Explore Mountain Biking Trails - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Mountain Biking Trails Map
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mountain biking
3 days ago

These trails are super fun. Mostly easy climbs, a little technical in sections of single-track switchbacks, and the sand in sections requires some peddling. Beginner or expert, these trails can entertain anybody, except hikers. They are indeed multi-use, but the bikers really out number all others.

we brought our bikes. a little hard for my 5 year old... but we did go 3.39 miles! not paved, i think that was what made it the hardest. but so pretty and quiet. gasp... bugs, there were bugs outside. we survived, did not donate to much blood to the suckers. will for sure be back!

backpacking
13 days ago

This trail is great! The winding path, hills, and terrain keep it interesting, as well as the beautiful forest views. Much more enjoyable than most of the trails we've hiked in SE Michigan. Not many mosquitos, surprisingly.

Using this trail to prep for a thru-hike of Isle Royale.

Just make sure you listen for bikers. They come around the curves quickly and you can't always see them around corners.

Pontiac lake mtb trail was great to run. I'll definitely be back.

A pretty easy out and back hike. Part of the trail is a shared equestrian trail so you have to watch where you step. There's a nice scenic overlook above Pontiac Lake. The park abuts Oakland County Intl Airport so you still hear a lot of air traffic here...just no getting away from it. other than that, a nice little hike that could be followed up by a swim of you're inclined.

Did the Penosha and Kahchin trails a couple days ago. Well marked, get paper maps at the gate. All trails start off the parking lot at Bishop Lake. Very few bugs on the day I went, using a basic low-Deet bugspray. Looks like the previously eroded areas others mentioned have been reinforced with rubber [recycled tires?] gradations to prevent future erosion. Saw a few people on the Penosha nearer to the far parking area, but otherwise it was quiet. Great hike in a wooded area. There is a paved half-loop around Bishop Lake that was very scenic. Swimming area at the lake if you plan to cool off afterwards.

Good hike! A lot of sites to see, also a nice lake in the area. Will visit again!

it's not marked greatly and also very labirinth alike.i can say mountain bikers enjoy it

I highly reccomend taking the "harder" section of this trail, there are many jump areas to go on including rigerous uphills followed by flowing downhills

hiking
1 month ago

beautiful land but far too many bikes to make for an enjoyable walk with the dogs. have to be on high alert 100% of the time watching for them around tight corners.

Very well marked trail. Decent for all skill types.

I thought it was a nice trail - no major points of interest along the way, but it wasn’t bad. I hiked along the A and part of the B loop (took the cutoff back to A part way through the B section). It took me about about 2 1/2 hours and I think it was somewhere around 6 miles. Definitely bring bug spray, I couldn’t really stop because the bugs would just start to swarm around me if I stopped moving. This is a good trail if you want some distance to get in some exercise. I’m not a mountain biker, but it seems like it would be a pretty smooth trail to ride on.

Great trail! Here for a wedding great way to get some exercise in.

Beautiful park and some good hills on the path. Only 3 stars because of how narrow the path is with so many blind corners, many times we have to very quickly jump into the woods and brush to avoid collision with mountain bikers. We had our dog with us and a few times it was a little hard to get out of the way quickly. Tons of bugs too - lots of mosquitos this time of year we reapplied big spray often. Also, this is listed at 8 something miles, but the full loop is 11 miles.

A challenging hike for this part of Michigan.

Hilly, buggy, and serpentine. Sometimes it felt like the trail went down a quarter mile slope down only to 180 at the trough and go right back up again.

Not much aesthetic or biodiversity as the trail only slithered around a few square miles of forest.

After a 6 hour hike, we walked out with 6 or 7 lbs of summer chanterelles. Pretty cool. I’ll go back in the fall to avoid the bugs.

hiking
1 month ago

It was a great hike even on a warm summer afternoon. Very few mosquitos right now. The trail is not very wide and there are lots of mountain bikers, so hikers be alert. There is the occasional low hanging branch, but other than that, the trail is well maintained.

I did the A loop on foot last weekend and really loved it. It's made up in a small area so typically you would be circling in the same area with pretty much the same views throughout which was a little disappointing especially because i like my trails to have a view at the end. Loop A was 3.8miles plus a 0.1mile from the parking lot so typically you would be doing a good 4 miles.
I agree with the advice of taking precautions for bugs and mosquitoes but that's everywhere.
If you are looking for a good weekend workout within an hour of Detroit this is the place to go!

A few heads up:
(1) you need a park recreation passport or you’re gonna end up paying $9 bucks for a day pass. You can buy a passport there if you’re a Michigander (it’s more expensive than if you buy it from the state directly though)
(2) Bring bugspray and some good hiking boots or an old pair of sneakers. There’s a lot of small ponds which make the trails quite swampy in a lot of parts so prepare to get muddy. And prepare to be best friends with every insect the woods are homes for. At one point I got so desperate, I broke off a branch and swung it around my head just to keep them from circling me. Yes I tried running too, but they were EVERYWHERE.

