Everywhere Else

Please note: Riding on sidewalks is generally prohibited in downtown Grand Rapids. We recognize that this can be frustrating or uncomfortable for some riders. Luckily, though, Grand Rapids is pretty bike-friendly. If you need to go on the sidewalk, use caution and ride slowly, at pedestrian speed. When you're comfortable riding in the street, do it! Drivers around here are used to it.

Quick Links

JOHN BALL PARK & ZOO

DESTINATION

John Ball Park & Zoo is a county-operated park and zoo in the heart of Grand Rapids' west side. It has some great exhibits, including a famous tiger exhibit, as well as some fun activities like a zip line and funicular railway.

DISTANCE

~1.75 miles (one way)

ROUTE PROFILE

Generally flat, with most riding on relatively quiet streets with decent bike lanes.

DIRECTIONS

  • Unlock your bike from the rack, get your helmet on. You'll be riding in the road for this route, so review your hand signals and turn on those lights!
  • From the racks, head inland/east away from the Grand River to the closest street (Campau Avenue). Turn right/south on Campau Avenue. 
  • Before the road curves to the left, look to your right/west as you pass the parking garage to see a pathway towards the river. Follow that path across the local landmark Blue Bridge. Watch out for pedestrians!
  • Cross the river on the Blue Bridge, and continue straight under the highway on Front Street. Continue straight at the road intersection through Grand Valley's building... this is part of GVSU's downtown campus. Still watch out for pedestrians.
  • Continue straight through the campus and the parking lot to Winter Avenue, and turn left/north on Winter. You can ride on the sidewalk for a bit, or move to the road. Note: There is no curb cut to get to Winter Avenue... be careful riding down this curb!
  • Ride north on Winter to the light at Lake Michigan Drive. Turn left/west on Lake Michigan.
  • Continue in the bike lane on Lake Michigan for ~3/4 mile to Valley Avenue. Turn left/south onto Valley Avenue. 
  • Valley is generally a quiet street but watch out for traffic! In about 3 blocks, at the light (Fulton), you can turn right/west to get to the park in one block - but stay on the sidewalk on busy Fulton Street - or continue a few more blocks to Park Street, when you will also turn right to get to the park and zoo. Either way it's a short and enjoyable trip!

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RIVERSIDE PARK

 

 

DESTINATION

  • Beautiful Riverside Park, one of the largest parks in the region with lovely trails, picnic shelters and playgrounds along the banks of the Grand River. This park is the southern end of the White Pine Trail, which heads north for many miles (to destinations including the Whitecaps baseball stadium, ELK Brewing, the villages of Comstock Park, Rockford, and Cedar Springs. If you don't mind riding on unpaved trail (pavement ends on the county line in Sand Lake, MI... about 25 miles north) you could ride all the way to Cadillac!

DISTANCE

~2.5 miles (one way)

ROUTE PROFILE

Generally level. Route 1 stays on wooden and paved trails, and about 1 mile of on-road bike lane. Route 2 is entirely on the road, mostly in on-road bike lanes.

DIRECTIONS

  • Unlock your bike from the rack, get your helmet on. You'll be riding in the road for this route, so review your hand signals and turn on those lights!
  • Route 1 - River Edges Trail
    • Look towards the river for the giant blue sculpture. Ride down the ramp or walk your bike down the stairs.
    • From here, ride to the right/north along the river on the "River Edges" trail. Parts of the trail in downtown are along a wooden boardwalk, which can be bumpy and in some cases doesn't have a railing. You'll stay on this trail for almost a mile and a half, to Leonard Street.
    • At Leonard, turn right/east and ride slowly on the sidewalk just a few feet to the Monroe Avenue light. You'll be heading to the left/north at Monroe. Cross both streets to get to the northeast corner of the intersection.
    • Hop into the bike lane and ride north on Monroe 1 mile. Take care at the Ann Street light, which can have some traffic. Continue straight past Ann Street to the roundabout at Knapp Street.
    • At the roundabout, Riverside Park is ahead and to the left. Explore this beautiful park, which extends north for about 2 miles (and you can continue much further along the White Pine trail!).
  • Route 2 - Monroe Avenue Not recommended for people uncomfortable riding in the street.
    • From the racks, head inland/east away from the Grand River to the closest street (Campau Avenue). Turn left/north on Campau Avenue, then turn right/east at the light (Pearl Street). Take the left lane - you'll be turning with traffic.
    • Turn left/north at the first light, onto Monroe Avenue. You'll be staying on Monroe for the rest of the trip, in bike lanes once you pass Michigan Street. Note that you'll pass our friends at City Built Brewing along the way... just saying.
    • Note: About a mile after you turn onto Monroe, the street will curve to the right away from the river, to a signaled intersection with Ottawa Avenue (to the right) and Coldbrook Street (ahead). Turn left/north to stay on Monroe Avenue. The park is about 1.5 miles ahead.
    • Continue north on Monroe about 1 mile. Take care at the Ann Street light, which can have some traffic. Continue straight past Ann Street to the roundabout at Knapp Street.
    • At the roundabout, Riverside Park is ahead and to the left. Explore this beautiful park, which extends north for about 2 miles (and you can continue much further along the White Pine trail!).

