Everywhere Else

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

~1 mile

ROUTE PROFILE

Generally downhill. Riding on quiet neighborhood streets without 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!
  • Head north (left) up Plainfield just 1/2 block to Marywood, and turn west (left, away from Plainfield) .
  • Follow Marywood to the end of the street, turn right on Oakwood and head down the hill to the roundabout. Watch for cars!
  • Signal and turn left here, onto Comstock St. In one block, turn left on Coit Ave. Follow Coit two blocks to Guild Street, which is a slight veer to the right. Stay on Guild St. just a couple of blocks to the next roundabout, which is Monroe Avenue.
  • Riverside Park is straight ahead across Monroe.

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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

ROUTE PROFILE

Generally flat, with a couple of mild hills. Riding is on quiet neighborhood streets without bike lanes, a little bit of paved multi-use path, 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 this route, so review your hand signals and turn on those lights!
  • Head north (left) up Plainfield just 1/2 block to Marywood, and turn west (left, away from Plainfield) .
  • Follow Marywood to the end of the street, turn right on Oakwood and head down the hill to the roundabout. Watch for cars!
  • Signal and turn left here, onto Comstock St. In one block, turn left on Coit Ave. Follow Coit two blocks to Guild Street, which is a slight veer to the right. Stay on Guild St. just a couple of blocks to the next roundabout, which is Monroe Avenue.
  • Riverside Park is straight ahead across Monroe. Continue through the roundabout into the park until you're close to the river, then take a LEFT past the yellow gate. This is the far south end of the White Pine trail.
  • Stay on the trail through the park and past the boat launch until the trail ends at the Ann Street sidewalk.
  • Turn RIGHT and stay on the sidewalk across the bridge. If you're comfortable being on the street, you can jump on the road past the bridge, but it's not worth getting on the road before the bridge.
  • Continue on Ann past the highway underpass and the light at Turner Avenue. About a block past Turner Avenue you'll see a small bike sign saying "Kent Trails" and pointing to the left. Follow it!
  • Watch for traffic and turn LEFT at the crosswalk to go up and over the railroad track and the small creek. The trail will put you onto Elizabeth Avenue. Veer slight right to head south on Elizabeth, a quiet neighborhood street.
  • Elizabeth Avenue ends at Richmond Street in about one block. Turn RIGHT on Richmond.
  • Continue in the bike lane on Richmond a few blocks, past the light at Alpine Ave. 
  • Richmond Park will be on your right. Enjoy! (*Note: Many bike renters that visit Richmond Park decide to head to The Mitten Brewing Co. afterwards for a bite or a beer... just a thought.)

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DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS

DESTINATION

Downtown Grand Rapids is the thriving center of the metro area! Visit downtown for museums, restaurants, galleries, clubs, shops... there's always a lot to check out. Parking a car can be expensive and difficult to find... why not bike instead? Check out downtowngr.org and experiencegr.com for ideas and events! Our favorite downtown spot happens to be SpeakEZ Lounge - the best place in town for soccer - but there are so many great places to check out!

DISTANCE

~3 miles

ROUTE PROFILE

Flat, slight downhill. Riding on roadways in bike lanes nearly the whole way.

DIRECTIONS

  • Unlock your bike from the rack, get your helmet on. You'll be riding in the road (in marked bike lanes) for this route, so review your hand signals and turn on those lights!
  • Facing the street (Plainfield Avenue) start heading south - to your right - in the bike lane. Remember, when you're on public roadways you need to follow the same rules as cars, so stop for stop lights and yield to pedestrians! Head south on Plainfield about 2 miles. Note that there's a section where the bike lane ends and sharrows begin - you have rights to use the road like a car... but if you're not comfortable hop up on the sidewalk. Just remember... if you're on the sidewalk, act more like a pedestrian as far as your speed.
  • You'll arrive at a pretty big intersection - Leonard Street - with a railway cutting right through the middle. Wait for your turn with the light and cross Leonard. At the flashing light up ahead (Coldbrook Street) turn right. Follow Coldbrook as it turns to the left past the next light, becoming Monroe Avenue.
  • Alternative route: If you're not so keen on riding on bike lanes in the road, jump over to your right on to the trails along the river once you make the turn onto Monroe. This is the "River Edges" trail and continues most of the way, although you'll need to walk your bike across a couple of streets.
  • Continue in the bike lane on Monroe Avenue all the way into the heart of downtown. Stay in the right lane, keep your lights on and be assertive! Bike slowly on the sidewalk (or on the River Edges trail) if you're not as comfortable on the street... it's OK!

NOTE: If you find yourself tired out after a fun day downtown, you can always pick up bus route 11 to take you straight back to the racks. The bus costs $1.75 and you can put the bike (up to 2) right on the front of the bus for no extra charge. Check out the bus system and routes at this page: https://www.ridetherapid.org/howtoride/bicycles-on-the-rapid Tell the driver you want to get off at Eleanor Street, it's just past the Knapp Avenue stop.

