Discover pristine natural areas, historic riverfronts and the communities surrounding Bay City as you travel along the Bay County Riverwalk Trail System.
The 21 miles of multi-use trails consist of two very different sections: a northern trail that connects Bay City State Recreation Area to Bay City, and a southern loop that encircles Bay City. This is a great place to stay the weekend, explore the trails, and enjoy the beach, natural areas and local restaurants.
The northern trail travels on an abandoned railroad that once connec- ted Bay City to Alpena. The visitors center at Bay City State Recreation Area is a good place to get on the trail and explore the Tobico Marsh natural area. Tobico Marsh is one of the largest remaining coastal wetlands on the Great Lakes and includes 3.5 miles of nature trails that are open to bicycles. It is nationally recognized as one of best places to view native and migratory waterfowl and shorebirds, especially during the spring and fall, and offers two 40-foot observation towers. The State Recreation Area also offers camping, picnicking, plenty of parking, and a nice beach on Saginaw Bay.
To explore the 9.5-mile Bay City Loop, we recommend starting your journey at Veterans Memorial Park, next to the marina on the Saginaw River, where you can discover the remnants of Bay City's shipbuilding era and see the skeletons of two sunken ships. A series of scenic boardwalks and bridges take you southwest over the Saginaw River to Middleground Island and Bigelow Park. As you continue along the loop, you will encounter a changing landscape that passes through residential and agricultural areas on another abandoned rail line that circles back to downtown Bay City.
Make sure to look for and follow the white directional arrows on the pavement as you cross streets to make sure you stay on the designated bike route.