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Level: Intermediate
Length: 24 mi (38.6 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +1,230/ -1,147 ft
Total: 96 riders

Mountain Biking Hanson Hills

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#45 of 317 mountain bike trails in Michigan
#1,526 in the world

The first part of the trail is flat for nearly a mile but it is fairly senic, after that you start getting on to the skill hills and near an area that looks basically like sand dunes. Some nice views and rolling terrain. This doesn't get too technical but some of the climbs can be very very long. A good test for a beginner but nothing unenjoyable. Some nice winding single track with about 20% dual track as well. Very nice place to ride, doesn't have too many roots, but it does have some nice hills (i mean its on a ski hill).

recomended route...? check out the senic overlook

First added by hillsdalemc on Oct 29, 2004. Last updated Apr 30, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • 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
At Hanson Hills Ski Resort off of M-72 West. The trail head is right at the base of the ski hills next to the little pond. This is very easy to find. Take I-75 to Downtown Grayling exit, follow I-75 Business Loop to M-72 West. Take M-72 West (Toward Traverse City), Turn Left on M-93 (Towards Camp Grayling) proceed Ω mile, then turn Left at our sign (HANSON HILLS SKI AREA). Park at the Main Lodge, Trail Head starts next to Pond. Maps are available at Main Lodge.
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Hanson Hills Trail map

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Steve Keeley (on Dec 26, 2021)
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Trail conditions

Fair (on Sep 29, 2019)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Grayling, Michigan

Beginner | 8 mi

Rider questions

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  • Leep Dog

    Rode the Main Loop this time. As usual the trail is awesome. However a few areas are getting overgrown. Still one of the best flow trails in Michigan.

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  • Caleb Cook

    Very good trail. It dose need improvement on markings on the trail and overgrown in some areas.

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  • TonitaO

    Nice trail, some really flowy spots, nothing too difficult just plain fun. We will definitely go back when we are in the area.

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  • Leep Dog

    Another quick ride at Hanson, but this time I did the Green Loop (easy) as a warm up and then the Yellow Loop (main). Trails are in excellent condition and fun to ride. Always try to make time to stop on the way up north.

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  • Leep Dog

    Rode the outer loop and it was a bit overgrown, but that is to be expected this time of year. Trail was in great shape. Good flow. Love Hanson Hills.

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  • lcwilliams34

    Nice trails with good variety - but lots of sand.

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  • Clive Travis

    Fun trail! Some good long intermediate climbs and fast downhills. Lots of sand. Great scenery. Loved it!

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  • sweetcat

    I LOVE this place! As a beginner - intermediate trail rider Hanson Hills has a lot for me to do. They even have a place for my fat tire! We rode the beginner loop as a warm up a couple of times and it really allows you to build up some confidence if you are a beginner. It is only about 3 miles but there are a few short climbs to get started and then you get some nice flowing single track with a few dips and turns and NO ROOTS! It goes through fern fields and trees and crosses a few logging type roads. There isn't a lot of sand on the beginner loop so you can really work on your speed. There was one downed tree on the beginning hill this time but if you veer far to the left you can easily roll or hop over it. We also worked our way further up the hill to a slightly more difficult route that takes you up to the summit. There are some obstacles on this part but there are ride arounds in place too. I like to bike up but I have a fear about coming down! So for me the most challenging part of this ride was the bit of sand and rock on the way down. The big "CAUTION STEEP DOWNHILL" sign sort of freaked me out a bit. It's really not bad. The sand is a bit scary for a novice. It brings you out around the side of the ski slope back to the parking area. Every time I go to Michigan I go to Hanson Hills and I ride the beginner trail and then try to add another trail in to increase my distance and difficulty. I always have a good time and feel as if I have pushed myself to add to my mt. biking experience without scaring myself too much! Big Thank you to whomever designs and takes care of these trails!

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  • Vince Call

    Fun flow hardwood forest, well marked single track system, separate from the wide winter ski trail system.

