Michigan has stunning scenery worth exploring on foot, but even better – on dirt bikes! These are trails near Detroit and Grand Rapids City.
If you’re tired of binge-watching another YouTuber cruising along the trails and prefer to actually head out there yourself, then pay attention to this carefully curated list of riding areas.
Best Dirt Bike Trails in Michigan
We hunted around to bring you this excellent and resourceful guide. We didn’t want to simply cobble together some MX clubs and tracks around the state. While we love the racing scene, most people are looking for enduro single track to explore.
And so, we found the following for those who want some exploring and perhaps some enduro racing or camping opportunities.
Make the most of sunny days. These dirt bike trails in Michigan are the most popular:
1. Tomahawk Motorcycle Trail
Tomahawk is what Frontaer considers to be one of the best places to explore on a dirt bike in Michigan. These loops are graded for difficulty and you can not just ride here, but swim, fish and hike too. The place is epic in terms of scenery and camping opportunities are plentiful.
2. Moss Lake Motorcycle Trail
Head into the Hiawatha National FOrest and you’ll come across the Moss Lake Motorcycle Trail. This spot hasn’t been opened for that long but has already gained a lot of popularity especially on weekends. The fact that this is opened all year-round adds to the popularity so we recommend rocking up early on weekends. The Flowing Well Campground is highly recommended for an overnight stay.
3. Turtle Ridge ORV Park
A lot of dirt bike riders across Michigan talk about Turtle Ridge and it has n almost cult-like feel. To get there, you actually have to go across via ferry boat on to Drummond Island and there is a ferry that leaves every hour or so, with more frequent crossings during peak times. The island is reserved for offroad vehicles with tight single forest tracks plus camping, showers and a restaurant to keep things more civil.
4. Bundy Hill Offroad Park
Bundy Hill gets damn popular because it offers so many challenges and practice areas. This is one of those spots where you’ll want to phone them up before heading out or camping overnight. You’ll get plenty of hill climbs, tight single track for exploring in 2nd or 3rd gear, as well as some water crossings to make things interesting.
5. St. Helen Motorsport Area
More than 50 miles make up the St. Helen Motorsport Area with several long and wooded loops. There is also some sandy spots worth checking out if you’re keen to really twist that throttle of yours hard. There are staging areas that allow for toy haulers to rock up as well as the Saint Helend Campground which has direct trail access.
6. Little O and Big O Motorcycle Trails
We definitely recommend adding both Little O and BIg O to your itinerary. These are apart of the Michigan Cross Country Cycle Trail and the track is hard packed and fast-flowing. Don’t be suprrised if you finally get up into the top end of your gears. Aim for Carrieville Campground if you’re staying overnight or North County Campground.
7. Ogemaw Sport and Trail Centre
Ogemaw is really best for dirt bikes looking for a motocross track and families wanting an open PeeWee Track. That said, stay overnight here and you’ll get direct trail access to Ambrose Lake State Forest. This will give you access to hundreds of miles of trails. It’s best to stay 2 nights if you want to see it all.
8. Gladwin ORV Scramble Area
For those that don’t want to go camping and prefer the thrill of a day-trip, then Gladwin within Au Sable State Forest is ideal. This is near Little Molasses River and the staging area provides access to both southern and northern loops, as well as access to the Michigan Cross Country Trail Network.
9. Silver Lake State Park
Silver Lake is the place to go if you want to ride sand dunes in the state of Michigan. This spot is popular and then even run racing events here. You’ll need both a Michigan ORV and Recreation Passport Sticker. There aren’t any campgrounds on-site and you can’t camp in the staging area, though you can head to one of the nearby campgrounds which offer some primitive camping options.
10. Holly Oaks ORV Park
For open country where you won’t be clipping tree branches with the handlebars, we can recommend Holly Oaks. This spot is popular with 4×4’s as well as UTV’s and ATV’s. Of course, dirt bikes are welcome and you can stay overnight at Groveland Oaks County Park and Campground.
11. Little Maniestee Trails
Little Manistee actually hooks in with Little O and Big O Trails. If you’re already doing those tracks then add this one to the agenda too. This associated campground is ideal for staging too and it’s best to check in early on a Friday afternoon before the rest of the state suddenly rocks up.
12. Sandtown Motorcycle Trail
Sandtown is a trail worth exploring with lots of forest canopy cover. Unlike most trail systems in Michigan, this one is open to dirt bikes only (including dual-sport and adventure riders with camping gear) and this 32 mile loop actually hooks in with the Newberry-Rexton Trail for an additional 40+ miles. No camping areas here though some adventures take the opportunity to do some stealth camping off the trail.
Literally. Start revving! This generation has become one of riders who typically hang by watching YouTube videoes more than actually listening to their own thumping 4-stroke. If you want to really experience life, then get out there and use the phone to capture your own footage!
Catch you oout there on the tracks.