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Discussion Starter #1
What are the best trails in lower Michigan? I live in central Michigan, and want to ride some trails with my boys. I looked on the DNR Web - site and their is maps, but not sure which one's are good.
 

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Hello fellow Michigander.

I don't know what kind of trails that you are interested in. As in do you like to ride ORV routes or ORV trails. 50" vs. 72" trails. I have a buddy that has a cabin in Rose City so we have spent a lot of time on trail 6. This trail runs from Oscoda all the way to Houghton lake. You will pass through a lot of other towns on the way so plenty of places to get fuel. From trail 6 you can pick up other trails that will take you to places like Roscommon, Luzerne, and a couple other places. These trails are a mix of 72" and 50" trails. Like I said I have spent quite a few years on this trail system.

The only other trails I can think of that are a little farther south is the Gladwin loop and I know it was and have still heard that it is all whooped out.

Some other great trail systems are a ways up north like Kalkaska, Bummers Roost, Red Bridge, and Black Lake. My buddies and I are gonna ride the Black Lake, Bummers Roost, and Red Bridge in May and then a few weeks later we are going to ride in Kalkaska for a charity event that the atv club I belong to hear in Michigan is hosting.

I hope I have helped you out some at least. If you are interested stay in touch because we are always looking for other people to ride with. The more the merrier.

Ride On!

Bigtime
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info. I'm looking for smooth trails that my family can ride. Is what I mean by smooth is, I have been on the trails in Baldwin years ago, and it was literally miles of whoopty do's. I road for an hour and I was beat to death, up and down non stop. Where would you start at on trail 6?
 

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There is a really nice trailhead in St. Helen. If you take I-75 north and get off on M-72 and take that north it will take you right into St. Helen. That is somewhere in the middle of trail 6. If you ride west you will go into Houghton Lake and if you ride east you will head towards Mio, South Branch, and Oscoda. Heading east will also get you to the trails that head north into Luzerne and Roscommon. I believe it is trail 696 that will take you to Roscommon and I can't remember the trail number to Luzerne but they are all marked very well. Not many whoops at all but the trails are pretty sandy so expect a lot of dust if it is dry.

Also I don't know if you use a GPS while riding but if you do and it can download maps I would highly recommend vvmapping for it. I have it and for like $45 you can have all the maps of all ORV trails in Michigan, county roads, forest roads, and all the main vehicle roads. Definitely well worth it.
 

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No problem. If you need any more help with the trails just ask. I think its great that you enjoy this sport with your family. Have a great year riding
 

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My wife and are looking for a new place to ride for a weeks. Are these trails mostly gravel back roads or are there some 2 track trails.
Thanks
Timo1
 

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Timo,

These are going to be either 50" or 72" wide trails. Meaning either ATV trails or ORV Routes. These trails around trail 6: Houghton Lake, St. Helen, Mio, South Branch, and Oscoda are going to be a mixture of both but mostly ATV trails. These trails are not tight trails at all but there are some that connect to it that are. If you take the 696 trail north to Roscommon then you will find a lot more ORV Route, which you can ride ATVs on, than you will find ATV trails. In fact there are straightaways that are a few miles long.

As far as gravel roads you won't find any that I am aware of. You may have to cross a couple on the trail systems but I can only think of one on trail 6 that is between Mio and St. Helen where you have to ride it a couple hundred feet because the trail goes around swampland.

If you go further north in the state like up to Atlanta, Red Bridge, Bummers Roost, Black Lake, Kalkaska you will find miles and miles of 50" atv trails. Kalkaska also has quite a few miles of ORV routes also. The trails up north are loop style trails whereas trail 6 is a straight trail so to come back you back track the way you came.

I am not sure what kind of ATV you are riding but if on utility or SxS I would stay away from the Gladwin trails because they are all whooped out. Might be fun on a sport machine. Leota on the other side of Harrison is made up of a couple different loops. The ones closest to the trailhead are fairly rough but if you go to the back trails they are really nice.

Hope this helps
 

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Thanks for the info. We would be riding 2 sportmans. It would be a 8hr drive for us. Is there enough trails to keep us busy for a week. Where would be a good location to stay to be in the center of the most trails.
Thanks again.
 

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St Helen orv trails seem to be a lot of peoples favorite spots. Also Mio and the Bull Gap system is good as well.
 

