This ride combines Ann Arbor nature areas, trails, and unmarked small paths into a complete tour, which can also be done in reverse and accessed from numerous points along the way.
Need to Know
All trails are multi-use and multi-direction. The backside of Cedar Bend is extremely steep and can be challenging - not recommended for new riders. It can be avoided by taking the Cedar Bend Street and going left at the first trail area.
This is a local somewhat hidden gem. This ride combines a great tour of the Ann Arbor trails and nature areas. There are short connectors between some of them on paved paths or dirt roads but this ride is 96% dirt trails.
When you finish through Cedar Bend there is a 5-minute ride on a downtown paved path before you connect back to the trail at Bluffs Nature area.
Only a few of the trails are actually marked which makes it very hard to navigate on your own (see the MTB Project mobile app
for on-trail navigation). Several of the areas have numerous ways of riding them but this ride is what I found to be the best way to combine them going clockwise.
There are pedestrians on the trails in some of the areas but most of the time you'll not see many people. Barton Nature Area is the most populated. All the trails are multi-directional and there are a fair amount of challenging climbs and a few pretty tricky areas but most of it is standard riding.
There are some rooty parts of this ride but it's mostly dirt singletrack. Some of these areas get overgrown in the summer due to a lack of use so we ride this from the fall through spring. The backside of the Cedar Bend Nature Area is extremely difficult as it goes along the river and I would not recommend this for kids or amateurs. You can go down this area in two other ways which are much less technical.
This ride can also be done counter-clockwise and is a completely different experience.
Shared By: Mark Keating