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Ann Arbor Mountain Biking: Locations

There is an active group of mountain bikers in the Ann Arbor Ski Club that goes out twice a week: Friday evenings and Sunday mornings. Click here for the current schedule. This page has directions to the trails. For up-to-date listings of other events, see the Michigan Mountain Biking Association web site: www.mmba.org

For the rides in state parks, you need a pass. Most of us get season passes. You also need a pass for the Metro parks.

Click on any of the photos for a larger view. Trail maps were made by Bob Wagner.

Island Lake

Island Lake (click for the Island Lake trail map) This has two loops: one is 9 mi, one is 5 mi. They are less hilly than most of the other rides and have some long straight sections (well, long and straight by mountain bike standards, anyways). If you're a beginner, start here.

There are two places we meet. One is the main trailhead parking lot in the Island Lake State Park. To get to Island Lake, take the Kensington exit from 96 S. for less than a mile to the park entrance. The other place is the J.C. Penney parking lot in the mall at the Lee Road exit from US 23. Check the schedule to see where we meet.

Island Lake

Island Lake

The Poto (Potowatomi Trail) (click for the Poto maps 14 mi, 18 mi)
Pinckney Recreation Area (state park). The park is NW of Dexter, on Dexter-Townhall Rd a mile or so N. of Territorial Rd. This ride has several loops, ranging in distance from 5 mi to 18. Often we split into smaller groups at the cut-off point for the 8-mi return loop. This trail is one of the most established mountain bike trails in the state. It is more hilly than most of the other rides. It is also rockier and rootier than most, making it one ot the more challenging rides.

SILVER LAKE parking lot. This is where we usually meet (unless the schedule says otherwise.) To get here, take N. Territorial Rd. west to Dexter Town Hall Road, then North to the Silver Lake Entrance to the Pinckney Recrreation Area. Meet in main parking lot (1st one with a lot of bikers).

HALF MOON LAKE parking lot.  To get here, take N. Territorial Rd. west to Hankerd Road, then north to the Half Moon lake Entrance to the Pinckney Recreation Area.  Meet in the first parking lot.

Brighton (Bishop Lake) (click for the Bishop Lake trail map)
Meet at the Bishop Lake (state park) parking lot, just S of Brighton. The entrance is on Bishop Rd. To get there from US 23 (from Ann Arbor), take exit 55 Silver Lake Road left (west), then Whitmore Lake Rd Right. Go N. on Whitmore Lake to Maltby (2 or 3 miles), W. on Maltby to Hamburg Rd. Go left (S) for a few hundred feet to Baur Rd. Turn Rt. on Baur. In a mile or so there is road to the left marked Bishop Lake. Turn left onto it, and follow for a few miles to the Bishop Lake state park. When you enter the main parking lot, go to the left side. We meet near the trailhead, where there is a visible outhouse.

There are more directions on the MMBS website here.

There are two trails here: Torn shirt is 6 miles of hills and tight turns. Murray Lake is a about 9 miles. Both are shown on the trail map.

Maybury (Click for The Maybury trail map)
Meet at the main lot for Maybury State Park from 8 Mile Road, a few miles west of Beck Road. (Do Not park in the lots off of Beck Road near the horse staging area.) Get to 8 Mile Road from Beck Rd. off of M-14 or I-96. This 8-mi trail is a little hilly and a lot turny.

The Ann Arbor Loop (Click for main Ann Arbor loop. Here is the Olson Park Loop
Meet at the parking lot located just inside the entrance to Bandemeer Park at the intersection of Barton Drive and Whitmore Lake Road, right off the M-14 expressway at the Barton/Whitmore Lake exit.

The NE Park loop is a moderate ride that covers an amazing amount of forest trails, mostly within the city limits of Ann Arbor. 

Bluffs Park (the "Classic") Loop
The Bluffs Park loop is our more challenging Ann Arbor ride. It includes some steep climbs and descents along the valley wall of the Huron River. It begins by heading south through Bandemeer Park along the Huron River to Summit Street, the into Bluffs Park.  This area contains a myriad of highly technical trails and some interesting hills. After Bluffs Park, the trail becomes easier, passing under M-14 and crossing Kuebler-Langford Park to reach Huron River Drive and the entrance to Barton Park. The trail then crosses the Huron River, meanders through the oxbow, heads north to the Barton Pond dam and eventually back to the Bandemeer Park parking lot.

Highland Recreation Area
Meet at the Livingston Road parking lot for the Highland state park. Although you don't go through an obvious park entrance, a state park pass is required to use the parking lot. Take M59 E from US23 for about 10 mi to Duck Lake Rd. Take Duck Lake S. about a mile to Livingston Rd, go west (right turn) on Livingston for a few hundred feet to the parking lot on the N. side of the road. This has four loops (A, B, C, and D). It is hilly and turny, rocky and run. Rides can be as short as 3 mi, or as long as 18 mi.

Pontiac Recreation Area
Pontiac has been re-worked in the past few years and gotten rave reviews from some of our bikers. The 11-mile mountain bike trail has been ranked as one of the "Top 100 Trails" in the United States. To get to the park from M-59, drive north on Williams Lake Road then turn left on Gale Road. Follow the signs to the entrance.

Holdridge Lake (Holly Recreation Area)
Turny, and big log piles (that have nice ramps and are easy!). There are several loops, ranging from beginner to "interesting." Go North on 23 to exit 78 Fenton, then East through Fenton to Grange Hall Rd. Take Grange Hall Rd East about 5 miles. Just before you would cross I75, turn North on Hess Rd and follow it to the trailhead. This is the Holdridge Lake part of the Holly Recreation area.

Rolling Hills County Park

Very turny, kind of short (3 miles). This Washtenaw county park is located SE of Ann Arbor. Parking fees (per car) are $5 for residents, $9 for non-Washtenaw. Here is a road map; here's a link to the mmba forum, which shows a trail map and some videos on the last page; and here's the official Washtenaw county park site.

Hewen's Creek Park
To get to the park, take I-94 to the Huron Street Exit #183 (next to the Visteon Plant and Ford Lake). Go south until Stoney Creek Rd and turn right on Stoney Creek. Just past Rolling Hills Park, turn left on Bemis road and look for the small white Hewens Creek sign about a half mile down. Right now, there are only about four parking spots at the trail head. We have been given permission to use Lincoln High School's parking lot which is at the corner of Bemis and Hitchingham roads. This is a great option as the lot is big and it is only about ¼ mile from the trail head. Meet here and we'll bike to the Park.

For more information, please contact Mike Sayers (msayers@carsim.com)