Almost any Michigander can name the interstates that cross Michigan. Roads like I-96, I-75, I-94 and I-69 are a part of regular commute for millions. There is, however, another national road network system that traverses Michigan that is much less known, it's the US Bicycle Route system. Even though the network is surprisingly well signed around the state, you may have been on a bike route and not even realized it.

There are several US Bike Routes that cross the state and several more planned. The current routes in Michigan, all abbreviated USBR for US Bike Route, are USBR-10, USBR-20 and USBR-35. The following are planned to run though Michigan but only exist on paper at this point, USBR-8, USBR-25, USBR-30, USBR-36, USBR-37.

While bike routes do overlap with some roads, they also use off-road trails and bike paths. While the system is far from complete, here's what does exist in Michigan.

US Bike Route 10 in Michigan

US Bike Route 10 Iron Mountain
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Someday USBR-10 is envisioned to run from St Ignace to the Pacific Coast at Anacortes, Washington. However, today the route only exists in the states of Washington, Idaho and Michigan.

READ MORE: Michigan Just Quietly Killed an Iconic State Highway

 

Michigan's portion of the route rides along with US 2 from the Wisconsin border at the Menominee River at Iron Mountain 193 miles to St Ignace where it meets, and ends, at USBR-35. The route is the northernmost bike route in the continental United States.

US Bike Route 20 in Michigan

US Bike Route 20 Ludington
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USBR-20 cuts across the Lower Peninsula from the ferry dock at Ludington on Lake Michigan to the former ferry dock crossing to Canada at Marine City south of Port Huron. USBR-20, like USBR-10, will also when compete run from Michigan to Washington State.

 

Currently only the route in Michigan, Washington and Minnesota is marked. The Michigan portion is 314 miles on its southeasterly ride from Lake Michigan to the St Clair River.

US Bike Route 35 in Michigan

US Bike Route 35 in New Buffalo
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USBR-35 is currently the only north/south bike route in the state running the full length of the state from New Buffalo at the Indiana line to Sault Ste Marie running along the Lake Michigan shoreline to the Mackinac Bridge. USBR-35 does not utlize the Mackinac Bridge. Rather, bike traffic is routed onto the Mackinac Island ferry for a trip to the Island then the opposite peninsula. USBR-35 meets USBR-20 in Ludington and USBR-10 in St. Ignace. The national route, when complete, is envisioned to run to the Mississippi river in Louisiana.

Future US Bike Routes in Michigan

The following US Bike routes in Michigan exist only on paper and have not been signed in the field.

USBR-8 is slated to run through the Upper Peninsula, part of a disconnected route that would travel Michigan-Wisconsin-Minnesota and a separate section in Alaska.

USBR-25 would run from Detroit to Mobile, Alabama.

USBR-36 would be a true cross-country route from Oregon to New York State via Michigan.

USBR-37 appears to be a route that would run from Chicago on the western shores of Lake Michigan to meet the existing USBR-10 in Michigan Upper Peninsula.

So get your 10-speed oiled up, there are lots of current and future bike routes in Michigan to explore.

23 Official Michigan Byways

These are the 23 official scenic byways in the state of Michigan. Ranging from just a mile to hundreds of miles, these are the roads that have a story across the state.

Gallery Credit: Google Maps Street View

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