For those who love a combination of exercise and adrenaline, there’s few better ways to get it than with mountain biking. In Michigan, there are plenty of places to engage in mountain biking, some simple and some thoroughly complex. So, with that in mind, fill your water bottle and get your helmet on because we’re going to run down nine great options for mountain biking in Michigan!
Copper Harbor Trails near Copper Harbor boasts, by some reports, around 35 miles worth of single track operations. Throw in a variety of programs, educational opportunities and even a complete four-season operation, and Copper Harbor Trails will be able to deliver mountain biking fun regardless of the time of year or taste in riding.
Traverse City has a little bit of everything, it seems, and mountain biking is definitely on the list. GT Commons offers a combination of hilly terrain, big gaps, and jumps all in a mere couple of miles’ worth of course. That packs a lot of action into a small package, and makes for a really dense run that higher-tier riders should be more than ready to enjoy.
If GT Commons didn’t do it for you, head on over to Vasa in Williamsburg. Sharing its name with a Swedish royal dynasty, this is one of the kings of Michigan biking trails. With 15 miles of XC trails or 12 miles of single track, Vasa will offer a king’s ransom in variety for all skill levels of rider. There’s even a single track run that goes through Pere Marquette State Forest. Since it’s bordered by highways, it will be tough to get very lost for long.
Manistee’s Big M offers a very big course indeed, measuring out at a whopping 33 miles. It’s not just the length, of course, but it’s also the terrain; featuring long flats and hilly segments, Big M will deliver the goods in grand still to give riders access to single track, two-track, and cross-country trail runs to give most anyone a long day of riding fun. Join them in the winter months for skiing as well, so once you know how to get to Big M, you’ll have fun all year long.
Saugatuck is one of the artistic centers of Michigan, but it’s also got some exciting mountain bike action going along with it. The Shore Acres Mountain Bike Trail offers three miles of trails commonly ranked at an intermediate level. It’s mostly single track, regarded by many riders as both “tight and twisty”, and features an elevation of 648 feet. After a long day of riding, consider unwinding with a nearby disc golf course.
6. I-275 Metro Trail, Detroit, MI
Detroit may not be a name you think of when it comes to mountain biking, but that’s a mistake you’ll soon rectify when hearing about the I-275 Metro Trail. Featuring 40 total miles of greenway trail comprised entirely of paved asphalt, this long and simple run is excellent for the beginning rider. With night riding options and fat biking in the winter, the I-275 Metro Trail will deliver fun and excitement for all its riders.
Head out to Berrien Springs for a taste of the Andrews University trail, a comparatively new entry in the Michigan mountain biking scene. Featuring 11 miles of track geared toward the advanced rider, this almost four-year-old track delivers not only some tight and twisty course runnings, but also some noteworthy natural sights. Spotting a deer along this track isn’t unheard of, being out in the woods, and with all this single track running to enjoy it’s a safe bet most will.
Right in the area around Hillsdale College in Hillsdale is Hayden Park, an eight-mile track geared toward the intermediate rider. A fairly short single track course with double track and open lanes, the Hayden Park run is said to be among the best maintained tracks around. Though it’s not packed with big drops, it’s got enough unusual twists and turns to make it a track worth running in southwest lower Michigan.
Midland’s Midland City Forest offers some exciting mountain biking with nine miles of single track for the intermediate rider. Featuring a variety of natural impediments like loose sand and a host of tree roots, riders can enjoy log jumps, a scout bridge, and even a natural seesaw effect. Three separate trails intermingle nicely to allow riders an all-day outing or the kind of thing that can be knocked out in a little while.