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Level: Intermediate
Length: 23 mi (37 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +710/558 ft
Total: 273 riders

Mountain Biking Brighton Rec Area

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#11 of 303 mountain bike trails in Michigan
#243 in the world

There are four loops, including Torn Shirt and Murray Lake. Murray Lake is the easier of the two and is total of 9.2 miles in length. There are tight singletracks as well as fast sections. I would recommend for the beginner to intermediate riders. You can even cut the loop by 2 miles by forgoing the Lost Loop at the 2.7 mile marker. Torn Shirt is about 6 miles in length and is little bit more technical. Both loops start and return at the same parking area.

First added by Blurt on Oct 16, 2007. Last updated May 9, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: yes
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Exit Lee Rd off of US23. Go south on Whitmore Lake Rd on the west side of US 23. 1/2 mile south of Lee Rd. go west on Maltby Rd. After about 5 miles west (past two stop signs) turn on to Baur Rd near a bend. It's a dirt road from hence. Take the second left onto Silver Lake Rd which will take you to the Brighton State Park entrance.
System trails (1)
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Brighton Rec Area Trail map

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Local Info

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Doug Smith (on Apr 2, 2020)
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Trail conditions

Dusty (on Jun 14, 2020)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Brighton, Michigan

Beginner | 13 mi

Rider questions

Q: Are the trails one way?
A: Yes.

Q: Are the trails completely unpaved ?
A: The mountain bike trails are completely unpaved.

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  • Chilly Varblow

    4.5 stars. Fun trail but very sandy. Most of torn shirt is a bit crazy, but the end is very flowy. The beginer loop has many more opportunities for speed.

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  • CaptainFalafel

    Tons of trails here. Torn Shirt, Murray/Lost/Found/Ralphs, and Appleton/Appleton North. Torn Shirt is the jam, great turns, rooty downhills, a couple of good climbs, and generally really tight singletrack with some great flow. Murray is similar but a little easier in my opinion, still great fun though. Appleton is a better version of Island Lake, it's just a quick 2 mile warm up ride, while Appleton North adds another 2 or so miles, has a few fun sections in it but nothing hard. Overall, there is about 23~ miles of great riding here!

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  • davdordun

    This is just for the Torn shirt portion. The first half has some really hard steep climbs. The second half is more flowy. Pretty narrow in a few spots and some tight turns. Was expecting to see more log piles and maybe at least one skinny.

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  • lcwilliams34

    Really nice trails. Make sure to brush off your tires before you go biking elsewhere, as there were quite a few invasive species on the trail.

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  • Hartwood

    First time on Murray Lake and the Lost trail today. Lots of fun and fast flow especially in the shady woods. Some rooty steep climbs but not too bad if you keep momentum. The open areas have weeds and brush that obscure the trails in summer. Good advanced beginner and intermediate trail. About 12 miles long.

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  • Steggy2017

    Tried the Murray Lake Trail, nicely groomed and signage was excellent. Good amount of roots and rocks to make it a bit of a challenge but not too technical.

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  • PhatPedals

    Murray Lake is sweet pure singletrack with lots of great ups and downs and tight trees. Torn Shirt has about 5 long challenging climbs before it opens up to a fun flowy section. Both are great trails for intermediate-advanced riders.

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  • Joey B

    Great intermediate trail. Moderately technical roots/rocks throughout the course, also with a good amount of speed and flow. I unfortunately didn't get to ride the torn shirt loop, as I didn't get there until late and the sun was setting. Feels similar to pontiac lake. Lots of fun.

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  • jcrabtree

    Brighton Rec has some of my favorite trails in Southeast Michigan. As other reviewers have stated, there are numerous trails here all ranging in difficulty. Highly recommend riding every trail here. Fast flow, technical sections, fun drops, brutal climbs, amazing nature scenery, and over 20 miles of trails; trust me, you won't be disappointed.

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  • Karter59

    Great trail system. Murray lake is now up to 13 mi long if u do the extra what and lost/found loops. Torn shirt has been lengthened to 7.6 mi and a new trail called the Appleton loop has been added. It's a short easy trail about 2.2 mi. It's good as a warm up or cool down or for a good sprint.

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  • l3pride

    Pretty fun trail. Much easier and faster overall than the Poto. Several loops you can do. Not very rooty which is nice. Would have gotten 4 stars, but 2 negatives for me were that the trails are very poorly marked where there are intersections and it is not very well groomed. A lot of areas where you have to suck your head to avoid branches and brush. Quite a bit of trail that is tight with weeds. Still a fun trail and pretty quick. No huge climbs. Only thing I found technical at all was that it did have some really tight turns which are fun, but I am beginner-intermediate rider and I still have to slow for some tight turns that don't have great banks.

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  • davdordun

    Rode the Murray lake loop including lost loop. Not that it was a really tough ride, but it was more work than I thought it would be. Will have to come back and try the torn shirt loop. Would have given 5 stars, but trail was obscured by weeds in quite a few spots

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  • Kristen Hetfield

    First time here and found the trails definitely on the intermediate side and enjoyable. The trail head has a map with color coding but then that color coding I didn't find consistent on the trails, they used names. (Maybe I missed the signage). Met some nice folks talking about the trail signage and mapping getting updated as well as the addition of new trails. Will definitely be back!

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  • Heather57

    Just rode it for the first time today and loved it. It went from climby to fast to curvy with quite a few technical spots. The torn shirt was a great challenge and the other 9 miles had great flow and climbs with awesome scenery

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  • El Chilango

    Frost is gone ,trails in excellent shape , besides a little bit of debris from winter. Trail mileage is off , there is actually 21 . 2 miles total if you do all loops available. Mileage was measured with wheel not GPS.

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  • daleydan

    This was a nice trail. Very well marked. There are several loops, most can be avoided if you want to cut your ride short. It was damp when I went, with some mud. A little hard to judge the trail. There were a few steep climbs, but other than that no challenging obstacles. I didn't get to ride torn shirt, I barely made it out before dark. I can't wait to hit this trail again in the spring. I did a total of 11.5 miles. I too warmed up on the Appleton trail. It was nice and leisurely.

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  • Karter59

    There is a third trail now called Appleton loop. Start at trailhead and cut left and cross park road. It's about 2 miles. Makes for a nice warm up loop.

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