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Level: Intermediate
Length: 15 mi (24.1 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +1,210/ -991 ft
Total: 172 riders

Mountain Biking Holdridge Recreation Area

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#24 of 314 mountain bike trails in Michigan
#862 in the world

Part of the Holly Recreation Area, the trail system consists of three loops: 1) A .75 mile loop called Turtle Trail...great for the kids or a quick warm up. 2) The North Loop, a 2.25 mile section of flat trail, rolling through fields and hardwoods and 3) The West Loop, a 5 mile trail with rolling hills and water crossings.

The Holdridge Trail system also has a 15-mile advanced trail, Gruber's Grinder, in addition to the ones listed above. It is very technical, much like Highland State, and should be ridden by newcomers with caution.
Difficulty: Many of the trails are great for beginners and families. Gruber's Grinder is great for hard core riders.

First added by LR3ROVER on Sep 1, 2007. Last updated May 11, 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
Directions: To Holdridge: I-75 to exit 101, west on Grange Hall Rd., 1/4 mile to Hess Rd., north on Hess Rd. to trail head. (Note: When Hess road turns right look to your left to see where the first shortcut from "Gruber's Grinder" lets you onto Hess Rd.)
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Holdridge Recreation Area Trail map

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CPreston (on Jul 30, 2022)
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Good (on Jul 30, 2022)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Holly, Michigan

| 0 mi
Intermediate | 3 mi
Beginner | 5 mi
| 4 mi

Rider questions

Q: How late is it open
A: I didn't see a gate...

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  • AmandasGuy

    The East Loop is a great trail for a good workout. Short, steep climbs and good SingleTrack. My only complaints are the trail is too narrow so you narrowly miss or hit trees if your line is off at all.

    Also they tried to make the trail too long for the given amount of space. Many tight turns and switchbacks where there could be flowy high speed Singletracks.

    Good trail but not great trail. It's just closer to my house than DTE Foundation.

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  • ryguy79

    Still fun after all these years. I rode here regularly in the late 90s and earthy 00s, but have been in Colorado since then. Snuck in a quick ride while visiting home. Warmed up on north loop and turtle, then 2 laps of the West loop and tech loop with 1 lap of lake loop thrown in. I'd forgotten how fun just hammering through the woods can be after years of long climbs and descents. Some little rock features and log rides spiced up the trail since I last rode here.

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  • Michael Franko

    I would definitely give three and a half Stars if I could. There are a ton of trails here. And it's not often that you get this much singletrack in one place. That said, there are a lot of repetitive sections in this Trail. On the North and East Loops it feels as if you are just going back and forth along the same ridge for many many miles. It's reasonably fun, and there are challenging moments, but generally speaking it is a little monotonous.

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  • SomeYahoo

    Great trail for me and my boys. We didn't do the grinder (will come back when they are older and I'm in shape), but the west and north loops were great for a morning ride! West is a little narrower and more technical (throw in the tech loop for more fun), and the north loop is faster and more flowing. Great place, and I know we will be back!

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  • Zoo1424   ✓ supporter

    Holdridge has never been one of my favorite trails. My first time there, back in the 90s resulted in me walking out with my bike, defeated. However, having recently moved, it's now my local trail, being 10 minutes away. I rode it more in 2016 than I have in the past 20 years combined. I still don't love it, but it does make one a better mountain biker.
    The Turtle loop is around half a mile long and is a nice, quick warm up.
    Next up, the North loop is two miles long and the first 50 yards or so are like being a pinball getting shot into the pinball game. A great way to start riding. The loop is another great warm up with nothing too challenging beyond various roots.
    The West loop is the next step up from the North loop. More flow(but not a ton), some technical features such as the occasional rock garden or skinny, and some good root filled climbs. You are rewarded for climbing with fun. flowy downhills. And there's the Wall. Not quite as bad as I expected, the Wall does present a nice challenge. It probably took me 4-5x before I was able to finally clear the root near the top. The Tech loop off the West loop is a blast with a couple of nice drops, and some other features to climb over.
    The Lake loop, also off the West loop, is fun, with some good climbs and downhill payoffs.
    That brings you to the East loop, aka Gruber's Grind. And it is indeed a grind. About 15 miles of grinding. The start is shared with the North loop, but after half a mile, it breaks off on it's own. This loop has many tough climbs - for the area - and just when you think you can enjoy the reward of climbing with a good downhill run - Surprise! You have to make a sharp turn and start climbing again. It's tough to carry any momentum from the downhill run to the next climb. And as you get further in you will find rock gardens aplenty,. And as you near the end around mile 13, you get a couple of additional good climbs.
    Completing the East loop always feels like an accomplishment to me. Again it's not a big smile on your face type of trail like more flowy trails, but overall Holdridge does make you a better rider.
    Hats off to the group that maintains Holdridge as in the summer it is a vine strewn jungle that takes a lot of work to keep clear and maintain.

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  • Ian Mckay

    Over all the trails are awesome! Lots of options for distance with out having to cover the same trail twice if you want. When I was there the leaves were rather deep, but the trails were easy to follow. The leaves made it hard to avoid the rocks and roots , but I was riding comfortably in mid November!

