Chelsea Ramble

Chelsea, Michigan 48118

Chelsea Ramble

Chelsea Ramble Professional Review and Guide

"Mix cool restaurants and shops, a vintage Main Street surrounded by well-preserved neighborhoods, and industry from food processing to automotive, surround it with lakes, trails, and public land, and you've got Chelsea. Located west of Ann Arbor, Chelsea combines college-town hipness with small-town flavor. Downtown is a wonderful place to sit with a cup of coffee and a paper or to people watch. You'll earn it on the ride. Looping west of Chelsea through the Waterloo State Recreation Area, at 20,000 acres the largest park in the Lower Peninsula, this is one of the more difficult rambles in the book.

While there are no big climbs, the ride is consistently rolling, and the winding roads are also narrow. This is a popular route with Ann Arbor, area cyclists, however, so drivers are used to cyclists. A ride through the Waterloo State Recreation Area is a like reading a good book, one that makes you want to keep turning pages. You want to keep riding to see what's around the next bend or over the next rise. Dotted with lakes, bogs, marshes, woods, and farms, the area has an untamed feel that reminds me a bit of the Upper Peninsula. It's hard to believe that you're in southeastern Michigan. Terrain: Rolling."

Chelsea Ramble Reviews

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This is a fabulous ride. Starting out in lovely downtown Chelsea we headed west. Low traffic and a proliferation of other cyclists on the route means the cars that do pass are considerate. The hills are challenging to all levels of riders but not impossible for someone who is fairly new to cycling. I would not suggest this for a first ride but it makes a good first long ride. At one point the roads pass with marshes on either side and Sandhill Cranes were observed very close to the road. Melodic birdsong accompanies you through most of the ride. An unmarked road on the downloaded map did make for a mile add on to the trip but it afforded more paved road. The Ramble does take on one dirt road but it is hard packed and has little traffic, this comes between miles 8 and 10. Lunch in Waterloo refreshes you for some moderatly challenging hills ahead. Constant up/down does wear on the muscles but the views are worth it. M 52 is a high traffic road but wide shoulders and an almost continuous downhill as you return to Chelsea makes it worth it. All in all this was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning in June.

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
Best spring through fall
Waterloo State Recreation Area
Local Contacts

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Jul 2018