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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!

mountain biking
14 days ago

awesome trails, not well marked though

hiking
16 days ago

Really nice trails, not very well marked so it was hard to tell if you were going the right way

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!

mountain biking
1 month ago

Trails were great! Well maintained and had options for beginners and seasoned mountain bikers. However, trails were not marked well. Was my first time riding there the other day and got lost multiple times. Had no idea were I was or where I was going. Had to back track a couple times. Trails are good, just work on signs!

FYI, River Bends park connects to Clinton River Heritage Park on Van Dyke.
AFTER you pass Jimmy Johns Field, cross the street (Auburn Rd), stay on trail and go down under 59, then cross Clinton River, go down Davis Street two blocks then turn left on Nichols. From Nichols you’ll pickup trail in Clinton River Heritage Park located on Van Dyke just south of M59.
From Clinton River Heritage Park the trail continues on to Clinton River Park and then to Dodge Park. Stay on the trail along the Clinton River when in doubt, especially in Dodge Park.
There’s a gas station across the street from Dodge Park to eat or refreshments if needed however we always pack a lunch. Also plenty of clean bathrooms with running water at Dodge Park. Enjoy the ride. I believe the round trip between Dodge and River Bends Parks is less than 15 miles.
Our next excursion will be from Dodge Park (where we always start out) To Paint Creek Trail. Hopefully the trails all connect but will review once completed.

Also, all trails mentioned above are paved

I’ve been visiting Bloomer Park for years walking, hiking and even floated down the Clinton River when the water level was a bit higher. Love this park!

Trail is flooded out and no longer passable.

Completed the MotherNature and Settlers trails with the family yesterday. Great easy hike for kiddos at about 3.5 Miles total

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.

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.

it's very fun for MTB has different levels (several) of trails... will make you sweat.

Beautiful dragonfly and butterfly action this morning! Although it rained all day yesterday, the trail wasn’t a mess- which was great!

great place to unwind. awesome trails and good places to have a picnic after a long hike. loved coming here today with mom.

Went on the White trail. Nice wooded trail with some little climbs and descents with lots of roots. I took my 8 year old son and he handled it well but at slow speeds. It would be fun to do this fast. Make sure to bring bug spray-we got eaten alive!

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

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.

Great Outdoor hiking trail. Just don't come on Wednesdays and cut the trails with lawn mowers.

hiking
2 months ago

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

Great trails! My dogs love going for hikes here, it is very quiet and pretty. My only compliant is they close the gate to the parking lot very early, so if you want to go for a walk after work we park on the road.

White trail was great. Nice elevation changes. We will definitely be back for the orange trail soon. If ticks are a concern for you, this is a great trail because its all woods...we got thhru without a single hitchhiker!

mountain biking
2 months ago

Great trail for beginners but the trail markings are a little confusing. The trail is well maintained, clean, very peaceful and secluded. I have no complaints about the faint noise from the shooting range, you can only hear it in the beginning of the trail. It is mostly flat but you will encounter rocks, and tree roots, which is expected because the trail is in a wooded area. Overall, I had a great experience. This was my first time on the trail and I will be going back for sure.

Orange Trail was awesome! Lots of wildlife, very quiet. Hard to believe you’re in metro Detroit at times. Highly suggested.

Great trail, well groomed!

Perfect hike today, trails in great condition with little to no mud.

The presentation is nice but once you get to the trail you realize there’s nothing really to see, kind of a let down

Definitely a fun and moderately challenging trail if you go off the main trail. Good hills and saw some wildlife such as a deer that stood in the trail a few feet away. Also saw a pretty big garter snake. The trail was quite muddy in spots and some big tree limbs down perhaps due to the storms yesterday. The trails are not marked well and can get quite confusing especially if you take too many turns. Also, you need a park pass for city of Rochester Hills - it was free today though.

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