N. Michigan: St Helen, Mio, Rose City, West Brabch - ATVConnection.com ATV Enthusiast Community



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  #1  
Old 05-13-2018, 06:40 PM
Trailblazer
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Default N. Michigan: St Helen, Mio, Rose City, West Brabch

Looking for friend/buddy over 50 closer to my age and interests to trail ride with. I've been riding since 86 with my kids yet their pretty busy now. I have a van and trailer for hauling and camping equipment if needed and always share in expenses. I have a TRX450R and like to camp at 3 different campgrounds up there some on lakes that are set up for atv's. If you or someone you know would like to try a trip for 2 days or more and more info. Thanks Steve
Email: [email protected]
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  #2  
Old 05-14-2018, 12:48 AM
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What campgrounds do you stay at? I spent a night at Mack Lake last summer with 2 of my friends. We took everything with us on our ATVs and camped one night at a place we found in the woods, and the second night at the campground. The place out in the woods was set up with an outhouse, and a table/countertop with shelves all made of lumber. I guess it was used by a group of deer hunters who built it on public land. It was totally illegal but we didn't complain. We could have made it straight back to the cabin from there if we tried but we needed a break. I've done a lot of camping out in the woods in my lifetime but Mack Lake was the first campground I can recall staying at in the last 40 years. After we pitched our tents the other guys went for a swim while I sat and relaxed.
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:08 AM
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We did the same thing staying at Mac lk then found a place closer to Bull Gap where we camped for 3 days just off dirt road. It didn't look like anyone had ever camped there before but made a good area for everything needed for a good camp site and from there we could head out in every direction around Bull Gaps 50 mile trail all around Mac lake with way too many whoops so I don't think we'll be doing that trip again, any time soon! There's one monster hill climb just south of Bull Gap that we found 3 years ago where we struggled to get down from and always wished we had tried to climb back up it but was running late to get back to camp so I'm now trying to find that hill again on my maps and using google earth with no luck. I'll try again when we get to that area this weekend. I know of about 5 real challenging steep hills between West Branch and Mio that are almost impossible to climb, be we managed on a few of them....barely! Love a good challenge but trying to be safe too! This weekend were hoping to head over to Clear lk for a early breakfast behind party store from St Helens campground then heading over to Wagon Wheel N of Rose City rd, then up to Pink store for gas then up to Bull Gap, then reversing the trip back taking a bit of a short cut from wagon wheel W to St Helen. Weather looking much better for this week up there, finally! Hope we run into ya up there!
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Old 05-14-2018, 04:30 PM
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There are always a lot of whoops on the A loop between M-33 and Bull Gap Hill. I'm glad the Pink Store opened up again. We used to start on the north end of Bull Gap Trail, all the way down the east side of the loop, back and forth on the side trails, then over to the Pink Store to gas up, head up the west side of the loop, over to the hill, and back around to the parking lot. We quit doing the whole loop when we couldn't get gas anymore. West of there the county opened up the roads to ATVs, and we usually ride from my friends' cabin to The Meadows Trail, or just take a quick ride on Mio Trail. They're really close to Muskrat Lake and go there a lot. The north loop of Mio Trails sucks. I wouldn't be surprised if there are still trees down from the tornado that laid waste to Comins Township east of there back in '99. We don't cross M-33 to Bull Gap much anymore, but we may start if we can get gas. In the past, even when the Pink Store was open they didn't always have gas, so you may want to take some with you.
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:50 AM
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I was thinking about the gas situation there myself, near the pink store, and will need fresh gas, mid grade or better for the 450's at this point on our trip, from Clear lk. to Bull Gap. We've done something before, when the pink store was closed for awhile, where we would hide gas near there, and since we will be driving right by there, heading up hauling the quads, going to Bull Gap, it wouldn't be out of the way to try it again. Not sure what they have at the pink store now, since they haven't answered their phone, when I've called, and I'm pretty sure the price of premium there would be through the roof, even more so, than everywhere else!
Got a question. Trying to remember, and hoping to find a place we used to ride to, nearly 25 yrs ago, called Snuffys Hill, where there was a cross staked in the ground, with this kids name carved into it, and from what I can remember, about what someone there said, is that the kid died there, when he tried riding down the hill, and hit a tree. We could climb up the hill on the side, but would never try climbing straight up the face or try going down the way he did from what I recall! I believe it was near Wagon Wheel, W. of Rose City, N. of Rose City rd.
Got a new set of paddles, and I am so anxious to try them out at Bull Gap, and as soon as were ready for the trails, I'll put back on the new Hole Shot style Boss Racing tires. We have been steadily getting everything together, through out this past winter, for this seasons ride! Got some rubber to burn! lol Here's pics of the Boss tires, w/rims, bought off eBay for $229 set, from a powersports dealer in California. Light weight, nearly 12'' wide, and 6 ply. Used them a couple of times at Bundy Hill, over the winter, and hooked up real well, even in the snow!