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RICHMOND PARK

DESTINATION

Richmond Park is a westside favorite with a large hill, a lovely pond, and a memorial to fallen police officers. The park is popular in the summer with the pond and playground, and in winter for its sledding, ice skating, and the WinterWest festival. 

DISTANCE

~3 miles (one way)

ROUTE PROFILE

Generally flat, with a couple of mild hills. Riding is on paved multi-use paths and on the street in a bike lane. 

DIRECTIONS

  • Unlock your bike from the rack, get your helmet on. You'll be riding in the road for part of this route, so review your hand signals and turn on those lights!
  • From the racks, head inland/east away from the Grand River to the closest street (Campau Avenue). Turn right/south on Campau Avenue. 
  • Before the road curves to the left, look to your right/west as you pass the parking garage to see a pathway towards the river. Follow that path across the local landmark Blue Bridge. Watch out for pedestrians!
  • Cross the river on the Blue Bridge, and continue straight under the highway on Front Street. Continue straight at the road intersection through Grand Valley's building... this is part of GVSU's downtown campus. Still watch out for pedestrians.
  • Continue straight through the campus and the parking lot to Winter Avenue, and turn left/north on Winter. You can ride on the sidewalk for a bit, or move to the road. Note: There is no curb cut to get to Winter Avenue... be careful riding down this curb!
  • Ride north on Winter to the light at Lake Michigan Drive. Turn left/west on Lake Michigan for one block, then turn right/north at the next light onto Seward Avenue.
  • Ride in the bike lane on Seward Avenue for about 1/4 mile, to Bridge Street. Note that we have some friends on Bridge Street, like Harmony Hall about 1 block to your left, and The Knickerbocker and Jolly Pumpkin about 2 blocks to your right.
  • Continue north on Seward one mile, to Leonard Street. At Leonard Street, Seward Avenue changes to a bikeway. You'll continue north on the bikeway for about half a mile. (Note: Our friends at Mitten Brewing are a few blocks to the right/east from Seward on Leonard.) 
  • The bikeway crosses several neighborhood streets, which are generally quiet with little traffic. Even so, watch out at each crossing!
  • The bikeway ends at Richmond Street. Turn left/west onto Richmond.
  • Continue in the bike lane on Richmond for about 1/2 mile, past the light at Alpine Ave. 
  • Richmond Park will be on your left. Enjoy! 

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WHITECAPS BASEBALL STADIUM

DESTINATION

Whitecaps Baseball Stadium, officially known as Fifth Third Ballpark, is the home of Grand Rapids' minor league baseball team, the West Michigan Whitecaps. The Whitecaps are the farm team for the Detroit Tigers and the games are great fun! Save on the costs of parking and ride to the game. Plus, our Free Wheeling Rental System lets you stay out after dark (just be careful and use those lights) so you can stay for the fireworks! 

DISTANCE

~3.5 miles (one way)

ROUTE PROFILE

Generally level. Most riding on wooden and paved trails, and about 1 mile of on-road bike lane. 

DIRECTIONS

  • Unlock your bike from the rack, get your helmet on. You'll be riding in the road for a short time on this route, so review your hand signals and turn on those lights!
  • Follow the directions to Riverside Park, above. 
  • Once you've gotten to Riverside Park, continue north on the White Pine Trail all the way through the park to its extreme north end, about 2 miles. At the north end, you will exit the park near a highway underpass (I-96). The next street is North Park St. 
  • At North Park you can cross the street to cross the bridge over the Grand River on its north side. If you don't want to cross the street, that's OK too, you can cross the bridge on the south side and use the underpass on the far bank.
  • Cross the bridge to the left. You'll want to be on the path on the north side of the street. If you're on the south side, you can turn left on the far bank of the river and head down (careful with the grade! we suggest walking your bike) to the underpass to get to the other side of the road. Once you've gone under the bridge, follow the path around to the left and you'll end up on the sidewalk/multi-use path on the north side). This is the White Pine Trail.
  • Continue along the trail until just before the highway underpass. Hang a right/north to stay on the White Pine trail. In a couple miles you'll be at the ballpark... can't miss it!

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BELMONT TRAILHEAD (WHITE PINE TRAIL)

DESTINATION

The Belmont Trailhead is a popular starting point for people from suburbs northeast of Grand Rapids to drive to with their bikes, and ride on the White Pine Trail to Rockford or Cedar Springs. We find that it's a nice water or ice cream stop on the way to points further north, or a good spot to turn around if you decide you don't feel like getting in so many miles.

DISTANCE

~9.5 miles (one way)

ROUTE PROFILE

Generally flat, with a couple of very minor hills. You'll mostly be riding on wooden or paved multi-use paths, with about a mile riding in bike lanes on the street.

