Best/shortest bike route from Beulah to Traverse City?

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Best/shortest bike route from Beulah to Traverse City?

Postby Shirlzz » May 7th, 2013, 12:19 am

Hi, all!
New to this board, but look forward to finding all the great places to flex my new MTB interest.

For the moment, though, I am looking for a short, scenic, low-traffic route from Beulah, MI to Traverse City. I plan to ride with my sister, and I have promised that if I can't find a super-safe route we will take the car (Boo!). Sis is super-athletic, but is not used to riding and maneuvering with car traffic.

I've worked out this first stab at the route from Beulah to Traverse City, using Google Maps Bike Directions and the MDOT Bike Map:
https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=20 ... 1,0.181789

Main questions:
1. How is Cedar Run Road?
2. How is M-72 in this section (just west of Traverse)?
3. Which streets are best to take in town once we get off the TART path in the city?
4. Any other considerations for the route as a whole in terms of nice scenery not to miss, or nice towns we might want to include in case we find ourselves with a "mechanical"?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Best/shortest bike route from Beulah to Traverse City?

Postby mtnbikinbryno » May 13th, 2013, 3:04 pm

Hey there,

I'm not familiar with the western part of your route, but I am more familiar with it once you get towards TC. North Long Lake Road is pretty busy with fast traffic, and I don't think your sister would be comfortable. Cedar Run Road will be less busy, but I doubt there is much of a paved shoulder for the length of it. M-72 is even busier and faster than N. Long Lake.

Honestly, it's doable but I don't think it would be much fun for someone who isn't comfortable riding alongside traffic. I am comfortable riding with traffic, but I don't think I would have a lot of fun taking your route. I would probably take Cedar Run out of your options. I did poke around to see if there is a better route, but couldn't really think there's much for what you need, unfortunately. I would rather throw the bikes on the rack, and unload them once you are in Traverse City and can jump on something like the Leelanau Trail, which goes for 16 miles between TC and Suttons Bay.

In Traverse City, almost all of the side streets are slow and very comfortable to ride in. It depends where you are going but there are designated on-street portions of the TART route. Obviously avoid the big ones like Division, Eighth, Garfield, S. Airport, etc.

Good luck! Sorry that this wasn't much help. If you were starting higher north such as Glen Arbor there are some nicer options, but coming from Beulah it's not a very pretty situation (yet).
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Re: Best/shortest bike route from Beulah to Traverse City?

Postby Shirlzz » May 17th, 2013, 8:04 am

Thanks so much for the candid reply. If we did start in Glen Arbor, which route would you suggest?
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Re: Best/shortest bike route from Beulah to Traverse City?

Postby SteveF » May 17th, 2013, 8:31 am

This is the Traverse City Cycling club--maybe parse their routes or contact them? If anyone knows the best way to get into town from the southwest, they'd be the ones...

http://www.cherrycapitalcyclingclub.org/

Good luck! I'll be riding a tour in that area in a month or so myself.

Edit, have you ridden over to Crystal Lake/Frankfort? That's a nice route.
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Re: Best/shortest bike route from Beulah to Traverse City?

Postby owosso bob » May 17th, 2013, 10:16 am

Shirlzz wrote:Thanks so much for the candid reply. If we did start in Glen Arbor, which route would you suggest?

If you start in Glen Arbor take M-22 to M-204 to Suttons Bay and get on the Tart Trail all the way to Traverse City . A side note before you get on 204 go a little ways farther up to Leland on M-22 and then back track . Leland is a neat little town .
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Re: Best/shortest bike route from Beulah to Traverse City?

Postby SteveF » May 17th, 2013, 10:36 am

owosso bob wrote:
Shirlzz wrote:Thanks so much for the candid reply. If we did start in Glen Arbor, which route would you suggest?

If you start in Glen Arbor take M-22 to M-204 to Suttons Bay and get on the Tart Trail all the way to Traverse City . A side note before you get on 204 go a little ways farther up to Leland on M-22 and then back track . Leland is a neat little town .


You can trust Bob's routing. He's been riding up there since Traverse City was a one bar town! :wink:
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Re: Best/shortest bike route from Beulah to Traverse City?

Postby kalkaskawinterfest » May 17th, 2013, 11:03 am

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/204588832 Glen Arbor to T.C. or all the way to Mancelona....I ride this a few times a year, nice low traffic ride...22 north to G.A has a nice shoulder but you will get some traffic...
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Re: Best/shortest bike route from Beulah to Traverse City?

