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blue Glacial Hills Outside Loop

  4.6 ( 26 ) Favorite

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9.5 mile 15.3 kilometer loop
100% Singletrack


Ascent: 978' 298 m
Descent: -983' -300 m
High: 956' 291 m
Low: 648' 198 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 13% (7°)


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Outside loop of Glacial Hills

MTB Project Staff

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Features -none-

Family Friendly We have an excellent, albeit short, family loop that connects with several miles of fun, rolling novice plus riding.


Fun and fast singletrack trail that winds through some of Antrim County's highest ridge systems. The outside loop includes the greatest elevation change and is easy to follow by bearing either right or left at every intersection (depending on whether you have chosen to ride counterclockwise or clockwise). Trail has been designed to IMBA sustainable design standards so features grade reversals, switchbacks and flat rest zones on the climbs( several of which exceed 300 feet).

The outside loop includes some of the most revered trail at Glacial Hills including Never Never Land (markers 56 to 57), Area 55 (the 55 loop), the Wall climb (up from 54) the original hand built singletrack and the Holy Grail downhill (14-13-10).


The outer loop can be accessed from any of the three parking lots (Eckhardt Road, Vandermark Road, Orchard Hill Road). The Eckhardt lot has the novice/warm up trail that many choose to hit before making the climb out of the lot. Accessing from Eckhardt also puts you on the tighter original handbuilt singletrack almost immediately. The most "gentle" climb from one of the parking lots would be from the Vandermark lot heading east (markers 23-32-24).

Whatever your chosen entry point, you'll encounter frequent elevation changes and fairly twisty trail. Except for the original four miles built from the Eckhardt lot, the trail has been constructed by machine so the corridor is a bit wider as you head east. There are four large ridge systems (at least for the Midwest) that the trail climbs and descends on the Outside Loop. The stretch between Eckhardt and Vandermark is the tightest and includes two of the favorite downhills on the system (14-13-10 and 17-18-7). The area between Vandemark and Orchard Hill has some of the most enjoyable switchbacks and bermed corners and is generally considered the "fastest" part of the system. East of Orchard Hill the terrain gets steeper and the trail itself has some longer, steeper climbs/descents. The Never Never Land section (the long stretch between markers 56 and 57) has frequent 100+ foot elevation drops and gains.

History & Background

Although you really cannot see the slopes any more, Glacial Hills was home to a small ski area (Glacier Hills) that was loved locally.

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May 25, 2019
Scott Pope
Great ride. Bit wet in spots. Mostly dry. Tons of trail 15.5mi
Apr 20, 2019
Sydney Wenger
Sep 17, 2018
Tom McDermott
Amazing run, great conditions on a smooth running singletrack course through the woods—- watch out for the sandy condition on the turns! — 1h 15m
Aug 12, 2018
Steve Haupt
What a great ride! rode the whole outside loop for a total of 17.8 miles. beautiful trail that you can tell is well maintained. plan your ride/rout… 17.8mi
Jul 15, 2018
Mike Pekrul
Nov 29, 2017
Matthew VanSteenis
Day 1. It ruled
Oct 18, 2017
Very easy, very smooth, very beautiful 12mi
Oct 16, 2017
Bill Barnes

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 24 votes


  4.6 from 24 votes
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in Michigan


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3,642 Since May 25, 2015
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Anonymous User
Anonymous User  
love this place flows and lots of fun. Jun 28, 2016
Anonymous User
Anonymous User  
Any rider can have a great time here. Nothing really challenging for advanced riders, but a good workout and fun, flowy ride. For beginners, park at the Vandemark lot and head up to 23 - 24 riding the "moderate ride" (shown on the trail map at the lot) counter-clockwise. Jul 19, 2016

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