Local Mountain Biking and Hiking Trails

DTE Energy Trail

Description:  After years of planning, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) approved a five loop, 20+ mile mountain bike trail system located just outside of Chelsea in the Waterloo Recreation Area.  The first loop is around five miles long, known as the Green Loop and has been open since June 2016.  The loop was voted the best beginner trail in Michigan for 2016.  The Green Loop is popular with riders of all skill levels and is an excellent place for parents to take their youngsters to get them started in the sport of mountain biking.  The trail is a machine built, hard packed, dirt surface.  There is excellent flow and tons of berms and places to get air if you desire.  Expert riders love it.  New riders and kids love it.  The trail winds through some of the most beautiful areas of forest in SE Michigan.  You'll ride through stands of pines, wetlands and along lakes and ponds.  Check out the signs at the trailhead for riding and hiking direction of the day,  

The second loop, which is a bit more challenging, was completed in 2017 is called "The Big Kame".  The entire project is scheduled to complete one loop per year through 2020, with the total mileage coming out around 20+miles.  

Trail Rating:  Easy/Intermediate

For more information on the trail project visit:

Directions:  Located just 6 miles from the shop in the Waterloo Recreation Area.  Take M-52 north through downtown Chelsea and continue straight on M-52 through the traffic circle.  Go past Green Lake and the trailhead parking lot will be on the left,  

Trailhead parking lot address is DTE Energy Foundation Trail, 17819 Stockbridge-Chelsea Rd.  Chelsea, MI 48118



Brighton Recreation Area Trail System

Description:  Two trails open to mountain biking in the Brighton Recreation Area are the Murray Lake Trail and the Torn Shirt Trail.  These two loops in this area are popular for intermediate and advanced riders.  Torn Shirt Trail is definitely the more difficult of the two, with steeper climbs and descents and more technical riding.

Murray Lake Trail is more moderate and flowy-perfect for intermediate riders not quite ready for technical riding.  The Murray Lake Trail is between 7 and 9 miles long depending on which loops you ride.  

The Torn Shirt Trail is a little over 5 miles long and is considered by some to be an advanced ride.  This loop is full of steep climbs and rooty, rocky descents.  Combine both for a great day of riding.  

Ranking:  Intermediate

Directions:  The Brighton Recreation Area is 23 miles from the shop.

The address for the trailhead parking area is :  BIshop Lake Complex, Brighton, MI 48116



Island Lake Recreation Area

Description:  A popular trail system for beginners, but entertaining for advanced riders as well.  This system was re-established through extensive work by the Motor City Mountain Bike Association.  From the trailhead, riders can choose from two trails, each with their own character.  

The Blue Loop, approximately 9 miles in length, is fast and flowing, with gentle climbs and descents.  Beginner friendly, the flow really appears at speed and experienced riders will find Blue a great place to spin all out and work on their cardio as the miles fly by.  

The Yellow Loop, approximately 6 miles in length, is a more technical and hilly intermediate trail with scenic stretches along the Huron River and great vistas.  The end of the Blue Loop shares a small section of two track with the Yellow Loop so it is easy to link the two together into a 14+ mile loop.  

Trail Ranking:  Easy

Directions:  The Island Lake Recreation Area is 37 miles from the shop.  

Address for the trailhead:  Island Lake Pathway, Brighton, MI 48116



Sharon Mills Park Trail

Description:  One of the most scenic of the Potowatomi Chapter's Trails, this easy loop provides sweeping vistas of rolling farmlands and the opportunity to ride scenic singletrack along the banks of the Raisin River.  The 3.8 mile hiking and mountain bike trail runs counter-clockwise and passes through farmland next to small wetlands.  The trail runs parallel to the Nan Weston Preserve of the Nature Conservancy, home to a variety of interesting plants and wildlife.  Deer, turkeys, wood ducks and sandhill cranes are frequent visitors to the park.  

Trail Ranking:  Easy

For more info:  http://www.potomba.org/sharon-mills/

Directions:  Sharon Mills Park is 12 miles from the shop.  

Address for the trailhead parking area is:  5701 Sharon Hollow Rd, Manchester, MI 48158



Potowatomi Trail

Description:  There are three trails open to mountain biking in the Pinckney Recreation Area.  The popular 17.5 mile Potowatomi Trail Loop is believed by many to be the best mountain bike trail in Southern Michigan.  The 5.1 mile Crooked Lake Trail and the 1.9 Silver Lake are other great options in the trail system.  All routes are shared with hikers.  The trailhead is at the end of the first parking lot, next to the outhouse.  Potowatomi is singletrack from beginning to end.  

The Poto trail is rooty, sometimes sandy, and has a constant helping of uphill and downhill fun.  Often your momentum will carry you up part of the next climb.  