 

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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 stay for the fireworks!

DISTANCE

~3.5 miles

ROUTE PROFILE

Generally flat, with a couple hills near the start (and at the end of the return trip). You'll mostly be riding in the road on quiet neighborhood streets, a short section of on-road bike lane or sidewalk if you prefer, followed by paved multi-use bike path for most of the trip.

DIRECTIONS

  • Unlock your bike from the rack, get your helmet on.
  • Head north (left) up Plainfield just 1/2 block to Marywood, and turn west (left, away from Plainfield) .
  • Follow Marywood to the end of the street, turn RIGHT on Oakwood and head down the hill to the roundabout. Watch for cars! Continue STRAIGHT up the hill to the stop sign, which is Coit Ave. Watch for cars and cross the street, continue on Oakwood.
  • At the bottom of a gentle hill, turn LEFT onto Sligh Street (if you don't make the turn you can also continue a few more blocks to 3 Mile Rd... but Sligh is quieter).
  • Follow Sligh three blocks to its end, Monroe Avenue. Watch for cars and cross Monroe, then turn RIGHT onto the Monroe Bikeway. You'll follow the bikeway north past the I-96 underpass to the North Park traffic circle.
  • 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. 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 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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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

~6 miles

ROUTE PROFILE

Flat, slight downhill, a couple slight ups and downs. A mix of riding on quiet neighborhood streets, paved bikeways, city streets with bike lanes, and paved multi-use paths.

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!
  • Head north (left) up Plainfield just 1/2 block to Marywood, and turn west (left, away from Plainfield) .
  • Follow Marywood to the end of the street, turn right on Oakwood and head down the hill to the roundabout. Watch for cars!
  • Signal and turn left here, onto Comstock St. In one block, turn left on Coit Ave. Follow Coit two blocks to Guild Street, which is a slight veer to the right. Stay on Guild St. just a couple of blocks to the next roundabout, which is Monroe Avenue.
  • Riverside Park is straight ahead across Monroe. Continue through the roundabout into the park until you're close to the river, then take a LEFT past the yellow gate. This is the far south end of the White Pine trail.
  • Stay on the trail through the park and past the boat launch until the trail ends at the Ann Street sidewalk.
  • Turn RIGHT and stay on the sidewalk across the bridge. If you're comfortable being on the street, you can jump on the road past the bridge, but it's not worth getting on the road before the bridge.
  • Continue on Ann past the highway underpass and the light at Turner Avenue. About a block past Turner Avenue you'll see a small bike sign saying "Kent Trails" and pointing to the left. Follow it!
  • Watch for traffic and turn LEFT at the crosswalk to go up and over the railroad track and the small creek. The trail will put you onto Elizabeth Avenue. Veer slight right to head south on Elizabeth, a quiet neighborhood street.
  • Elizabeth Avenue ends at Richmond Street in about one block. Turn RIGHT on Richmond.
  • Take the bike lane on Richmond about a block to the railroad tracks. Immediately look to your LEFT for the Seward Avenue bikeway. Head south on the bikeway.
  • Stay on the Seward Avenue Bikeway for about four blocks (watch for traffic as you cross even these quiet neighborhood streets) to the major intersection with a stoplight, Leonard Street.
  • Cross Leonard with the signal and continue south on Seward Avenue in the bike lane for about 1 1/4 miles to Lake Michigan Drive. Turn RIGHT on Lake Michigan.
  • Continue on the bike lanes on Lake Michigan for 3/4 mile to Garfield Avenue. Turn LEFT onto Garfield Avenue. 
  • Garfield is generally a quiet street but watch out for traffic! In about 3 blocks, at the light (Fulton), you can turn RIGHT to get to the park in one block - but stay on the sidewalk on busy Fulton Street - or continue a few more blocks on Garfield to Park Street, when you will also turn right. Either way it's a short and enjoyable trip!

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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 stop on the way to Rockford, or a good spot to turn around if you decide you don't feel like getting in so many miles.

DISTANCE

~7.5 miles

ROUTE PROFILE

Generally flat, with a couple hills near the start (and at the end of the return trip). You'll mostly be riding in the road on quiet neighborhood streets, a short section of on-road bike lane or sidewalk if you prefer, followed by paved multi-use bike path for most of the trip.