(3) As to the difficulty of the trails, the actual terrain I didn’t find challenging. What makes Highland formidable is the labyrinthine nature of the place. BE SURE TO GET A MAP AT THE PARK ENTRANCE.

Park near the Haven Hill/ Ed (?) barn if you want to start hiking at the blue, green, and red trailhead. If you park near the entrance, you’ve gotta walk about a mile or so before you reach it.
If you do park near the entrance, once you reach the intersection where the barn is, you’ll walk past the barn and see a couple toilet “vaults” before you hit the true trailhead.

(3b) The number-markers can be confusing are not always chronological, so keep an eye on your map.


(4) Perhaps most importantly, if you plan on hiking one of the red, blue, or green trails—especially if you’re coming from the park entrance—be sure you’ve got AT LEAST 32 oz of water on you. It’s a LONG ass trail. And if you get lost, as I did, you’ll start feeling like Tom Hanks in Castaway after an hour or two.

(5) Lastly, I’d give yourself five hours if you’re an average Joe going for the green trail—maybe even the blue trail. If you’re a newbie, you’ll likely need the time to get lost, swear, and turn around multiple times.

Overall, it’s a decent spot. I give it three stars because of the navigation difficulty and, well, because it’s not really all that beautiful. The marshes and bugs really took away most. The “scenic lookouts” aren’t really lookouts or scenes, they kind of make a fart noise in your head once you reach the top.

BUT (no pun intended) if you’re looking for a place to be truly ALONE in nature for a couple hours, this is a good spot. I didn’t see anyone on the blue, red, or green trails while I was out.

Also, I’ll give Highland props for the bathrooms available along the trails. They have a decent amount to compensate for the lengthy hikes.

Hope this helps! Happy Hiking!

KB

It is a good distance, and easy. It’s a good practice trail, or just a relaxing one.
Watch out for bikers!

Probably the best hike I have done within an hour of Detroit. Fairly hilly with good trails and direction.

I only hiked trails A and B with my dog and we finished in about 2 1/2 hours with multiple stops. The backside of B was really muddy so I wish I just want back the way I came but it is early in the summer. There was a ton of bugs and spider webs, so prepare accordingly. Also, there was a crap ton of horse poop (pun intended). Would have been nice to not see so much of that.

Overall it is a really good hike, not necessarily “hard” but probably more difficult than moderate.

hiking
2 months ago

Well maintained, absolutely gorgeous! We hike these trails every week all year long. Great workout.

Great trail, well groomed!

Nice easy trail. Takes about 2 hours to complete the A loop about 3.8 miles. Well maintained and light traffic. Perfect mid-morning hike.

Except perhaps for some cities in Europe, I am most happy place-wise in the rolling hills of the Appalachians. I’ve never needed cliffs. Just some hardwoods and a couple thousand feet of altitudinal change without airplanes or asphalt too near. In North Florida I was lucky to have sinkholes and the scarp provide me a few similar rolls and a quiet place to hang my hammock only 20 minutes’ drive and 15 minutes’ walk into San Felasco. Southeast Michigan has been equally challenging. There are some pretty woods and nice lakes, but hills in the Midwest are rare. Today, though, I found my new day hike. Okay, the altitude rises and falls only a couple hundred feet, but that will do when the chipmunks are the loudest things around. Admittedly, I didn’t love the lakeside beach, but this Florida boy probably always will think of water below 65F as deadly unless it’s being consumed, so I’m not a great judge of that end of the trail. (The few people that I saw there with fishing poles and happy dogs seemed to love the lake, though, so I’m sure that it was lovely if that’s your thing.) The walk was a nice few hours, especially in the middle of the trail network because of the infrequency of overlaps between the bike and horse and hiking paths and because it was still just chilly enough to keep the crowds away while the first green leaves were peeking out.

How long does this usually take to hike?

Nice trails year round

Island Lake Recreation Area is beautiful. Kayaking feels like you're up north (when you get out of distance of the shooting range anyway). Hiking is gorgeous with lots of elevation, sweeping views, and huge sand dunes to climb and go down. Who knew there were big sand dunes in SE Mich? For the best hike, park in the Spring Mill Pond parking lot and then find the bike/hike trails south and east of the parking lot. There's also an awesome little secluded pond you can swim in with sandy banks.

I can't believe this is in SE Mich. You show up to the park and suddenly there are steep hills everywhere. Love the constant elevation changes on the trails and the dense forest. The most scenic parts of the park are found in the 1) northeast part of the park just south of Maceday Rd and 2) the ridge trail just northwest of the campground that gives you a view for miles.

The primary hiking trail goes from the beach to the campground. For a loop, you can hike the mountain biking trail back to the beach (after checking out the scenic overlook on the bike path just past marker #4). This makes a great loop of 5 or 6 miles.

mountain biking
5 months ago

Nice single track, decent elevation and little traffic. Many loops to accumulate miles.

mountain biking
6 months ago

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