Pentwater Pathways -MTB/Cross

The group gathers at the center (ish) of the Pentwater Pathways trail system south of Pentwater.

South of Ludington is a little gem of a town along Lake Michigan called Pentwater. And south of there is a State of Michigan cross country ski area, in the summer it’s a hiking and biking destination. This ride has lots of options. In the summer a bunch of us usually pack a bag and get it to someone who is NOT riding their bike to Pentwater and jump on our bikes an hour early and ride Lakeshore Drive down to Pentwater. It’s a hilly 17 mile spin to Charles Mears State Park where we meet up with the rest of the group. Traffic is generally pretty light on Lake Shore Drive. From Mears State Park it’s about 6 miles to the trail system, a couple of loops around the trails and back to the beach for a swim when the weather is right. This would be a great ride for someone who has a non-riding spouse. Take off from Ludington, ride down to Pentwater Pathways, take a couple laps and then meet up at the beach or downtown. The trail system has maps at most intersections to help you navigate. What we have been doing is riding the outside loop, taking lefts at most intersections until you get to the signpost pictured here. And then we sort of ride it backwards. If you see the map at left. The black arrows are the first lap and the red ones are the second lap.

Ride Info.
Places to start, Stearns Park, west end of Ludington Avenue, Trailhead Bike Shop, Waterfront Park, Charles Mears State Park, Summit Park, anywhere really.
Bike type, You’ll want a mountain bike, or a cross bike for the Pathways, but a sturdy hybrid will probably get the job done in a pinch.
Length, 14 miles and up.
Post Ride Grub, In Pentwater get a Cub Burger at the Brown Bear, the Antler is also good, as are all the places really. Beer is a little pricey at one of the outdoor eateries. We’ve dined at all of them, the Boathouse. If it’s nice and you don’t want to wait for a table ordering pizza and staying at the beach is always an option. Bortell’s Fisheries is awesome up by Summit Park, but they close at 8 in the summer so we never make it. If you were on vacation and could schedule it such. Starting and ending at Summit with dinner from Bortell’s back at Summit would just about be perfect.

View Mears State Park to Pentwater Pathways in a larger map