If you’ve ever gone trail riding in Michigan you know that there are thousands of miles of trails. Among the best is the Bull Gap Trail near the town of Mio, which has a population of about 1,800, in the north-central Lower Peninsula.
Not only does the trail system feature more than 115 miles of trails in the Huron-Manistee National Forests, but it also has a hill climb if you are up to the challenge. The sand hill is long and steep at two-tenths of a mile with a 35- to 40-percent grade. Many spectators turn out on holiday weekends to watch riders tackle the hill.
The trail system offers all types of riding conditions from woods to hills to forest roads. Riding is only allowed on designated routes so please stay on the trails. If you get your fill riding the Bull Gap Trail you can take connector trails or go down the road to other systems. Some Michigan trails are motorcycle-only and are marked while others also allow ATVs. The trails are open year-round from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. OHVs must display a valid ORV Sticker as required by State law. ORV Stickers may be obtained from the State of Michigan.
If you want to camp, the Mack Lake Campground, which is operated by the U.S. Forest Service, is right in the middle of this riding area. The campground is mainly used by trail riders and is at the 175-acre Mack Lake. The use fee is $5 a day or $15 a week and single-site camping is $15 a night.
The Mack Lake Campground has 42 camp sites with fire rings and picnic tables. Seven toilets are easily accessible and two hand pumps provide water. No reservations are taken, it’s first-come first-served. For more information go to fs.usda.gov/recarea/hmnf/recarea/?recid=18936.
State law requires that OHVs display a valid ORV Sticker.
OHVs must display a valid state ORV sticker that costs $26.25. A $10 ORV Trail Permit is also required. The license and permits are available online through eLicense at mdnr-elicense.com. They are also available at state Department of Natural Resources Customer Service Centers, at participating DNR license agents and by mail: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, PO Box 30181, Lansing, MI 48909.
For more info about Bull Gap Trail go to fs.usda.gov/recarea/hmnf/recarea/?recid=18948.