Last week, Tom got a new bike. While we were at the bike shop, I picked up a copy of this handy little magazine:
This guide includes maps and detailed descriptions of bike trails all over the state. And, right there in the bike shop, I randomly opened up the guide and it happened to be page 70 . . . the Pere Marquette State Trail . . . which is very, very close to our cottage up north. (And we never even knew it was there.)
So we brought our bikes with us this trip, and decided to check out the newly-discovered trail.
We went yesterday - between rainstorms, just assuming we'd get rained on. (We didn't.)
We rode a little over 12 miles, fighting deer flies and avoiding lots of caterpillars on the trail. Other than that, though . . . it was just Tom and I . . . through woods and and tiny towns on an old CSX rail bed. We crossed a few bridges and rode past wetlands (marl bogs) that, ultimately, feed into the Pere Marquette River (a truly lovely river famous for its trout fishing; the river is the reason we have a cottage up north in the first place).
(This is a memorable location. It was here that I stopped to take pictures, forgot my foot was still clipped into my pedal, collapsed with my bike, got a major foot cramp -- because foot still clipped in pedal, and accidentally popped Tom under the chin as he was helping me untangle myself. A lovely moment in married-people bike riding, as you can imagine.) (The view was nice, though.)
It was a great ride -- and good exercise, too. (Because surprising uphill section.) We'll definitely do it again -- and plan to explore other parts of the trail as the summer unfolds.
Best of all? The trail begins/ends right behind Jones Ice Cream -- one of our favorite places to visit in town.
YUM! A perfect ending to our biking adventure up north.