COORDINATES: 44°31'30.5"N 86°12'54.4"W
LEVEL: Intermediate (some effort, moderate to strenuous activity)
TIME: Medium (A few hours)
TOTAL TRAIL DISTANCE: 12 miles (loop)
ACCESSIBILITY: Easy (pets allowed on leash, parking on site, kid friendly).
THINGS TO DO:
Mountain biking, trail running, hiking, snowshoeing
WHEN TO GO: Anytime
HOW TO GET THERE: About an hour's drive from Traverse City. Head west on 31 past Honor and Benzonia. Just outside of Benzonia, take 606 west to cut over to M-22 (if you're starting in Frankfort, take M-22 directly south). A few miles past Lower Herring Lake, look for St. Pierre road and trailhead sign on left. Turn left into the parking lot.
WHAT TO BRING: Drinking water, food and picnic items (s'mores!), firewood, blankets, swim gear, camera.
OPTIONAL SIDE TREK: After your ride, be sure to head across M-22 to the Old Baldy Trailhead. Take the 2 mile hike to Lake Michigan and run down the dune for a swim in the crystal blue waters. A great place to take the family or a date!
KICK IT UP A NOTCH: In May, the Arcadia Grit & Gravel mountain bike race utilizes most of the trail for a fun competitive experience.
TIPS: Take a friend if you can; the trail is over 10 miles long and breakdowns can happen. Try and carry extra tubes, a pump, and a multitool just in case. Go in spring; this trail really shines when the leaves just pop, the ferns are up and the trilliums line the edges.