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  • PhatPedals

    Great trail system that offers four loops accommodating everyone from kids to hardcore riders. Gruber's Grinder aka The East Loop is the feature trail and is 15 miles of IMBA Black Diamond Goodness. All trails are well designed, maintained and signage is everywhere so no getting lost out here. Great job by the folks from CRAMBA!

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  • gvsmitty19

    The West loop didn't hold up to the hype for me. The trail seemed very washed out in spots with large roots everywhere. Not a whole lot of flow or places where you can really open it up. I was also expecting more elevation given the hilly area Holdridge is in.

    All in all, it's an okay trail - just wasn't anything special compared to some others I've ridden. And not really any scenic points either. The "lakes" were green filled ponds.

    Bring bug spray!

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  • Mitchell Duncan

    First ride ever, did the two mile beginner loop followed by the four mile west loop. Had a great time. Fun ups and downs, with a great deal of interesting terrain full of roots, rocks, and a couple little jumps. The named climb "The Wall" certainly provides a challenge above the rest of the trail. Definitely didn't feel overwhelmed as a first timer, will certainly come back

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  • mwolvert

    This is a great trail system. The West Loop is my favorite with great flow, tough but doable climbs, and fun downhills. The optional tech loop spur on the West Loop is great fun with multiple log skinnies and log piles. The North Loop is an easy short ride. The East Loop (Gruber's Grinder) is a grind. The first 2 miles or so are pretty difficult climbs with little reward in the downhills. Around mile 4 things open up with a little more flow. The optional Meadow Loop spur of the East Loop is a lot of fun with good flow and log & rock piles. The optional Orchard Loop of the East Loop was very muddy and mucky the one time I was on it. The variety of difficulties, the optional technical features, and the mileage really make this a nice trail system.

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  • Joobicon

    Hit the trail on the 29th so a day ago, some areas wet and muddy but mostly dry. I like this trail for a good work out. Trying for 2 times a week and on day somewhere else, so I guess I like this trail system. Riding carbon fiber fatboy and a 650 b full suspension so I can say both do well on this trail. The fat boy does do better climbing all the hills. Remember they are only small hills. Out west u will hit 2k hill climbs with no break so grabbers is a great trail to get your cardiovascular up with out making u sad the climb will never stop. Lol

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    Gruber's Grinder 15M east loop run is marked nicely! The run is compatible with dare I say my favorite run at Pontiac Lake! Challenging yet not brutal tight switch backs and some decent climbs a few down hill runs! Over all a great ride a little slick with the leave accumulation yet manageable. To sum it up if you enjoy Pontiac Lake trail hit this run up!!!

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  • j35u5fr34k

    Very nice system. Grubers is very tough and I've only ever completed half of it. The technical section was fun as well but I mostly stay off of that stuff nowadays.

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  • Karter59

    Nice trail system. The north loop is a short easy loop. Good to warm up or a fast sprint. The west loop is more challenging with a tech loop with some nice jumps, logs, and a decent man made drop off. The east loop is an advanced loop similar to highland. It's slow going with lots of short climbs where you can't build much momentum. It's also a rough surface with lots of roots and rocks. It definitely earns it's name "grinder". Last time I rode this loop it was in need of some maintenance due to fallen trees and need for trimming.

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  • dzemens

    I've ridden the North & West loops now, twice, so, time for a review.

    Ridden September 26 and October 4 2015. First time was pretty dry, nice and packed but not "dusty". More recently it had rained a bit on 10/3 and the morning of 10/4 and although the trail was damp, it wasn't wet and there wasn't anything in the way of standing water, puddles or mud pits that you might experience on some other trails in SE Michigan. Leaf cover is increasing at the moment, but didn't present any real problems on the trail itself which is still pretty clear of leaf debris.

    This is a great trail, and well-maintained and well-signed. A bit more technical than other trails, rootier and rockier in places for sure, even on the easiest North loop there's a fair amount of root obstacles to look out for. Fast and pretty flowy, the climbs are mostly pretty mellow with the occasional steeper climb. None of the climbs are excessively long or lung-busting, which is nice. I really enjoy the length of the N W loops combined for a decent ride. Warm up on the North loop then cruse the West loop and add the Tech loop (double it up if you want) for some extra fun.

    In terms of obstacles there's a good deal of log piles and rock piles with detours, plenty of smallish (8-18" drops, mostly while descending where roots and erosion have conspired) and a few slightly bigger man-made drops. Lots of gnarly log skinnies, but several of these are in need of replacement and that would be my only real complaint. It would also be nice to see a few man-made jumps even if small ones, just for a bit of variety in the tech features.

    Although it's a little farther away than my usual trails, it's quickly become one of my favorites.

    Similar to Bloomer in some regards, maybe a bit more technically difficult to ride. Similar to Highland, but it flows a lot better and you don't get the start/stop rollercoaster effect.

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  • wavenet

    The East Loop, while mostly an intermediate trail, has sections bordering on advanced. Very good condition...no mud and not too dry...when we rode on 8/14/14. Came across two large fallen branches across trail that we were able to clear. That left only one large branch blocking the trail, but it's easy to see as you approach it.

    The North and West loops were in great shape.

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  • jdewan16

    Love these trails but today was way too wet. Turned around.

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  • *****

    It's a great ride today was my first time out there an I had a blast I plan to go back soon

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