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Level: Intermediate
Length: 21 mi (33.8 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +391/ -259 ft
Total: 373 riders

Mountain Biking Fort Custer Recreation Area

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#5 of 317 mountain bike trails in Michigan
#203 in the world

There are three trails which are marked and maintained. Red (Expert to Intermediate), Green (Intermediate with some Expert), and Blue (Beginner). The Red and Green loops are both just under 9 miles each and are over 95% singletrack. There used to be a Yellow loop, but it was removed in order to improve the equestrian trail.

First added by DDDonny on Oct 1, 2005. Last updated May 11, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: yes
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: yes
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Driving from Chicago: I-94(East) to exit 92, North on Martin Luther King Highway four 4 miles to M-96. West five miles to park entrance
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Fort Custer Recreation Area Trail map

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Local Info

Trail checkins

Daryl Hutson (on Feb 3, 2023)
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Upcoming Events

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Trail conditions

Good (on Apr 30, 2022)
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Camping & Lodging

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Fort Custer Recreation Area videos

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Rider questions

Q: Is there any bike rental shops nearby?
A: try team active in battle creek

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  • Jacob Butler

    Great network offering some good variety.

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  • Joe Bird

    Absolutely perfect trail ride. The RED LOOP takes you past prairie type fields and through beautiful woods. It is well marked and well maintained. Some spots too much sand for me, but a bit of everything from rooted climbs and deserts, modest drops, berms, a couple of modest thrill feature descents, log jumps, etc. Climb and descent balanced. Perfect.

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  • [email protected]

    Pretty cool trail but isn't as good as some. could be better.

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  • Chilly Varblow

    Fun trail but could be much better everything was pretty "okay" nothing close to DTE Energy Trail

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  • hollyanne99

    We were driving from WI to Toronto and looking for a place to ride on our route. I printed a map and we stopped here. What a great choice! The trails were perfectly marked and so easy to follow, I never had to consult my map. They were beginner/intermediate which is always a good thing when you're passing through (hoping not to break any bones). The trails change direction based on the day, and it would have been fun to try them the other way, as we rode the non-original way, so we didn't get to ride the sweeping wooden berms on green or the downhill rocks on red. Green & red were the trails we did, and the best choices for experienced riders. This was the perfect place to drop in, know your route (great marking), have a nice ride, and be on your way. A toilet & changing area are in the parking lot. I would tell anyone driving along I-94 to make this a stop on their next road trip. $9/car for out-of-state plates.

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  • Cassidy

    It's been a while since I was here since I've moved away from the area, but I wouldn't mind making the trip back soon. It was a lot of fun, a great recreation area to spend the day in too.

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  • Al Enos

    Custer is just "eh" to me. Decent trails, little elevation change, some rocks and roots. Nothing that exciting.

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  • Jayger86

    We went on a Saturday. The trails are bi-directional based on the day of the week. Unfortunately, the red trail was backwards that day, so it was mostly really intense climbs. The green trail was fast and fun. The only thing I hated was all the spots on the trail covered in loose sand. It absolutely destroys your momentum at the bottom of hills and in tight corners.

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  • SomeYahoo

    Amazing trail system. Was there with my teenage boys and it has further hooked them on the sport.

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  • Teamjilljeff

    Red trail seems to flow the best. We really like all the trails. Sets the bar very high for other trails! Very hard to beat. My favorite so far

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  • TonitaO

    For me & my husband, this was a perfect course to get acclimated to singletrack. Rode green and red courses and loved both! The course has something for everyone. His Rockhopper was on point, my bike, not so much, so went put and bought a new one as soon as we got home! Now Im ready to go back and attack it with my Fate 29er!

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  • offroadbikerdude

    I though the red loop was awesome. It was fast and yet it had a few technical sections. There was a couple spots that were very sandy but I'm not complaining all the trails near my home in Indiana are under water right now. I will be back to ride this again.

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  • acs395

    Very easy to access and park, some fun features and sections, and 3-4 laps of Green and/or Red will give you a great workout!

    For me, well worth the 1-hour drive.

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  • sissypants

    Rhythm abounds, flow is excellent, little fun features with unique character dot every trail, some larger features are great for a little play, overall a fantastic trail system and destination for a day.

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  • JCR

    I've ridden Fort Custer for 20 years as it's the closest trail to where I live. This year I decided to explore other trails that are highly rated on Singletracks in Michigan and Indiana. I've not completed a comprehensive survey, so it's hard for me to rate any trail with a 5, but Custer has so much going for it along with some unique features for a variety of riders. I truly dig carving through the WWII era military trenches on the Red Loop. When I'm up to the challenge, I dip into Granny's Garden to test my technical chops, when I want more of a XC ride experience, I take the shortcuts around the difficult sections. At the end of the Red Loop, the Crazy Beaver Loop is just such fun with more trench carving flow at the end.

    But what has moved me to post this review was my ride last night on the Green Loop. It is so well designed as a trail with flow that is interesting and scenic. In early August I rode Michigan's Arcadia Dunes based on recommendations of its modern flow style and beauty, but found the actual trail to be fairly forgettable. Not bad, as the setting near the Lake Michigan coast is gorgeous and the fresh wild raspberries at the trailhead tasty, but not very interesting of a ride. Ft Custer's Green Loop, however, has flow, technical challenges, XC wide open sprints and new (as of late summer 2016) high banked whoop-de-doos that are just fun, fun, fun to carve.

    On a summer day after a hot ride when I give myself extra time to just be and not be on-the-go, I pedal over to Ft Custer's Eagle Lake a paved road mile from the trailhead and jump in for a refreshing cool down.

    Since it drains well, is rideable nearly year around (if you are properly equipped), and regularly updated by SWMMBA, it's 5 star worthy.

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  • MRK35

    I ride the blue loop, which has a different trail head than the other loops. Blue is beginner and also used in some areas for horse back riding.

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  • Mike Long

    Great trail system!

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  • Tjsmith

    A well maintained and fun trail to ride. Grab a map when you check in and you will have no problem knowing where your at. The trails have a little bit of everything for all skill levels. I Enjoyed my time on the Red Trail and can't wait to go back.

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  • *****

    Hats off to the crew that maintains this place... You can rip it up with its fast flow sections...trails are very well marked. My favorite ride here is Red to Green.

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