14 Best Michigan ORV Trails and Parks

Known as the Great Lakes State, Michigan has a wealth of off-roading destinations where you can enjoy riding a Jeep, ATV, dirt bike, or truck. The best thing about Michigan ORV trails is that there is a great variety of landscape, a wonderful mix of forested trails and lakeside views, and lots of enthusiastic off-roading clubs maintaining fantastic routes and parks. Particularly, the lower peninsula offers several off-road parks and public land where you can ride an ORV registered vehicle.

What are the best Michigan ORV trails to visit and enjoy? Some of the top destinations include:

  1. Twisted Trails Off Road Park
  2. Big Bear Lake State Forest Campground
  3. AuSable River State Forest Campground
  4. Kalkaska Trail
  5. Rocks and Valleys Off Road Park
  6. The Mounds
  7. Bundy Hill Off Road Park
  8. Silver Lake State Park Scramble Area
  9. Baraga State Park
  10. Twin Lakes State Park
  11. Black Lake State Forest Campground
  12. Tin Cup ORV Trail
  13. Turtle Ridge Off Road Park
  14. Ottawa National Forest

ORV trails in Michigan are very popular, and many counties will allow ORVs to drive on some of their roads. You can get information on all these trails and off road parks in Michigan directly from Michigan’s official tourist websites, including interactive maps of Michigan ORV trails, which can come in very handy. Let’s go through the top 14 ORV trails in Michigan!

14 Best Michigan ORV Trails

2011 Jeep Wrangler Propped on Wood Stacks in Michigan

1. Twisted Trails Off Road Park

A local favorite, Twisted Trails is 40 miles south of Traverse City, in Copemish. It is a 100% dedicated off road park with trails of different skill levels and obstacles to practice your riding on. The Dusters Off-Road Club manages the park, extending across 400 acres and features a campground where you can spend the night. They also organize many events and festivals, aiming to include the whole family and provide an excellent atmosphere for visitors.

The great thing about Twisted Trails is that it is absolutely free to access, too. It’s open from May to October.

2. Big Bear Lake State Forest Campground

This state forest area is home to many enthusiastic dirt bikers and dual sport riders, and features an excellent ORV trail with an 18-mile loop, ideal for ATVs 50″ wide or smaller and off-road motorbikes. The campground on Big Bear Lake is very scenic, located close to Gaylord in Vienna Township. You can connect directly to the Crapo Creek Trail for an additional 17 miles of riding and joining other ORV trails from the Big Bear Trail.

Big Bear is known for the forestry surroundings, meaning roots and tricky trails. There is a mix of bookable and first-come, first-serve campsites, and you can stay there for 15 days at a time. Check out the official DNR Michigan website for maps and fee information.

3. AuSable River State Forest Campground

AuSable River State Forest is home to the Frederic Loop Trail, a 29-mile ATV course, one of the best off road trails in Michigan. There is also a 9-mile full-sized vehicle route. The campground has rustic facilities, and canoeing is very popular on the AuSable River, as is trout fishing. Check out the off road trail map here and its connections to the Kalkaska Trail system.

4. Kalkaska Trail

This trail system is huge, with 90 miles of Jeep or ATV riding available. Its location nearby AuSable River State Forest Campground offers you a great place to base yourself before hitting the trails, or you can start from the town of Grayling.

The route is mostly sandy, with some rocks and roots, and it has rolling hills to make it as varied riding as possible in the area. There are multiple loop options, and you can end up riding for up to 150 miles! Here is a good map and description.

5. Rocks and Valleys Off Road Park

This off road park can be found near Harrison, covering over 200 acres of muddy and rocky trails through hills and flats. It’s a park with typical Michigan off road trails for Jeeps, maintained so that 4×4 drivers can enjoy the incredible scenery and hone their skills. You’ll need to pay $25 per vehicle and driver to access the park and $5 for each additional passenger. There is also an annual membership available if you live nearby. They are open from April to October, and there is rustic camping available at the park for weekends, at $15 a night.

Rocks and Valleys Off Road Park

6. The Mounds

Open all year, the Mounds is a very popular ORV park allowing all types of vehicles except snowmobiles. Their scramble area is only open from March 15 to May 15, but outside that, you can enjoy 118 acres of land with all types of terrain for Jeeps, ATVs, trucks, and SUVs. They have a special $10 daily fee for Genesee County residents, while non-residents have to pay $15, but seasonal passes are available.

