Springtime biking and hiking are great ways to start off the warmer months. The leaves are budding, birds are migrating north, the snow is melted and, if it's a cooler day, there are fewer mosquitoes! Enjoy the thousands of acres of public forests, and many different trail systems in the Grayling area.

There’s a paved bike path from the northern edge of Grayling that runs out to Hartwick Pines State Park. A plus is that for bikers, there is no fee to enter the park! Check out their Visitors Center and logging exhibits or ride their three- to seven-mile-long mountain bike trails. There is a 1.25-mile paved accessible walking trail leading to the lumbering museums, rustic chapel, picnic area and playground.

The paved trail also extends to Hanson Hills Recreation Area, with Mountain bike parked on top of Hanson Hills with view in the distancesome quiet back road extended shoulder. There you’ll experience some amazing single-track trails that incorporate the rolling terrain and oak forests that surround Hanson Hills Recreation Area. There are over 20 miles of biking trails and 35 miles of hiking trails that are sure to challenge all abilities. There is a pavilion available for rent or for casual use and a playground.

Another paved trail, part of the Iron Belle Trail system runs from Kirtland Community College, four miles south of Grayling to the southern edge of Grayling.

Because over 60 percent of the property in Crawford County is owned by the state or federal government, there is so much open land for riding or hiking. From Wakeley Lake, which is a 2100-acre federal non-motorized area with hiking/biking trails, to the state-owned Mason Tract you will surely find the right fit for your skill level. The Mason Tract is an 11-mile, there and back (not a loop) non-motorized trail that parallels the South Branch of the AuSable River. My tip is to definitely wear some bug repellant here.

It’s time to get your bicycle and hiking gear out of winter storage. Shake off the dust and head to Grayling for some spring outdoor time. For details on trail lengths and difficulty levels, check out our main biking page.