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Baldwin / Lincoln Hills are not my favorite trails to ride but is the closest state trail system too me. Also Baldwin is very busy on weekends with a lot of idiots out there. Too many times I'm cruising and a dirt bike or that clown (on a ATV) passes you without warning. I don't think that is too smart. Next option is the Kalkaska system. Has good wide routes, atv trails and roads to legally ride. Trails can be tight and hilly with some challenges. You can really ride all day or weekend and never do the same route twice. The only dislike is you'll be going down a trail and you'll see a sign behind you informing you ATV's not allowed, too late! I also always felt the state CO is always looking for you as I have been stopped 50% of the times up there. I would like to do more LP riding as well but driving for 3 hours or more for a day trip is a long day.

Don't forget your 2 state tags this year!
 

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Here is a copy/paste for the MI DNR site:

"Individuals riding in places other than private property will pay $26.25 annually. Riders wishing to use state designated trails will pay an additional $10 annually."

I have also read the $26.25 is for county and state / national forest roads riding. The $10 extra is for any state trail or route riding. You can't have one and not have the other. So $36.25 if you want to ride in MI resident or not.
 

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Baldwin / Lincoln Hills are not my favorite trails to ride but is the closest state trail system too me. Also Baldwin is very busy on weekends with a lot of idiots out there. Too many times I'm cruising and a dirt bike or that clown (on a ATV) passes you without warning. I don't think that is too smart. Next option is the Kalkaska system. Has good wide routes, atv trails and roads to legally ride. Trails can be tight and hilly with some challenges. You can really ride all day or weekend and never do the same route twice. The only dislike is you'll be going down a trail and you'll see a sign behind you informing you ATV's not allowed, too late! I also always felt the state CO is always looking for you as I have been stopped 50% of the times up there. I would like to do more LP riding as well but driving for 3 hours or more for a day trip is a long day.

Don't forget your 2 state tags this year!
Are there good places to stay near the Kalkaska trails?
 

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good places to stay near the Kalkaska and Frederick trails ? Looking for cabins or something close by nearthe trail systems? Do you have to trailer everything to the trails or can you ride to them
 

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good places to stay near the Kalkaska and Frederick trails ? Looking for cabins or something close by nearthe trail systems? Do you have to trailer everything to the trails or can you ride to them
I may be riding these this upcoming weekend. Anyway, it really depends on where you decide to stay. If you stay in Frederick, the ride is pretty short to the trail. However, I am not sure what type of cabins, motels they have available there. I have ridden many times to the Frederick inn for lunch (very good food) but they do not have lodging.

You can also stay anywhere just north of Grayling and be able to ride to Frederick trails. You can ride the side of old 127 almost all the way into Grayling and all the way up to Frederick. I know there are quite a few motels around that area.

You can also go up to Mancelona and stay. That would put you at the very north end of the Kalkaska system. But that is a lot longer drive then you probably want to make.

I think your best bet would be to stay somewhere in Grayling whether you ride or trailer to the trails. If you trailer, there is a trail head for both right off M-72. Frederick come first if you are heading west out of Grayling. Its probably 3-5 miles out of town. Kalkaska is probably 10 miles out of town. Both are well marked and on the right hand side of the road.

A good resource to look at to figure out if you will be able to ride to the trails from where you are staying is VVmapping.com if you don't already use it. You can look and print free maps off their webpage that will show you where the route and trails run by the towns. I personally have their map book and gps maps. They are top notch.

Have you ridden either of these before? They are both really nice fun trials. If you need any more help, let me know. And, have a blast.
 

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I haven't ever ridden these before but my wife's uncle does all the time. What worries me is my machines getting stolen of my trailer at a hotel. It happened to my wife's uncle with a brand new machine. I'm used to going south and staying in cabins with security
 

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I like the Kalkaska or Leota systems, many miles of trails and some gravel roads are available. Leota will even bring you into the Atlanta system. If you were to stay near Gaylord and use that as a home base you probably would be easily within a hours trailering to any of these trailheads. Look at a state map and pick a central location and go from there.
 

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I like the Kalkaska or Leota systems, many miles of trails and some gravel roads are available. Leota will even bring you into the Atlanta system. If you were to stay near Gaylord and use that as a home base you probably would be easily within a hours trailering to any of these trailheads. Look at a state map and pick a central location and go from there.
I could see the Kalkaska system maybe hooking up to Atlanta somewhere, but I am almost positive that the leota system will not. If it does, please enlighten me. I would really like to know. That would open up a whole lot of riding for me. Thanks.
 

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I haven't ever ridden these before but my wife's uncle does all the time. What worries me is my machines getting stolen of my trailer at a hotel. It happened to my wife's uncle with a brand new machine. I'm used to going south and staying in cabins with security
Get a cable and a lock and run it through the wheels. It will prevent most people. If they really want them they are going to get them regardless though. However, you bought them to ride them. Dont let the lowlifes ruin your time. That is unless they do steal them:eek
 
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