Postby Shirlzz » May 18th, 2013, 5:29 pm

Great - thanks to you both for the options! We could probably get a ride up to Glen Arbor, so either of these routes could work from there -- or we could make it a longer trip, and ride to GA from Beulah. We've done that route before, but this time, we'll skip the dune climb. ;-)
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Re: Best/shortest bike route from Beulah to Traverse City?

Postby bikeguy4life » June 14th, 2013, 9:18 am

Saw this post, looks like it's a month old by now and might be a moot point by now, but I've ridden the TC to Beulah and back stuff a bunch and thought I would add my 2 cents worth. First, a couple quick comments about your route:
- The Cinder/Reynolds Rd sections are not bad - not very scenic, not very good shoulders, but traffic is usually pretty light for the most part.
- I strongly suggest staying off North Long Lake Rd and Cedar Run Rd in and around Lake Ann and Long Lake. Shoulders are pretty bad on both, both roads on the Lake Ann side are in pretty nasty condition and traffic is very hairy.

I don't know if it's the shortest, but here's what I have ridden a bunch and can recommend:
- From Beulah, you are going to want to get on M22 via the North side of Crystal Lake. Get on Crystal Drive and take that to M-22.
- Take a right on M22 and start heading North towards Empire. This section of M22 is great - a bit of traffic, but it's scenic and has a terrific shoulder.
- A few miles North of the Platte Lakes, take a right on Fowler Rd. (you'll be heading East). No shoulder, a bit rolling, but scenic and very light traffic.
- About a mile west of Maple City Hwy, Fowler turns into Rayle Rd, then Rayle into Almira Rd. Cross Maple City Hwy on Almira. Continue East on Almira, then cross Ole White Dr, Almira turns into Barber Rd. Take Barber to Reynolds Rd.
- Take a left on Reynolds Rd. Reynolds has a bit of traffic, is rolling and has been repaved with a great shoulder in the last year.
- Go north on Reynolds Rd, it turns into S Maple City Rd close to M72. Cross M-72, continue North on S Maple City Rd.
- Take a right on E Kasson Rd and ride that until you hit S Cedar Rd (HUGE downhill with great scenery right before you hit S Cedar!!).
- Left on S. Cedar, go 100 yards and then right on Alpine Rd.
- Here's the option - if you want to do the famous Philosophy hill (and the most direct route to TC), stay on Alpine, it turns into E White and then White turns into E Hoxie. E Hoxie is the Philosophy climb. Stay on Hoxie, cross Bugai Rd at the top, continue down the other side on Hoxie, bear right when it turns into Grandview and then at the bottom, Grandview will cross the Tart Trail North of Traverse City. Take a right on the Tarte and roll into TC!
- OR if you want to skip the hill and take the round-about way, back on Alpine, take a Left on E. Gallivan Rd. Gallivan turns into S Weisler Rd, then Weisler turns into E Fouch, and about a 1/4 mile after E Fouch crosses Lake Leelanau Drive, take a right on the Tart Trail and head South to TC.

Can't remember the exact mileage, but I'd have to say that is probably about a 50-60 mile ride and the route listed above is probably the safest and most scenic. A bit hilly in spots, but pretty good overall. Hope that helps!
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Re: Best/shortest bike route from Beulah to Traverse City?

Postby Shirlzz » June 14th, 2013, 11:40 am

Thanks much, bikeguy4life! I mapped this out on Google, and if I did it right, it's only 42 miles! Hopefully sis will ride it with me -- if not, I'll get someone to try it sometime soon. Thanks again, I was really hoping to find a route that was chill and beautiful, and it looks like you found it. I LOVE the internet!!
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Re: Best/shortest bike route from Beulah to Traverse City?

Postby bikeguy4life » June 17th, 2013, 9:39 pm

Yeah, you are welcome! I'm a roadie and maybe only do this loop once or twice a season, but it's a good one and I always enjoy riding it. 42 miles seems a little on the short side, but I really can't remember, it's been a while since I've checked the mileage on this route. But now that I think about it, the mileage could be close, especially if you finish the ride by going up and over Hoxie Rd. Anyway, the route really is pretty chill, the only time your really need to worry about traffic is going to be the M-22 section, but there's a great shoulder there, and the Reynolds Rd/Maple City Hwy section, but once again, good shoulder. Other than that, most of the roads are pretty quiet.

As far as hills go, M22 is pretty flat. Fowler is rolling with a few fairly steep pitches that will take a few minutes to get up - but, if you time it right with the weather and the wind is coming out of the west, you can get a nice tailwind on Fowler. Reynolds is rolling too with a couple steep little kickers, but not too bad. Last but not least, Hoxie/Philosophy is a 3 mile climb, but the grade is very gradual and is never that steep - good tempo climb.

Hope all that helps! Let me know if you have any questions!
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