Michigan doesn’t just boast beautiful golden shorelines, lush forests, and a rich history of automotive advancement, it also has quite the bounty of mountain biking opportunities too! Whether you want to cruise down moderate descents taking in the scenic views or you’re looking for a white-knuckle ride that will get your adrenaline pumping, Michigan has a trail for you! To help you plan your cycling adventure in the Mitten State, here is our list of the best mountain biking trails in Michigan, as well as the campgrounds to stay at when you visit them.
Located in the Pinckney Recreation Area in southeast Michigan, the Potawatomi Trail is a one-way loop trail offering a moderately difficult ride. The sprawling forest area is webbed with trails, with the longest continuous loop measuring in at around 17.5 miles. The trail terrain offers lots of ups and downs to challenge riders and develop their technical abilities. With lovely features like a wooden bridge and lake overlooks, you can look forward to some great scenery when you hit these trails! Just be sure to watch out for hikers, especially on heavily-trafficked days.
Hell Creek Ranch Campground
Located less than 8 minutes from the Potawatomi trailhead, Hell Creek Ranch Campground is a great home base when you’re looking to hit Potawatomi Trail. This 100-site campground offers 60 electrical sites isolated with lush conifers so you can have a private and comfortable stay. Wood and ice is available on site and because Hell Creek runs through the property, you can even enjoy some spectacular fishing opportunities during your stay.
Copper Harbor Trails
Located in the upper-most point of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, it is suggested that Copper Harbor Trails has some of the best riding not just in the Great Lakes state but in all of the Midwest. Escape to this rugged northern play land and challenge yourself on over 32 miles of single-track trails. Streak through acres of untamed backcountry along the shores of Lake Superior as you explore the 37 downhill trails of varying difficulty. Give your legs a break on the way back uphill by using the shuttle services. This is available with day passes costing $25.
Lake Fanny Hooe Resort & Campground
You’ll be within walking distance of the Copper Harbor Trail System when you stay at Lake Fanny Hooe Resort and Campground. In addition to being within close proximity to the trailhead, you’ll also be flanked by over 250,000 acres of untamed northern wilderness. All sites include water and electric, with some full-service sites also available. The campground offers a dump station, hot showers, a swimming beach, and a camp store.
Head to Michigan Technical University’s Recreational Forest for some more great riding in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula! Just 1 hour south of Copper Harbor, make a stop on your way up and extend your mountain biking getaway! Tech Trails is an interconnected trail system that can accommodate all levels and abilities. Show beginners the ropes with the Pilgrim Trails or test your skill with some funky stunts at the more challenging Twilight Zone Loop. With so many different routes to choose from, you won’t ever want to stop exploring these trails!
City of Houghton RV Park
Just a quick 7 minute drive to the trailhead, the City of Houghton RV Park is a great hub for hitting the Tech Trails! This 22-unit park is located along the water, giving you a picturesque lodging experience. Being no more than a half mile from Downtown Houghton, it also puts you within distance of a number of local attractions. Visit the Mineral Museum, bowl at the Mine Shaft & Rock House, or grab a drink at The Continental Fire Co.
Boyne Highlands Bike Park
Repeatedly recognized as one of the top parks in North America, you are sure to have a blast tearing up the dozens of miles of trails throughout the park’s more than 4,000 acres! Hone your biking abilities by heading to the skills park which includes a variety of wooden features such as a skinny bridge, teeter-totter, and a flow track! Hit the cross-country trails for some fast-paced, adrenaline pumping pleasure that offers over 19 different downhill trails to choose from! Speed demons live for the kind of terrain the Boyne Highlands Bike Park provides, so if you’ve got a need for speed, then this rugged and rocky amusement park is for you!
You’ll be less than 15 minutes away from Boyne Highlands Bike Park when you stay at the Petoskey KOA. Set on 30 tranquil acres near the sandy Lake Michigan shoreline, this campground is the perfect place to kick back and relax after your active day of riding! The campground offers Wi-Fi, a pool and hot tub, as well as a range of activities including scavenger hunts, pancake breakfasts, and painting school!
Fort Custer Recreation Area
Nestled between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek in the city of Augusta, Fort Custer Recreation Area offers more than 25 miles of well-maintained mountain biking trails, making it a popular destination among sport cycling enthusiasts. With several different trail loops ranging from expert to intermediate to beginner, you can bring the whole family here for a fun day of riding, regardless of skill level. The Red Loop boasts a steeper climb with more advanced obstacles, while the Blue and Yellow Loops are smoother and more geared toward novice riders.
Fort Custer Modern Campground
Conveniently within walking distance of the biking trails, you won’t find a closer stay to the recreation area than the Fort Custer Modern Campground. The 219-site park offers electric service hookups, a sanitation station, and updated bathrooms that are available seasonally. During your stay here you can enjoy a picnic beneath one of the public pavilion shelters or cast off into the Kalamazoo River and try to catch yourself a fish!
Did your favorite Michigan biking trail make the list? Let us know in the comments!