A variety of terrain and numerous scenic trails for the novice to expert rider have made Crawford County a favorite bikers’ destination.

Grayling area bike paths
Grayling area bike paths


The Rayburn property on North Down River Road is a scenic trail open to the public. This combination 2 mile paved trail and two-track winds down to the AuSable River where bikers can cross on a primitive bridge and continue to M-72 East.

The Grayling area offers a paved pathways system that is over 11 miles long. 6 miles of the trail is an extended shoulder that runs to Hanson Hills Recreation Area. From town to Hartwick Pines State Park, the trail is a separate pathway. It is a family friendly, paved hiking & biking trail. Once at Hartwick Pines State Park, the only fee to enter the state park is a Michigan Recreation Passport; people on foot or bike entering the park do not pay a fee.

The Wakeley Lake non-motorized area consists of 3 loops, 4 1/2, 5 and 7 miles in length. The terrain is well suited for the novice/intermediate with 0% steep, 25% hilly, 55% moderate and 20% flat. Wakeley Lake is a gem and home of the Loon.

bikers at Hanson Hills
bikers at Hanson Hills

The Hanson Hills Recreation Area provides a mix of single track trails that travel through a variety of rolling hills which covers over 1,500 acres of recreational playground. Riders of all calibers can challenge themselves on this scenic trail that incorporates fast single track, hill climbs and fun descents. As your cranks turn, new single-track trails are being added to this trail system. There is approximately 23 miles of singletrack. This municipal ski and recreation area operates on a non-profit basis and is located on Department of Military Affairs property.

Hanson Hills has provided excellent and challenging Mountain Biking trail systems for many years but they now have an “Easy Rider” beginner loop! A slow rolling 3 mile loop that covers some of their best natural views, without causing coronary distress… perfect for a family ride. The trail is well marked and offers a great option for those who want to ride and enjoy the great scenery.
Trail Miles: 23
Entry Fees: $2.00 Donation (Feed the Tube)
Trail Web Site:

Directions: Take I-75 to Downtown Grayling exit, follow I-75 Business Loop to M-72 West. Take M-72 West (Toward Traverse City), Turn Left on M-93 (Towards Camp Grayling) proceed ½ mile, then turn Left at our sign (HANSON HILLS SKI AREA). Park at the Main Lodge, Trail Head starts next to Pond. Maps are available at Main Lodge.

For easy biking, riders may be interested in Hartwick Pines State Park trails. The three trails are 3, 5, and 7.5 miles in length. Hartwick Pines provides a campground with full facilities including grills, tables, restroom facilities, and electric hook-ups. For more information call 989-348-7068.

Any designated snowmobile trails are open to riding, with the exception of the ORV trail West of Grayling on M-72. In general, public lands are completely open to biking, with the exception of the ORV trails and the very few areas marked as off-limits.

The Grayling area offers lightly traveled country roads with a variety of terrain for the paved biking aficionado. For details, and suggested routes, call or visit Penrod’s AuSable River Resort  or the Woodland Motor Lodge. For bike rentals, visit Penrod’s AuSable River Resort.

UpNorth Trails: Northeast Michigan Trail Systems

bike path map
bike path map
Area Namelengthdifficulty
comments by Dick Fultz of the Cross Country Ski Shop
terraintrail fee
Cross Country Ski Headquarters8 loops, 1km to 8 kmnovice to advanced5% hilly, 40% moderate, 45% flatyes
Hanson Hills Recreation Arealoops of 2km to 12kmnovice to advanced60% hilly, 30% moderate, 10% flatyes
Hartwick Pines State Park18+ milesnovice to intermediate
"one of the nicest trail systems in the state."
3% steep, 7% hilly, 60% moderate, 30% flatyes
Mason Tract Pathway10+ milesnovice to intermediate5% Hilly, 85% moderate, 10% flatno
North Higgins Lake State Park10+ milesnovice to intermediate
"Great area for biking - hilly enough to keep it interesting."
20% hilly, 30% moderate, 50% flatyes
Rayburn's2 miles of paved trailnovice
"2 mile point to point trail that crosses the AuSable River on a wooden bridge."
100% flatno
Shore to Shore Riding/Hiking Trailacross the stateadvancedvarious/sugar sand areasno
Tisdale Triangle9+ milesnovice to intermediate80% moderate, 20% flatyes
Wakeley Lake16+ milesnovice to intermediate
"Crawford County's Walden Pond - it is a sanctuary of nature & quiet."
25% hilly, 55% moderate, 20% flatyes
Grayling Bicycle Turnpike5 miles trail/6 miles extended shoulderfamily friendly, paved hiking & biking trailno