Alabaster Bike Path Arboretum 4.JPG

Alabaster Bike Path Arboretum

Travel Heritage Route 23 on Michigan's sunrise coast to spend a weekend or a pleasant day exploring the local attractions and bike trail around Tawas Bay. You'll find lodging and eateries in the resort communities of Tawas City and East Tawas, camping and picnicking at Tawas Point State Park, and a bike trail that takes you on a scenic journey through it all on the edge of this beautiful blue bay.

The trail consists of two sections that form one continuous 13.4-mile trail: the Tawas Bay Bike Trail and the Alabaster Bike Path Arboretum - all part of Michigan's Iron Belle Trail.

Alabaster Bike Path Arboretum

As you continue south of Tawas City, you enter Alabaster Township and are now riding on the 6.5-mile Alabaster Bike Path Arboretum. This smooth non-motorized asphalt trail features a collection of over 150 labeled trees along the edge of the trail.

Alabaster Bike Path Arboretum is one of Michigan's newest multi-use trails, built in two phases over the past six years. The first phase, from Tawas City to Alabaster Road follows along US-23 meandering through shady hardwoods on the edge of a steep bluff.

The newest section, from Alabaster Road to Dyer Road, was completed in 2015. It travels along an abandoned rail line and through the remnants of an abandoned gypsum mine and shipping port (gypsum mining is still active elsewhere in Alabaster Township). This area is one of the most scenic parts of the trail with nice views of the bay and the abandoned offshore loading facility (a popular tourist attraction). The trail ends at the Dyer Road trailhead, where you can take your picture next to a big boulder-size chunk of gypsum. In case you're curious, the highest grade of fine-grained gypsum is known as "alabaster."

Tawas Bay Bike Trail

The 6.9-mile Tawas Bay Bike Trail begins at the lighthouse at Tawas Point State Park. Ample parking, water and restrooms are available at the swimming beach next to the lighthouse. Starting and ending your ride at the beach works out well on hot summer days. You can go for a swim in Lake Huron to cool off after your ride.

From the lighthouse, follow the paved bike path through the state park. As you exit the park entrance, travel along a dedicated bike lane on the edge of Tawas Beach Road.

A quarter-mile before the US-23 intersection, the trail becomes an off-road pedestrian path. The Tawas Bay Bike Trail continues along the edge ofUS-23 and the Tawas Bay shoreline through the communities of East Tawas and Tawas City on a series of widened sidewalks and asphalt paths. The trail passes by several marinas, parks and beaches, offering easy access to the trail and several good places to relax, enjoy the scenery or stop for a bite to eat along the way.

Read Less Text...

Trail Maps

Get a Map Download a Map
As seen in Michigan Trails Magazine.

Alabaster Bike Path Arboretum PDF Map

Googleâ„¢ Map Link

Newsletter Signup

Michigan Trails News In Your Email. Periodic newsletters with late-breaking stories and trails updates. We won't share your email address with anyone else.

Your Name:
Your Email:
Validation Code:
Enter Code:  (ALL CAPS)

Trail Resource Guide

Trail Groups and Developers
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Michigan Department of Natural Resources
525 W. Allegan Street
Lansing, MI 48909

Web Link
Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance
PO Box 27187
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 485-6022
Web Link
Tourist Information
Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 608
Tawas City, MI 48764
(989) 362-8643
Web Link
Trail Supporter
DTE Energy DTE Energy



Web Link
League of Michigan Bicyclists League of Michigan Bicyclists
416 S. Cedar Street, Suite A
Lansing, MI 48912
(517) 334-9100
Web Link
Michigan Brewers Guild Michigan Brewers Guild
225 W. Washtenaw, Suite C
Lansing, MI 48933

Web Link
Sinas Dramis Law Firm Sinas Dramis Law Firm
3380 Pine Tree Road
Lansing, MI 48911
(517) 394-7500
Web Link

Page Sponsors

These organizations and businesses help make our website and magazine possible. Please show them your support.

MGTA Billboard Ad Pure Michigan Billboard Ad