Your favorite bike trails in Michigan

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    • #211507

      It looks like there are a ton of great trails in Michigan! So which ones are must-ride?

      If it saves anyone from typing, I’ll go ahead and assume that Copper Harbor is at the top of the list. 🙂

    • #211537

      We are fortunate to have a number of good trails in the Grand Rapids area. Yankee Springs is my favorite, but Merrel, Luton, Cannonsburg Ski, and Cannonsburg State Game Area are all fun. Fort Custer, near Battle Creek, is really good. Heading up north as we like to say, Big M is fun, big hills in the woods, and Arcadia Dunes is a good ride too. I’ve heard Glacial Hills, near Traverse City, is really fun too, it’s on my list for this year.

    • #211538
      • Definitely hit up Marquette, south Marquette and the surrounding areas contain a huge variety of trails from machine built flow trails to rocky downhills.  Also if you are going to Coper Harbor stop in Houghton on the way and ride the Michigan Tech trails.  Lastly, back in the Marquette area, the neighboring towns of Negaunee and Ishpeming also have great trail systems with many singletracks branching from the iron ore heritage trail and the noquemanon epic rides in the area.
    • #211554

      Michigan local here, definitely agree on the following:

      1. Copper Harbor

      2. Noquemanon Trails Network

      3. Fort Custer State Recreation Area

      Those three are based solely on reputation and excellent trail design.  Then I’d throw in two more which are well-built getaway trails and are extremely popular:

      4. Merrell Trail – probably most popular trail for Grand Rapids riders (although Yankee Springs is a close call as well)

      5. Potawatomi Trail – getaway for Ann Arbor/Detroit riders

      There are of course other great trails such as Arcadia Dunes, Yankee Springs, Michigan Tech, and a number of trails in the greater Marquette area, but if you’re going to highlight 5 to ride, I’d try this list and keep it geographically diverse.

    • #211568

      I’ve ridden at least 20 different trails in the Lower Peninsula.  (Haven’t got to the UP yet)  They are all good………..some are better than others depending on my skill level and conditioning at the time.  As an older rider I would have to say that Poto is my favourite with Big M a close second.

    • #211583

      The “Pota” (Potawatomi) may deserve a top 5 selection especially if you decide to represent the entire state. I drove a couple hours out of my way to ride it a couple of years ago, and I was glad I did.  Very nice XC type trail with some good distance.

    • #211585

      Copper and Marquette are different worlds than downstate. GR trails and south are limited to loops and a couple hour rides. Hit up Big M with North Country and it provides several hours of riding. Drive to Manistee and enjoy 3-5 days of riding fresh single track. [email protected] or [email protected] will provide personal guided tours. we’re amazed at the hype of yankee and the fort. reallY?

    • #211726

      Of course Copper Harbor and Marquette are the two best areas in the state. For best trail in the Lower Peninsula, my vote is the North Country Trail southwest of Mesick. The section between Dilling Road and Beers Road involves almost continuous climbs and descents, and I’d think you’d be hard-pressed to find another trail with as much vertical in the LP.

      My top list:

      1) Copper Harbor

      2) Marquette South

      3) RAMBA (Ishpeming/Negaunee)

      4) NCT – Dilling to Beers

      5) Big M

      6) Michigan Tech

      7) Mid Michigan Community College

      8) Holdridge Recreation Area

      9) Fort Custer

      10) Burns Road (Sanford)

    • #212942

      Big M and the Cadillac Pathway are both great rides.

      Mid Michigan College has a decent trail if you like the twisty turny type

      Acadia is really fun you can ride the trail out to lake Michigan and do a scenic overlook and play on the dunes.

      Merrel is kind of a waste in my opinion it’s 4 miles long and not much fun.

      Glacial hills is great

      NCT is ok it runs the whole length of the state put to Montana or some crazy thing.


    • #212976


      If you find yourself in the Detroit Metro area, in addition to Poto mentioned above, I’d highly recommend Pontaic Lake.  Group regulars also include Maybury and Murray Lake.  There’s a lot of fun riding in SE MI, but don’t expect “out West” types of all-day trails.  Think “high-speed XC” and you’d be closer – not like Copper Harbor at all, which is 11 hours away.  But plenty of fun to be had.

    • #213169

      Admiring all the great trails out there in Michigan. Hoping to ride at Copper Harbor next month.

    • #213296

      If your in the near the Brighton area I would check out Murray lake at the rec area, its not shared with hikers which is nice, its 9 miles with an extra loop at the back not marked on the trail map. Torn shirt is there too, I rode it last year and it was fun, a couple small drops. I rode it shortly after i first started mountain biking, so it was challenging for me. Potawatomi is a great trail too. I just rode highlands MTB trails yesterday and I wasnt a fan, theres no where to build speed and riding a hardtail it was just physical punishment. I hear good things about the Pontiac lake trail, thats my next destination

    • #217690

      Hey everyone, thanks for your input! Here’s what we chose for the 5 must ride trails in Michigan (plus 3 bonus trails).

      Five2Ride: 5 of the Best Mountain Bike Trails in Michigan

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