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Highland State Recreation Area

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.2 (6) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A technical and hilly hike (for SE Michigan).


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Map Key

14.7

Miles

23.7

KM

Loop

1,117' 340 m

High

979' 298 m

Low

1,030' 314 m

Up

1,030' 314 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

12%

Max Grade (7°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Wildflowers · Wildlife

The trail is never closed, but be very aware of hunting seasons. Small game lasts until April 1, and the hunters can be abundant during mild winters. Also popular for deer hunting in the fall.

Overview

This is one of the most technical, hilly singletracks in Southeast MI. It was designed for mountain bike use so the trails are narrow and technical. Expect 100% singletrack, with connecting horse trails, hiking trails, and even dirt roads to add additional mileage. The total distance for this hike was actually closer to 16.7 miles in the end.

Need to Know

There is no water available at the trailhead. Single outhouse. Deer flies can be aggressive in summer.

Description

This is the most technical and hilly trail in the immediate vicinity. The trailhead parking is located off of Livingston Rd (dirt). There is a single outhouse (not well maintained) and no water source in the parking lot.

Cross the road to get onto the mountain bike trails. There are 4 totals loops (A, B, C and D), along with a cut-off in the B Loop, so a hike can be easily shortened or lengthened.

The trail travels almost completely through heavily wooded areas, which provide great shade against the summer sun. Winter provides some nice views through the woods. There are no water crossings.

The trail crosses over a horse trail that circles the perimeter of mountain bike trails, which is wider and less technical, but also nice and hilly. The horse trails has "emergency outs" onto the surrounding dirt roads, which also provide a good hiking surface with low traffic in the mornings.You can also hike through the horse tunnel under Duck Lake Rd to connect with additional hiking and horse trails.

Flora & Fauna

In spring, trillums are abundant by the start/end of the trail. Later in the year, look for the all white corpse plant. Owls can be heard, especially in spring, and pileated woodpeckers are out there all year long.

Contacts

Shared By:

Susan Moore

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 6 votes

#2914

Overall
  4.2 from 6 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#31

in Michigan

#2,914

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3,995 Since Feb 12, 2016
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Photos

Awesome colors in the fall!
Feb 16, 2016 near Milford, MI
Another great example of the footing on the short connector from the B Loop to the C Loop.
Feb 16, 2016 near Milford, MI
Rocks and leaves on the D Loop.
Feb 16, 2016 near Milford, MI

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Check-Ins

Oct 10, 2020
Susheel Bhat
3.5mi — 1h 30m
Apr 28, 2018
Tracy Kincaid
4mi
Apr 7, 2018
Patrick Cialdella