DIRECTIONS

  • Unlock your bike from the rack, get your helmet on. You'll be riding in the road for a short time on this route, so review your hand signals and turn on those lights!
  • Follow the directions to Whitecaps Baseball Stadium, above.
  • Continue straight on the trail. The Belmont Trailhead is about 3 1/2 miles from this point. Ahead, you'll have a few road crossings - some busier than others. Follow the signs, watch for cars, use your bells as you're passing people. The White Pine is a wonderful trail and used by many! The Belmont Trailhead is just past the trail's crossing of Belmont Avenue, with a small market on the left and a parking lot down and to the right. Hint: There is a great little ice cream shop on the left just beyond the market.

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MILLENNIUM PARK

DESTINATION

Millennium Park is the largest urban park in the nation. With 1,400 acres of rolling terrain and six miles of frontage on the Grand River, the park is rich in natural resources, featuring unique habitats and large natural areas for wildlife to thrive. Facilities within the park include a six-acre beach and splashpad, boat rental facilities, nearly 18 miles of trails, and other diverse opportunities for recreation and relaxation. (That's the official verbiage... but it works for us). We like exploring the paved trails around the lakes, and hanging out on the beach.

DISTANCE

~5.5 miles (one way)

ROUTE PROFILE

Mostly flat, almost entirely on paved multi-use paths. There is some riding on relatively quiet neighborhood streets with bike lanes.

DIRECTIONS

  • Unlock your bike from the rack, get your helmet on. You'll be riding in the road for a short time on this route, so review your hand signals and turn on those lights!
  • From the racks, head inland/east away from the Grand River to the closest street (Campau Avenue). Turn right/south on Campau Avenue. 
  • Before the road curves to the left, look to your right/west as you pass the parking garage to see a pathway towards the river. Follow that path across the local landmark Blue Bridge. Watch out for pedestrians!
  • Cross the river on the Blue Bridge, and continue straight under the highway on Front Street. Continue straight at the road intersection through Grand Valley's building... this is part of GVSU's downtown campus. Still watch out for pedestrians.
  • Continue straight through the campus and the parking lot to Winter Avenue, and turn right/south on Winter. You can ride on the sidewalk for a bit, or move to the road. Note: There is no curb cut to get to Winter Avenue... be careful riding down this curb!
  • Head south on Winter past the light at Fulton Street. The road will curve sharply to the left, then to the right, when it becomes Front Avenue. Stay on Front Avenue all the way south to its end at Wealthy Street.
  • Turn right/west on Wealthy Street and use the bike lane or street for just a couple blocks.
  • Cross Wealthy and turn right/west onto the paved multi-use path. You'll be on this for a while.
  • Follow the path along Wealthy, behind the bottling plant, and past the highway underpass.
  • You'll ride alongside the highway for a while... there is almost always a little bit of water over the trail here - good thing we have fenders on all the bikes! You're entering Millennium Park, one of the largest urban parks in the nation.
  • Stop at the first trail junction and take a look at the park map. Millennium Park has a web of great trails and we suggest exploring them all! To get to the beach, main picnic area, and restrooms, the easiest route is to turn left and stay on the trail all the way until it crosses Maynard Avenue, in about 2 miles. Continue and follow the trail to the left and you'll see the park buildings ahead across the lake. Head over and enjoy!

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MARNE TRAILHEAD (MUSKETAWA TRAIL)

DESTINATION

The Marne Trailhead for the Musketawa Trail is a popular starting point for people in the northwest suburbs of Grand Rapids. It's a bit of a hike to get to the trailhead, so we won't go into too much details about where you can go on the trail. But, if you're really inspired and have energy and time, you could continue on from the trailhead to Conklin, Ravenna, or Muskegon. (Note: If you'd like to go to Muskegon, that's great, but the round trip is about 80 miles and you should probably just buy a decent long-distance bike from our friends at Switchback Gear Exchange down the street.)

DISTANCE

~7.5 miles (one way)

ROUTE PROFILE

Generally flat, but a few decent hills in either direction. Riding is on quiet neighborhood streets without bike lanes, a little bit of paved multi-use path, on a couple of fairly busy streets in a bike lane, and back on to a paved multi-use path for several miles.

DIRECTIONS

  • Unlock your bike from the rack, get your helmet on. You'll be riding in the road for a fair amount on this route, so review your hand signals and turn on those lights!
  • Follow the directions to Richmond Park, above.
  • Continue in the bike lane past the park for about 1 mile. There's a decent hill that starts as you pass Richmond Park, which can slow you down, so consider jumping onto the sidewalk if you need to. Take your time, stop to have some water. This isn't a race.
  • You'll get to Walker Avenue after you've climbed the hill on Richmond Street and passed Bristol Avenue. Turn right/north on Walker Avenue.
  • Stay on Walker Avenue about 1.5 miles, all the way past some industrial buildings to 3 Mile Rd. It's hilly. 
  • At 3 Mile Rd., get on the sidewalk and cross the road to get to the northwest corner of the intersection. Head left/west on the sidewalk - you're now on the Musketawa Connector trail.
  • Continue on this trail for another ~5 miles to the trailhead. There's nothing at the trailhead except for a restroom, but it's still a good goal. Don't forget to budget some time for the return journey!

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