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-   -   Light Dual Sport Fun in Michigan (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831387)

Parcero 10-03-2012 02:29 PM

Light Dual Sport Fun in Michigan
 
Dual sport riders from the Chicago area typically have a hard time finding good places to ride. I have found some nice unpaved country roads and trails through the woods in Allegan County, Michigan, about a two hour ride from Chicago. From Chicago, this trip can easily be a day trip, out and back, or an overnight trip using any of the nice hotels or B & Bs in the area, or even camping if one desires.

The roads and trails pictured here are in and around the Allegan State Game Area in Allegan, Michigan. The area is a 40,000 acre game preserve that is used for hunting depending on the season, so I would not recommend riding the trails during any hunting season, generally which start late fall.

Getting there from Chicago can be done on any number of roads, but you will want to get yourself to Glenn, Michigan to be close to the trails. Glenn is located about two hours from Chicago on Blue Star Highway at 114th Street, on Michigan's west coast. Glenn is a charming little town in itself. Good food can be had at The Glenn, the local restaurant, which is a biker's favorite on summer weekends. Or hit the Full Belly Deli located in The Glenn Store across the street

Ride east out of Glenn on 114th Street until 66th Street. Turn left and ride north to 116th. street. A right on 116th will point you east toward the dirt roads and trails.

About mile down the road, you will be inspired by this road sign:
http://mwillia.smugmug.com/Motorcycl.../DSC0256-M.jpg


With very little exception, the roads will be gravel, like this:
http://mwillia.smugmug.com/Motorcycl.../DSC0257-M.jpg


The roads might be straight and flat, but at least they're not paved!

Follow 116th east until the road narrows and becomes a one-lane road. Around 46th Street you can take any of the trails to the left or right of the road. Avoid anything marked no motorized vehicles. Most of the trails are wide enough for a car, although some narrow down to single track. They are dirt or packed sand in most areas, although softer, deeper sand can be encountered along with some muddy areas. I have ridden a large portion of the trails on both my R1200GS and KLR650, both of which easily handled the conditions.

Here is one of the sandier trails:
http://mwillia.smugmug.com/Motorcycl.../DSC0260-M.jpg


If you plan to camp, the Ely Lake Campground offers primitive, but nice, camp sites.
http://mwillia.smugmug.com/Motorcycl.../DSC0259-M.jpg


Ely Lake
http://mwillia.smugmug.com/Motorcycl.../DSC0258-M.jpg


The area has many well-marked snowmobile trails.
http://mwillia.smugmug.com/Motorcycl.../DSC0262-M.jpg


This nice trail through the woods started wide and got down to single track.
http://mwillia.smugmug.com/Motorcycl.../DSC0266-M.jpg


http://mwillia.smugmug.com/Motorcycl.../DSC0265-M.jpg


http://mwillia.smugmug.com/Motorcycl.../DSC0268-M.jpg


Riding the trails can be a multi-hour affair if you so desire. At the end of the day, a stop along the beach in Glenn offers superb views.
http://mwillia.smugmug.com/Motorcycl.../DSC0255-M.jpg

Backmarker61 10-03-2012 02:46 PM

Thanks
 
Thanks a lot, you're right, the riding is pretty slim pickins' around here (NW Indiana / Chicago) even for asphalt riders. We usually head into Michigan for our rides as well. And we came up with a pretty good 1-day loop. The farther north you head, the better it gets, but that is definitely longer than a day trip.

Anyways, thanks for sharing (even if I don't ride off the road), it's nice to see this area featured a bit. :thumbup

Parcero 10-04-2012 05:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Backmarker61 (Post 19738380)
Thanks a lot, you're right, the riding is pretty slim pickins' around here (NW Indiana / Chicago) even for asphalt riders. We usually head into Michigan for our rides as well. And we came up with a pretty good 1-day loop. The farther north you head, the better it gets, but that is definitely longer than a day trip.

Anyways, thanks for sharing (even if I don't ride off the road), it's nice to see this area featured a bit. :thumbup

Thanks for the kind words Backmarker61. Yes, we live in a part of the country that's not the best for motorcycling, but there are some bright spots. If you know of more, post 'em up.

exoff-roadgoat 10-04-2012 06:14 AM

Thanks for posting on this area. I've ridden the area a little on my DR and alot on my PC. This area has good road riding too and great restaurants are easy to find.....I would be careful in the Allegan forest for the next few days because there is a manhunt on for two escapees. The police can't find them but seem to think they are hiding in the Allegan forest somewhere?:defend

Parcero 10-04-2012 10:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by exoff-roadgoat (Post 19743971)
Thanks for posting on this area. I've ridden the area a little on my DR and alot on my PC. This area has good road riding too and great restaurants are easy to find.....I would be careful in the Allegan forest for the next few days because there is a manhunt on for two escapees. The police can't find them but seem to think they are hiding in the Allegan forest somewhere?:defend

Whoa! Yeah, I was planning on heading out there sometime in the next week or so with a friend but maybe I'll hold off until I hear something further. If you hear they found the escapees, let us know.

exoff-roadgoat 10-04-2012 01:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parcero (Post 19746074)
Whoa! Yeah, I was planning on heading out there sometime in the next week or so with a friend but maybe I'll hold off until I hear something further. If you hear they found the escapees, let us know.

No one knows for sure but I heard this afternoon that they might be in Indiana now.

Ack535 10-04-2012 05:27 PM

Thanks for sharing. I have a buddy at work who told me about the Allegan area, I have yet to make it down there, maybe I will now!

Pete

JTB488 10-11-2012 09:40 PM

They found them tonight in Canon City, Colorado. So all clear.

scotty69 10-11-2012 10:48 PM

Good place, there are a couple prisons there!

Unstable Rider 10-12-2012 12:40 AM

great post, love that part of the country

buls4evr 10-12-2012 07:34 AM

You also might try SE near Rockville, IN..... Great twisty gravel roads. Most covered bridges of any county in the nation. No real trail system but very picturesque. Winds all over by the Wabash River. This is Parke Co. IN on your map.

Also check out the West Michigan Thread. We often talk about this area and others similar to it. Spend lot's of $$$$ in MI. We need them:D.

Parcero 10-13-2012 06:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by buls4evr (Post 19801716)
You also might try SE near Rockville, IN..... Great twisty gravel roads. Most covered bridges of any county in the nation. No real trail system but very picturesque. Winds all over by the Wabash River. This is Parke Co. IN on your map.

Also check out the West Michigan Thread. We often talk about this area and others similar to it. Spend lot's of $$$$ in MI. We need them:D.

Thanks for the info on Indiana. Might give it a try tomorrow. :thumb


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