Bald Mountain Recreation Area North Unit (SE Michigan)

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glitch99
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Bald Mountain Recreation Area North Unit (SE Michigan)

Post by glitch99 »

For those in SE Michigan looking for just a pleasant hike or a place to train and break in new gear, I highly recommend the trails at Bald Mountain Recreation Area North Unit just east of Lake Orion. I understand there's nowhere in the lower peninsula that replicates the conditions on IR, but I still need to get some miles on these legs and be sure my gear is dialed in before we head north in August.

Highlights of Bald Mountain North:
- 3 linked loop trails (white, orange & blue) plus another connector (green) allow for various length hikes starting and ending in the same spot. Full loop around the outside is 7.25 miles and takes me about 2.5 hours.
- Trails are generally in good condition with occasional muddy spots and loose sandy areas. Mostly well-packed dirt, rocks and roots. Plenty of ups and downs with uneven footing to work on those small stabilizing muscles we never use otherwise.
- Mixture of hardwood & pines forests with some swampy wetlands means you're almost always in the shade. Occasional open views of the many small lakes along the trail makes this a scenic hike.
- Mountain bikes are allowed and can be numerous on the weekends in the summer, but generally they're always going clockwise around the loops. I've found hiking counter-clockwise helps to avoid being surprised.
- Michigan recreation passport is required to park in the designated lots.

I just did the full outside 7.25 mile loop this afternoon to try out some new trail runners (making the switch from boots) and a new pack. Weather was mid-50s and overcast - perfect day for hiking!

Anyone else have a favorite metro-Detroit training trail?
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Grizzly22
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Re: Bald Mountain Recreation Area North Unit (SE Michigan)

Post by Grizzly22 »

Hey glitch99,

Bald mountain is a favorite of mine as well. Its the perfect distance to stretch your legs and get in a god hike to test gear. Another place I would recommend in the metro-Detroit area would be the loop on Holly rec area. It's Wilderness Trail (6.4) combined with the Holly-Lakeshore trail (2.4) makes for a nice set of trails. This area is more hilly than Bald mountain which makes it a nice step up on a training hike. Another option if you are willing to do a little drive is Pinckney Rec area. It has loops ranging from 4-21 miles with a few camping options as well. This is a step up from Holly rec area and has a few hills too! If you are interested in giving your gear an overnight test, this is a great place to do it. If you are looking for any additional suggestions give me a PM. I hope this helps :D
glitch99
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Re: Bald Mountain Recreation Area North Unit (SE Michigan)

Post by glitch99 »

Thanks, Grizzly. We did 13+ miles at Pinckney Rec just a few weeks ago. Beautiful area! We caught the Trillium in bloom. My only complaint is that the trail was very sandy. Holly is not too far from me - will definitely check that out. Thanks for the recommendation!
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