For someone hailing from the south-central U.S., Michigan wasn’t considered a must-go destination. At least not before my experience there. Plenty of concrete and steel surround Detroit and other nearby industrial areas, but vast countryside makes up the majority of the state. Corn, soy, potatoes, and other crops spread for miles, presenting appealing views over hills and around endless curves.
Southwest of Ann Arbor, lakes and roads are lined with old barns and historical houses. Remote lakes are laced together with canopied forests and fun backroads with signage stating the obvious: “Natural Beauty Road.” Even around Detroit, the Metropark System provides miles of paved routes, trails, and activities to get away from it all. And while in Detroit, the Ford Museum definitely qualifies as a place not to miss.
Roads and Biking
Motorcyclists live to ride curves and Michigan has plenty. Laid in the 1820s, Michigan Avenue, also known as Hwy 12, adds a historical flair, skirting lakes, farmlands, and centuries-old graveyards, churches, and houses. Southwest of Ann Arbor, groomed, tree-canopied dirt roads skirt clear lakes and old barns in various states of decay. Hell, MI, lies to the north and is one of the many fun stops for the curious traveler. Bruin Lake provides a rustic camping option. Drive slowly through the Metroparks and enjoy their many attractions from butterfly fields to kayaking. Best times to visit Michigan are late May to mid-October.
Detroit Metroparks, www.metroparks.com
Historic Highway 12, www.us12heritagetrail.org
The Henry Ford Museum, www.thehenryford.org