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Around Lake Michigan

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Ride Stats:

  • Distance: 1068 miles / 1718.8 km
  • Ride Time: 3 days
  • Approximate Fuel Costs: $81.17
  • States Visited: Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana
Submitted by:

Did the trip with eleven bikes total. Actually we did it in four days, left on a Thursday morning and returned on Sunday afternoon. Roughly 1200 miles. First night we stayed in Green Bay, Second was in St. Ignace and third was in Whitehall, MI.

This is a motorcycle ride in the states Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana. This motorcycle route has 6 scenery characteristics and other road conditions to help you plan your road trip. This motorcycle map was created by rwchet in March. Click here to see other Motorcycle Roads by rwchet

Rider Photos:

  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 1 for Around Lake Michigan
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 2 for Around Lake Michigan
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 3 for Around Lake Michigan
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 4 for Around Lake Michigan
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 5 for Around Lake Michigan

Ride Scenery:

BeachesParksLakesForestRuralFarm Land

Best Time to Go


Road Characteristics:

Straight RoadSweeping Curves RoadTwisty RoadRolling HillsLight TrafficSmoothAdequate Gas StationsAdequate

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Previous Comments from other Riders:

Worm_burner says:

Did this ride 3rd weekend in September of 18. Left Chicagoland early Friday morning and picked up buddies in Naperville, Rockford, and Whitewater, Wisconsin. Headed northeast up 43 and then north through Milwaukee. Pretty heavy traffic and the cross wind from the west was brutal, especially in the traffic. Decided to leave the interstate and take back roads. It was so much more relaxing and we were glad we did it.

Made Escanaba a couple hours after dark. Took another hour to find some rooms for the night since we didn't call ahead. 43 degrees at 65mph was significantly below average. Frost on the bikes in the morning.

The stretch between Escanaba and St Ignace was beautiful. Bridge was dicey due to construction forcing us onto the steel grate. Followed the GPS to the Tunnel of Trees. Ended up being the south end which put us way out of our way and behind schedule. It was about this time when one of our party mentioned he had to be home by a certain time Sunday evening. We skipped the Tunnel of Trees.

We burned a lot of time Saturday and realized we weren't going to make it home in time to meet our buddies time line unless we pulled a Cannonball Run style ride. This was about an hour or so before dark and we were somewhere near Traverse City. Not too far from one of the Boyne resorts. Knubs Knob was seen along the way.

Pulled in to Grand Rapids around 0100. It was a bit out of the way but we crashed in my mom's basement. 40 degrees at 70mph really sucked but we made it.

Emergency room visit for a buddy who's eye swelled shut overnight, an emergency repair for a bike running on 1 cylinder and we were on our way around noon.

Buzzed out Lake Michigan Drive and headed south on 31. The ride along the lake on 31 and south to the Indiana border was awesome. Best part of the ride, maybe.

The ride through Gary was suspect and I would recommend the interstate if at all possible. We had no problems but next time I will take the interstate. A breakdown in that area would be...unfortunate. at best.

It was a good ride and we are talking about doing it again next year.

Lessons learned:
I did the math calculation on miles vs hours available and determined we had more than enough time. Didn't factor in gas stops and BS'ing while circulation returned to butts. We will add another day...Thursday - Sunday. Possibly add Monday in for good measure.

Bring better snacks and water.

Plan for colder weather than expected.

Thats all for now. All in all it was a good ride and we have some stories I haven't shared here.

Stay safe, It's crazy out there.
Sat Nov 24, 2018 at 10:06 PM

jawdhwa says:

This ride looks fantastic! I'm thinking of doing it with a few buddies the end of June. Does anyone have a google map version of this route (I wanted to just tweak it a wee-bit).
Mon Apr 2, 2018 at 3:40 PM

Wessel05 says:

Route directions?

Sun Jun 5, 2016 at 4:22 PM

randyhickman98 says:

Did the majority of this trip a couple of years ago. Only difference is we didn't ride thru Chicago. We went from northern Indiana to Ludington, Mi. and took the ferry to Manitowoc, Wi. It is a great ride.
Sun Nov 3, 2013 at 3:41 PM

ldrider82 says:

Did this as an Iron Butt ride twice. Clockwise and counter-clockwise. It's getting the different perspectives of the Mac Bridge. A little bummed that 35 through Wisconsin was not closer to the water. Saw a few raccoons but no moose!
Fri May 31, 2013 at 9:02 PM

BirddogVet says:

My first major solo trip the week after Labor Day. Two & and a half days of glorious fun and great weather. Honda Spirt ran like a charm, but the stock seat was damnation on the second day (especially the long stretch between Escanaba - Marinette). 'biking shorts may help in that arena.' The Mackinaw Bridge was exciting - down to one lane due to construction and that was partly metal grating. $3.50 It was like a carnival ride; I wanted to go again. - try not to get behind a truck in the single lane or its 20 mph. I over packed, but who doesn't? Luggage: saddle bags and a duffle thrown over the rear. Garmin Oregon GPS saved me a couple of times in construction detours. The tour route is variably marked either very well or where in the diablo am I ? Toll booths are a witch: early Sunday morning, the Skyway was down to one cash lane while the Indiana side had lots of cash toll booths but they were all automized. Have the exact toll readily available. Where to toss the change in a hurry? In Fayette, which is a historic site on a penninsula in central UP. A well maintained factory village of the late 1800s. Iron ore was brought over to the furnace for smelting into pig iron. A welcome break/walk into history. $8 One way in/out. Camping privaleges included in the state park fee. The Best and mostly the only times you actually get to see the lake are at the Upper Penninsula,east of Traverse City and Lake Shore Drive (if you dare to drive through Chicago). Gas was never really an issue. In the U.P., there was no mid grade due to 'vapor lock!' Back after the 15th of Sept. Wished I had waited for the changing of the colors, but then it would be much colder/wetter. Top of the 'gourd' or the silouette of Lake Michigan was hazy cloudy drizzle. Go clock/counter clockwise? Depends on your starting point, when do you plan on passing the larger metropolitan areas (Chicago-best early 7am Sunday morning, Green Bay, Milwaukee), your morning starting time: will you be riding into the sun? Everyone was friendly regardless of football affiliation and mindful of motorcycle risk and safety. "You be careful" was heard multiple times. Stop for the pie a la mode, a U.P. pastie, any of the smoked fish, and the fudge - but not necessarily in that order.
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Nomad55 says:

Weather was perfect, traffic was light. Ride was dull. I didn't find any stop along the way to be all that entertaining,
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Pinny says:

I took exactly the same trip before I even new about this website. One of the best trips I ever took (if not THE best)!. Three bikes, in three days. Left on Fri afternoon, came back on Sun night. 1st night we stayed somewhere in Door county WI. Next night we stayed somewhere in lower MI right after we crossed that bridge from upper to lower MI. Very beautiful scenery, interesting places, pleasant ride. Highly recommend if you have three days.
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM

rwchet says:

Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM


done this trip twice. A lot of great scenery and riding across the Mackinac bridge was pretty cool and nerve racking this first time. Half the bridge is grated and the winds can pick up pretty good. good for a 3-day weekend
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM


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