7. Bundy Hill Off Road Park

Bundy Hill has a huge 350-acre off-roading area, where you can drive any ORV and bring the whole family. They are proudly alcohol-free and family-friendly. Note that they no longer offer rentals.

Bundy Hill is open from Wednesday to Sunday, offering anything from sandy dunes to hills, rocks, and rooty trails. Their online map has color-coded trails based on the type of terrain you’ll encounter. You can also stay the night at one of their primitive camping sites. If you or your family are more at the beginner level and want to rent an ORV, this is also possible through Bundy Hill directly.

8. Silver Lake State Park Scramble Area

Silver Lake State Park is a fantastic destination for off road trails in Michigan. They have 2,000 acres of sand dunes along the shores of Lake Michigan so that you can get some dune buggy rides in, and there is a 450-acre ORV scramble area. The latter is open from April 1st to October 31st. So if you are looking for some dune buggy rides in Michigan, definitely check out this park.

ORV rentals, guided tours, and all sorts of facilities are available on site. Check out more information here.

9. Baraga State Park

You’ll find a mostly flat ORV trail with sand within Baraga State Park, which is c. 28 miles long. Baraga County allows you to drive ORVs on county roads, and you can find a good map of the trail here. The VVMapping website is an excellent resource for all ORV trails in Michigan, and you can also check out what type of vehicles are allowed on each trail easily.

10. Twin Lakes State Park

Twin Lakes State Park in Houghton County covers 175 acres and is located between fascinating historic sightseeing destinations. You can visit Historic Fort Wilkins, where you’ll see a re-enactment of the lives of those who lived there during the mining boom of the 1840s, or you can see how the first miners lived at Victoria or hike up into the Porcupine Mountains. The Bill Nicholls Trail within the park is 41 miles, open to ORVs, and taking you through historic sights through pine and hardwood forests.

11. Black Lake State Forest Campground

Check out the rustic campground near Black Lake for a lovely getaway in the forest. There are 35 sites specifically for ORV camping with easy access to many routes, your own picnic table, and fire circle, too! There is also a lower campground featuring access for smaller fishing and pleasure boats.

Useful maps for Black Lake Trail (39 miles long) and other related routes are here.

12. Tin Cup ORV Trail

Head to the Tin Cup area in the Lakes County in between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron to ride off-road into the forests, either on ATV only on the Tin Cup ORV Trail (20 miles long) or also driving Jeeps and SUVs on the Tin Cup ORV Route (17 miles long).

Check out maps and some good photos of the trail here.

13. Turtle Ridge Off Road Park

Drummond Island is home to this off road park in Michigan, where you’ll find 500 acres of riding open all year round, carved into the natural limestone of the island. You can have access to the resort for $30 a day, but there is also an annual pass for $100 for non-resort guests (discounted to $50 if you are a resort guest).

14. Ottawa National Forest

Last but not least, Ottawa National Forest has over 2,300 miles of Forest Service road and trail open to OHVs. The access is free, and you can get free maps online or at the Forest Service offices. There are lots of ORV-friendly campgrounds as well, which you can find out more about here. Using this list of trails that cross the national forest, you can locate them easily on the VVMapping website.

Ottawa National Forest Michigan

Conclusion – Michigan ORV Trails

So, what are the top 14 off-road trails in Michigan? To summarize, here they are:

  1. Twisted Trails Off Road Park
  2. Big Bear Lake State Forest Campground
  3. AuSable River State Forest Campground
  4. Kalkaska Trail
  5. Rocks and Valleys Off Road Park
  6. The Mounds
  7. Bundy Hill Off Road Park
  8. Silver Lake State Park Scramble Area
  9. Baraga State Park
  10. Twin Lakes State Park
  11. Black Lake State Forest Campground
  12. Tin Cup ORV Trail
  13. Turtle Ridge Off Road Park
  14. Ottawa National Forest

Michigan is home to thousands of acres of national forests and parks dedicated to ORV riding, making it an excellent destination for off-roading any time of year. With many of these parks and trails open all year round and so many free of charge, it’s no wonder that Michigan is considered one of the best places for ORV trails for Jeeps, ATVs, and more. You can get some excellent resources for the trails and parks from official Michigan DNR sources, too, such as where to ride and campground information. This goes to show how popular ORV riding really is in the state and that you’ll be welcome riding into the forests and sand dunes over there! If you’re’ looking to do some off-roading, check out some of the ORV trails Michigan has to offer.

Kris Peter

Adventure seeker and off-road enthusiast. I love the thrill of going off-road and taking on the elements.

Recent Posts