Area Status: Open
The Big "M" trail is a 37.9 mile loop trail system located in a canopy of hardwoods off of M-55 between Cadillac and Wellston. The trail offers a variety of terrain to challenge every biking and skiing experience level as you traverse up and down hills through the woods.
Mountain Biking - Most of the 25-miles of single track trail are one-way (clock-wise) and should not be biked backwards. The bike trail is open from April to September.
Cross-Country Skiing - The 18-miles of trail are groomed and the parking lot is plowed in winter, usually starting in December. There is also a chalet available for skiers. Snowfall averages 130 inches from December to March, but the best skiing is usually in January and February. One loop provides several miles of ungroomed trail that is is perfect for snowshoeing.
Hiking - Although the trail is primarily used by Mountain Bikers, it is open to hiking. The trail runs near, but is not connected to, the North Country National Scenic Trail for a short stretch.
The Marzinski Horseback Riding Trail also crosses the Big M trail at two locations.
Map: This brochure is set to print on 8.5x11 paper, landscape (wide) orientation.
Flickr Photo Album
At a Glance
||Spring: managed Season starts Apr. 1, 2016 and ends Oct. 31, 2016. Winter: managed Season starts Nov. 1, 2016 and ends Apr. 30, 2016. This trail is groomed: Swedish Fiddle to Bindle Stiff Loop on the mountain bike trail is being groomed by the Shoreline Cycling Club - West Michigan for fat tire biking. The rest of Big M ski trails are being groomed for cross-country skiing by the Manistee Ski Club.
||Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, unless otherwise posted.
||Recreation Enhancement Act Fee - Day Use -
||Special Use Permit -
Visit the Passes and Permits section for more information on obtaining a special use permit.
- No special use permit is required for individuals or small groups (74 people or less).
- Permits are required for commercial, event or large groups (75 people or more).
||As a visitor to the National Forest, you are asked to follow certain rules designed to protect the Forest, natural resources and to provide for public safety of visitors. These rules are available to you on-line or at any office of the Huron-Manistee National Forests. Please take time to read and understand them. General Topic orders apply across the Forests. Applicable Orders -
Allowed - Hiking, Bicycles, Pets on leash, Snowshoes, Cross-country skiing, nonmotorized mechanized equipment other then bikes Prohibited - Motorized vehicles, Over-snow motorized vehicles.
- Motorized Vehicle Use of Roads, Trails and Off-road Areas
- Occupancy and Use - Developed Recreation Areas, Dispersed Areas, Being Publicly Nude, Marine Prohibitions, Parking and Sanitation
||Cadillac Manistee Ranger District - (231) 723-2211
From Manistee -
Travel east on M-55 for 14 miles.
Turn right and travel south on E. Udell Hills Rd. for 3.5 miles.
The site entrance road is located on the right.
Location - Cadillac/Wellston Area
Nearby Recreation Areas -
Briar Hills Semi-Primitive Nonmotorized Area
Caberfae Scenic Overlook
MacKenzie Cross-Country Ski and Mountain Bike Trail
County - Manistee