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  • davdordun

    This trail lives up to it's name. There are plenty of hills to go up. If you are looking for a good cardiovascular work out this is the place. I rode the red trail or outer loop of 11 miles. I would not rate this and intermediate trail. While there were some mildly challenging down hill runs, there was nothing that would intimidate a newbie. I now this Cuzz I'm a noob. Would have given a higher rating, but this trail is in need of some maintenance. Several areas that are so over grown that it is hard to see what is coming up. Also, I got bloodied by picker bushes that had grown across the trail. Overall, an enjoyable ride though.

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  • olli79a   ✓ supporter

    This is a solid trail system. I rode both the main trail and the beginner trail and would like to return to see the outer trail sometime.

    Some decent climbing is involved and some of the descents are fun. Gravity hill was cool except the sandy pit at the bottom. I didn't feel the most comfortable throttling that fast down. There is a bit of sand that will keep you on your toes in spots.

    My only issue with the trail were all the down trees across the paths. The trail seemed to be in great shape and that leads me to believe it's taken care of but there had to be at least 7-10 trees across sections that either you had to try to ride a ways around or stop and lift it up and over. After 5 or 6 I let loose a few F bombs due to losing some good flow.

    It's a good solid trail that I'm planning to visit again at some point in 2016.

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  • James W. Crissman

    The geography at Hanson Hills is beautiful -- rolling hills, almost all oak canopy, lots of bracken fern. The soil is very sandy, so design errors -- long straight down hills -- that allow water to carry the sand to the bottom are often a challenge. They need to take some design cues from Arcadia Dunes to really take advantage of the beautiful geography. An IMBA design team could do wonders here. Also, the outer loop needed pruning pretty badly when we rode it a couple of weeks ago. Oh, and there is a new brew pub in downtown Grayling about 2 miles away. Yeah!

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  • Mateo Juez

    beautiful setting, fun flowy trail, watch out for the sand.

    really gorgeous area, the air just feels nicer to breathe (coming from West MI in the city), and it's got lots of other activities on site (disc golf, XC-ski, snowshoe, skiing/snowboarding, archery). The beginner loop is super fun, it's the best one I've ridden so far. it's really easy but very funky and pretty. The main loop is great, just careful during dry weather because the sand will eat you alive! lots of opportunities to impale yourself on branches and rocks during sandy turns and at the bottom of the big DH sections.

    totally looking forward to trying this trail again to ride the outer loop and to sign up for some of the events that happen here.

    In town, there's a load of cool stuff. I'd recommend the 2 breweries and the bike/ski/canoe shop.

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  • **

    I am from the Detroit area visiting Northern MI on vacation. I rode the "main trail" which is marked as advanced. It is a long trail with lots of climbing, and you don't really get cooking like you would at Maybury, or Pontiac Lake. I would not consider this a flow trail.

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  • DavidPeckjr

    I love this trail. I have ridden this trail a 100 times or better. My second home trail away from home. Enough climbs to get your heart going. Descents that almost give you a flip top head with the stupid grin on your face. And some technical sections that keep you honest. The outer is a little easier than the main loop. But at least 10 miles or so. The easy loop is new and is a work in progress. only three miles but rough enough to make you work it. The outer and main loop have some very nice flow. root are few with some sand. Hey it's northern Michigan too bad you can't use the stuff for money. Trails are marked. There are some unmarked ones as well. Not care for as much, can offer a different point of view. Give it a try, I am sure you will enjoy the ride.

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  • *****

    A great place for a novice to work on skills and for an advance rider to blast.

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  • Zoo1424   ✓ supporter

    A fun trail with nice flow. I great place to ride through the woods, and blast! Nice scenery as well. The description here lists this trail as 6 miles. It's more like 12-15. * Review edited 3/31/2012

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  • mlorenz242

    Fun trail. It has some good flowing hilly sections that are a blast to fly through. Some climbs but not too technical.

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  • MimiBiker

    Super fast ST with enough up and downhills to have you yelling YAHOO!

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    The trail flows nicely and is well marked as of 2009 there is a new outer loop which is a bit longer and has some bumps and berms. A few mild climbs but a fun intermediate trail.

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