Trail Ranking for Potowatomi:  Intermediate

Trail Ranking for Crooked Lake/Silver Lake Trail Loop:  Easy/Intermediate

Directions:  Located just over 10 miles from the shop in the Pinckney Recreation Area

Address for trailhead parking area:  8555 SIlver Hill, Pinckney, MI 48169



Heritage Park Trail System

Description:  Adrian's Heritage Park is home to 10 miles worth of biking/hiking trails.  The system consists of 5 separately marked trails ranging in length from .6 miles to 8.8 miles.  Many of the trails overlap one another or share sections.  All trails start and finish at the Stubnitz Center parking lot, with an alternate trailhead for the Orange trail at Marker 18 (soccer lot).

The trail offers a little of everything-tight twisty singletrack through heavily wooded areas, open doubletrack, sweet flowing singletrack with switchbacks, some interesting technical areas with log piles, bridges, rock garden, and downhills with drop-offs.  The trail has a few big climbs and three short, steep ones with switchbacks in a row.  There are some off-camber climbs and descents.  The trail dries out fast in the rain and is one the first trails to be ready after the spring thaw.  There is some sand, but not as much as other trails in the area.  

Directions:  Heritage Park is 28 miles from the shop.  

The address for the trailhead parking area is:  3221 N. Adrian HWY. (US M52)



Guide to Local Pathways

The Dexter Bike Path

Located in Dexter, Michigan with access points by the Huron River on either side of Main Street downtown. The trail can also be accessed at the Dexter-Huron Metropark and Hudson Mills Metropark.  

Parking for the stretch between Dexter and Hudson Mills Metropark is available at the southern end of the trail off Main Street in Mill Creek Park and at the northern end of the trail in Hudson Mills Metropark (8801 North Territorial Rd).  

Description:  Beginning in the north, the scenic trail is part of the ongoing Border-to Border Trail Project and provides an important connection between Hudson Mills Metropark and downtown Dexter.  The path, also known here as the West River Trail, is primarily paved as it follows the west bank of the Huron River-a section through the wetlands is boardwalk.  A short disconnected segment extends eastward from Dexter to Dexter-Huron Metropark.  


Lakelands Trail

Location-Stockbridge to Pinckney

To access the Stockbridge Trailhead, take State Route M-106/M-52 south through Stockbridge, crossing Main Street in downtown Stockbridge.  After crossing Main Street, the trail is approximately a 1/2 mile ahead on the left.  

To access the eastern trailhead, take Interstate 23 to exit 54.  Head west on State Route M-36/Nine Mile Rd.  Turn left to head south on Merrill Road.  The trailhead at Manly W Bennet Memorial Park is on the left.  

Description:  Lakelands Trail State Park is one of the four linear state parks in the Michigan State Park system that have been converted from abandoned railroad corridors.  26 miles of asphalt/gravel.



Falling Waters Trail

Location:  Jackson

The trail connects Cascades, Ella Sharp, Lime Lake and Swains Lake parks in south-central Michigan's Jackson County with the city of Jackson.  You can access the Falling Waters Trail at the following locations:

Lime Lake County Park -Teft Road between Cox and Mathews Rd

Weatherwax Drive, south of Park Rd near the cell phone tower

New Leaf Parking Area near the Jackson Intercity Trail on 4th Street just south of Audubon Blvd.  Take the bike trail southwest directly to the Falling Waters Trail.  

Description:  The Falling Waters Trail is a paved 10.5 mile linear non-motorized County Park based on the old Michigan Central railroad bed.  It runs between Weatherwax Drive and the Village of Concord, MI.  This trail connects Summit, Spring Arbor and Concord Townships and crosses Lime Lake on an old causeway.  It connects at it's east end to Jackson's Intercity Trail which continues east 3 miles into downtown Jackson.  You will find bicycle lanes painted throughout the city for safe cycling.  



Ann Arbor Bike Path

Location:  Ann Arbor

Part of the Huron River Greenway Border-to Border Trail System.  In Ann Arbor, the Border-to-Border Trail extends south from the Barton Nature Area toward town, mostly following the course of the Huron River.  

Access points and places to park along the Border-to Border Trail in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti:

  • Huron Bridge Park

  • Bandemer Park

  • Broadway Park

  • Riverside Park

  • Fuller Park

  • Ball fields on Fuller Rd near the Veterans Hospital

  • Argo-Gallup Park

  • McAuley Drive near St. Joseph Hospital

Description:  The completed stretch connects eastern Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti to Wayne County.  In Ann Arbor , the Border-to-Border Trail extends south from the Barton Nature Area toward town, mostly following the course of the Huron River.  The trail passes close to the University of Michigan's main medical campus, crosses the river several times and parallels an active Amtrak line on it's way to the campus of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti.  Here the off-road trail ends for a few miles but picks up again in south Ypsilanti near Interstate 94.  It then continues south along the north shore of Ford Lake to it's current eastern trailhead at North Hydro Park.