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Level: Intermediate
Length: 11 mi (17.7 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +1,278/ -1,031 ft
Total: 36 riders

Mountain Biking Shingle Mill Pathway

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#40 of 317 mountain bike trails in Michigan
#1,358 in the world

A classic Michigan trail through the heart of elk country. This is trail is a part of the much longer (80 mile) High Country Pathway loop. Multiple loops, 2 mile, 6 mile, 10 mile or and 11 mile loop.

First added by LR3ROVER on Sep 19, 2007. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • 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
9 miles east of Vanderbilt on Sturgeon Valley Rd E, Look for campground (North side of rode) and Parking area sign for path across the street from camp ground. East of Pickerel Lake Rd.
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Shingle Mill Pathway Trail map

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anyroadhome (on Oct 6, 2019)
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Good (on Oct 6, 2019)
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  • Ultra1

    This could've been an okay trail, but it was hard to enjoy it because it was so severely overgrown. There were sections of the trail where you could not see the trail below you because the ferns were completely covering the trail. If you go, you may want to go early in the spring before it gets so overgrown.

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  • jburm

    Easily one of my favorite trails in the area. It's not overly difficult but has just enough to make it great. The climbs arent killer and the DH's arent sketchy. It offers some great views along the river, atop the grass lake lookout, and through the camp grounds. The board walk near the end is a fun feature followed by some fairly rough roots. There's usually a tree or two down on the trail somewhere. I find the trail most enjoyable when you've got a camp site nearby. Ride all day and come back to the site for a cold beer and some food. Horses are not allowed on these trails. If you see any, please inform the ranger at the ranger station.

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  • conallwalsh

    Super fun trail. I'm glad I went. I did the 11 mile loop and highly recommend that. It's not super technical, but great climbs, beautiful scenery, and a wicked downhill shortly after the Grass Lake Overlook. I agree with one of the other reviews, if you're within an hour, don't miss it.
    Also, the trail head is really easy to find. Just go east on E Sturgeon Valley Rd from 75, and as soon as you pass over the Pigeon River you'll see a big sign that says "Shingle Mill Pathway" and a parking lot on your right. In the parking lot is a sign that says "Trail Head".

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  • bikinhard

    this is a great trail to ride without to many technical sections. this is a great rail if you are bad with finding your way. One super unique part of the trail is that there is a 1/4 mile bridge that is a foot of the ground. There are many pine needels that completely cover the ground it gives a different feeling compared to most Michigan trails.
    overall I would say that if you are less then a hour away from the trail try it out you wont be disappointed. You get no cell service so make sure you know your way around

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  • aceratek

    It's because of trails like this that I love mountain biking! Just plain fun!

    My Daughter (15) and I (45) took the trip over to Shingle Mill Pathway today. The trail system was in practically "perfect" condition. Since we are used to Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain, we personally decided on the longest loop (11 mile) they offer, but noticed that there were shorter versions that could be visited and were well marked. As a matter of fact, the entire path was well marked. The only time we even thought we might be off track was when we had to go through one of the campgrounds, but even then there were BLUE arrows that begged us to follow them. The only obstacle we had to get off our bikes for was a 4ft diameter birch tree that had rotted and fallen over the trail (at about mile 7 or 8). In it's own unique and beautiful way this trail was AMAZING! It had a little bit of everything. Long winding single path dirt trails the whole way except one 1/4 mile downhill that was two track and of course the INCREDIBLE 1/3 mile bridge, which I will touch on more in a minute. The terrain changed often and had almost every type of terrain Michigan has to offer: Cross Country heavily wooded forest, swamp, lakeside, some sand (although so light I almost hate to even mention it), roots, pine trees, baby pines, leaved over, mud, wood boards, tall grass, bridges, and one small dot of pavement. All these terrain changes within 11 miles was by far the most terrain changes we have seen on one trail and we absolutely loved it!

    Technical: There were some climbs but nothing even a rookie (which at my age that is always MY level... lol) could not do if they really tried. There were a couple of downhills that got my blood moving but nothing too steep to speak of. I have been on much steeper and much rougher terrain. This trail offers mostly smooth rolling terrain with good placement of the trails through the valleys and the forest and great turns. In one swampy area they created a very long bridge. It was made of two planks attached side by side. (so approximately 2 feet wide) Don't be fooled by the word bridge as this was not a typical straight bridge, rather it was wound masterfully through the area with many many turns. Some of the turns were quite tight which made the extensive bridge ride quite exhilarating! It was constantly twisting and turning. If I had to guess I would say 50 turns in that 1/3 mile. 5 of them SHARP. If you fall off in some areas you could definitely get hurt just by the height of the fall alone or the debris left over from cut down trees and chubby stumps. You might also get covered with muck in some spots... LOL. I just kept a slow pace with a medium-heavy pedal along with awareness of the brakes and made it through just fine.

    All in all this was a GREAT RIDE. Other than the risk factor on the bridge, I would even invite people that rarely mountain bike to this trail to show them how great the sport is! (BTW- the only reason I did not give this trail an outstanding 5 is because I love Woopdy-doos, and unfortunately this trail does not offer them)

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  • DavidPeckjr

    You really should make the effort to ride the Shingle Mill Pathway. It is a great trail that you will what to ride over and over again. Great scenery as you ride the trail so bring a camera. You will run into different types of woods, fields, swamps (Good amount of planking), and run along the river. This single track is more of an adventure than a ride. Does have a few climbs and descents that will get your blood flowing. And some nice flat and sections that flow nicely at speed. Starts and ends near the river so after a hot ride, its easy to cool off! You do ride pass a forester station and campground (water point). After you finish the trail the High country Pathway is also part of the Shingle Mill Pathway. So if you looking to explore a bit it does provide a different view. Get a map and you can figure out what roads will take you back to the parking area. * Review edited 8/15/2012

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  • acfair

    This is an awesome ride with incredible scenery. It was also much longer than I thought it would be. I gave myself 2 hours to ride this trail and it was not enough time to finish the outer loop. I also found out that this trail connects into a network of about 80 miles of trails. My only complaint is that I didn't have an entire day to check out the entire path and there were quite a few trees down across the first mile of the trail starting from the Pigeon River Campground.

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  • MimiBiker

    This is an awesome 10 miles + trail with the most beautiful scenery. Some good roots and rough terrain, but mostly nice ST. A 1/3 mile long bridge at end of bigger loop. WOW!

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