DIRECTIONS

  • Unlock your bike from the rack, get your helmet on.
  • Head north (left) up Plainfield just 1/2 block to Marywood, and turn west (left, away from Plainfield) .
  • Follow Marywood to the end of the street, turn RIGHT on Oakwood and head down the hill to the roundabout. Watch for cars! Continue STRAIGHT up the hill to the stop sign, which is Coit Ave. Watch for cars and cross the street, continue on Oakwood.
  • At the bottom of a gentle hill, turn LEFT onto Sligh Street (if you don't make the turn you can also continue a few more blocks to 3 Mile Rd... but Sligh is quieter).
  • Follow Sligh three blocks to its end, Monroe Avenue. Watch for cars and cross Monroe, then turn RIGHT onto the Monroe Bikeway. You'll follow the bikeway north past the I-96 underpass to the North Park traffic circle.
  • 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. 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 to stay on the White Pine trail. (If you miss this you can also turn right on Mill Creek St. up ahead for an extension of the White Pine Trail that goes through the "downtown" area of Comstock Park. Regardless of which way you go, after a couple miles you'll be at the entrance drive "Ballpark Drive" to the Fifth Third Ballpark (you'll have passed the ballpark at this point). To your right you'll see a go-kart track & batting cage. To your left you'll see an intersection with a stoplight.
  • 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

~8.5 miles

ROUTE PROFILE

Flat, slight downhill, a couple slight ups and downs. A mix of riding on quiet neighborhood streets, paved bikeways, city streets with bike lanes, and paved multi-use paths.

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!
  • Head north (left) up Plainfield just 1/2 block to Marywood, and turn west (left, away from Plainfield) .
  • Follow Marywood to the end of the street, turn right on Oakwood and head down the hill to the roundabout. Watch for cars!
  • Signal and turn left here, onto Comstock St. In one block, turn left on Coit Ave. Follow Coit two blocks to Guild Street, which is a slight veer to the right. Stay on Guild St. just a couple of blocks to the next roundabout, which is Monroe Avenue.
  • Riverside Park is straight ahead across Monroe. Continue through the roundabout into the park until you're close to the river, then take a LEFT past the yellow gate. This is the far south end of the White Pine trail.
  • Stay on the trail through the park and past the boat launch until the trail ends at the Ann Street sidewalk.
  • Turn RIGHT and stay on the sidewalk across the bridge. If you're comfortable being on the street, you can jump on the road past the bridge, but it's not worth getting on the road before the bridge.
  • Continue on Ann past the highway underpass and the light at Turner Avenue. About a block past Turner Avenue you'll see a small bike sign saying "Kent Trails" and pointing to the left. Follow it!
  • Watch for traffic and turn LEFT at the crosswalk to go up and over the railroad track and the small creek. The trail will put you onto Elizabeth Avenue. Veer slight right to head south on Elizabeth, a quiet neighborhood street.
  • Elizabeth Avenue ends at Richmond Street in about one block. Turn RIGHT on Richmond.
  • Take the bike lane on Richmond about a block to the railroad tracks. Immediately look to your LEFT for the Seward Avenue bikeway. Head south on the bikeway.
  • Stay on the Seward Avenue Bikeway for about four blocks (watch for traffic as you cross even these quiet neighborhood streets) to the major intersection with a stoplight, Leonard Street.
  • Cross Leonard with the signal and continue south on Seward Avenue in the bike lane for about 1.5 miles to Fulton Street.
  • Continue on Seward around the bend for 1 block until the road ends at Butterworth Street.
  • Turn RIGHT on Butterworth and use the bike lane or street for just a couple blocks, to the traffic light at Straight Avenue (the Tip Top bar is on the left).
  • Turn LEFT onto Straight Ave. and continue a few blocks to the end of the street, at Wealthy Street.
  • Cross Wealthy and turn RIGHT 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

~11 miles

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 this route, so review your hand signals and turn on those lights!
  • Head north (left) up Plainfield just 1/2 block to Marywood, and turn west (left, away from Plainfield) .
  • Follow Marywood to the end of the street, turn right on Oakwood and head down the hill to the roundabout. Watch for cars!
  • Signal and turn left here, onto Comstock St. In one block, turn left on Coit Ave. Follow Coit two blocks to Guild Street, which is a slight veer to the right. Stay on Guild St. just a couple of blocks to the next roundabout, which is Monroe Avenue.
  • Riverside Park is straight ahead across Monroe. Continue through the roundabout into the park until you're close to the river, then take a LEFT past the yellow gate. This is the far south end of the White Pine trail.
  • Stay on the trail through the park and past the boat launch until the trail ends at the Ann Street sidewalk.
  • Turn RIGHT and stay on the sidewalk across the bridge. If you're comfortable being on the street, you can jump on the road past the bridge, but it's not worth getting on the road before the bridge.
  • Continue on Ann past the highway underpass and the light at Turner Avenue. About a block past Turner Avenue you'll see a small bike sign saying "Kent Trails" and pointing to the left. Follow it!
  • Watch for traffic and turn LEFT at the crosswalk to go up and over the railroad track and the small creek. The trail will put you onto Elizabeth Avenue. Veer slight right to head south on Elizabeth, a quiet neighborhood street.
  • Elizabeth Avenue ends at Richmond Street in about one block. Turn RIGHT on Richmond.
  • Continue in the bike lane on Richmond for about 2 miles. There's a climb that starts as you pass Richmond Park (on your right), 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 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 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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