: Young State Park
This day includes two special bike segments: the Little Traverse Wheelway and the Tunnel of Trees. You also pass through Petoskey and Harbor Springs, which have lots of food, coffee, and ice cream options.
Lunch: Petoskey Brewing Company
Dinner: Legs Inn. In addition to having the best Polish food in 300 miles, the interior is decorated by folk art the owner made over a 30 year period. It's an official Michigan Historical Site. You should really stop there. If you're planning a trip, note that it's open seasonally.
Camping: Wilderness State Park
This is where the magic happens: to get our bikes to the UP, we booked ferry passage from Mackinaw City to Mackinac Island, biked around the island, and then took the ferry from Mackinac Island to St. Ignace. The person selling ferry tickets will probably double-check with you to make sure you know you aren't booking a round-trip ticket.
Once you're in the UP, this route follows a rail trail which has very rocky sections. We're talking tennis ball sized rocks, not crushed limestone. It's passable, but if your tires are too skinny you might prefer talking M-123 N, which will also get you to Trout Lake.
Camping: Trout Lake Township Park
Lunch: Timber Charlies
Dinner: Tahquamenon Falls Brewery
Camping: Tahquamenon Falls State Park; consider hiking to the upper or lower falls
Note that camping at Pictured Rocks is first-come first-serve! You should send someone ahead in the morning if you want to get a camping site.
Note also that there's a 10 mi stretch around mile 47 where the road is very sandy. It's passable if you're up for a challenge, but we had the support vehicle available to ferry folks with skinnier tires.
Breakfast: North Star Bakery (now closed)
Lunch: Wolf Inn
Dinner: Lake Superior Brewing Company
Camping: Kingston Lake State Forest is where we ended up because we didn't send someone ahead to reserve camping at Picture Rocks.
There's a ton to do in the area; check out the scenic sites recommeneded by the National Park Serviceor the resturants in downtown Munising.