s-l640.jpg
Don't know about you, but I sure miss the old Bull Gap's free style climb there, from back in the day! Don't care for the way they have redirected the way they want us to climb it now, where before we could climb from many places around the hill, and now once you head up and over to the back of the hill there's a long one way trail leading away from there with no shortcut back! I'm sure its for safety purposes, but I really miss the old Bull gap ways!
They did the same thing just W. of Rose City on Rose City rd. near Stony ridge rd., not far from Ambrose lk camp, where we could park off on the side of the road, onto a parking lot like area, and was very popular in the 80's, with great hill climbs, all over the hill, and over around to the back side, to Wagon wheel, with trails heading off in so many directions, you could get all mixed up quickly, if you weren't extremely familiar with the area! Great place, but now its all closed off with logs across every run, causing no activity there for many years, with it overrun now, with foliage hiding, this once great place! There's so many other places like this, that are closed off now, sadly forgotten! Good ol' days back then, with many great memories, gone bye-bye! lol
But heading back ''in spite of it all'' and can't wait
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Old 05-15-2018, 04:16 PM
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Sometimes the Pink Store used to have gas cheaper than in town and they sold out. That's why they didn't have any gas a couple of times we checked there. We used to climb all the trails on the sides at Bull Gap until they were blocked off. That was a lot more fun for me than the main hill. I remember going up a trail on the left side of the hill and when you're more than halfway up you could suddenly see a couple of trees across the trail. IIRC I got off my ATV and walked it under. The handlebars just cleared it but I couldn't duck down low enough to ride under them. If I didn't have 4x4 Low I'd have to back down and hope no one followed me. I have backed down on those trails before and the sand was so loose I skidded part way down the hill. On Huron Trail there was a hill climb on one side of the trail, and the DNR was waiting up there giving people tickets for leaving the trail. I think it was $70 back then, probably a lot more now.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:59 AM
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Yeah I miss that left side of the Bull Gap hill, having to duck, while the climb took a dog leg turn under that log, and if you lost your momentum, you were dead in the sand, like you said. That happened to me the first time I tried it, but after that it was a fun challenge to do it, over and over again, and that right side was no joke either, just as challenging!
I'm still trying to find the hill almost straight south of Bull Gap, not far from Bull Gap, where leaving we had a steep drop, down to a graveled road, but we were in such a hurry, that I didn't stop to figure out exactly where we were. Do you know where I'm referring to? I'm determined to at least try to muscle up that monster slope, once I ever find it again lol
You mentioned being ticketed, and reminded me of the time we rode into Mio for gas, at the station across from the police dept, when a Mio police officer stopped me as I was leaving, saying I didn't cross 33 to the street next to the police station. I asked him where the markers were, for directing us out of town, and he looked around in every direction, finally pointing up to an arrow about 4'' long, way at the top of a telephone pole, that had nothing to do with our atv's! Then my brother, who had already left the area, came back to see what the problem was, when the officer/cop wrote us both up for $150 ea. Then he told us not to worry about it, and if we called the number on the ticket, when the city offices opened that next Monday morning, that they would understand, since there were no visible signs posted, and would forgive the offence....wrong!! they still stuck it to us, and would need for us to drive all the way back there, to try and fight it. The next time we were up there, a few weeks later, all the signs were up, and very visible! Crooks!
Well it looks like the trip up north, this weekend has just been called off ''again'' due to the weather until next weekend! So I guess we'll fill in that time slot heading back to Bundy Hill, south of Jackson, but not too far from where we live, near Metro airport, about 90 min away. Very dangerous place Bundy, with expensive rigs being pulled/dragged/haled out every weekend! My buddy broke his hip in 6 places there, 3 yrs ago, while we were heading down devils hole there, when his 4x4 rolled up the side of this gorge sending his wheeler up in the air, flipping upside down, throwing him off, then pounding down on him, while he was struggling to scoot out of its path! Fitting name, Devils Hole! Not nearly enough caution signs there, and with little kids riding along with adults, driving their little scooters! I'm not crazy about going there, but my son needs to get away, and where else is there to ride, on this side of the state. Need more safe riding areas here with so many atv's in this southern part of the state. Bundy is charging $20 a head, and the place is packed, with hundreds of vehicles, almost every weekend, during the warmer months!
This year is starting out way too wet!

Last edited by 4-tracker; 05-16-2018 at 09:08 AM. Reason: add clarity
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:27 PM
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I have no idea where the hill you're talking about is. I liked going up the right side of the hill on a trail that went left onto the main part of the hill. If no one was coming I would keep on going and cross over to the left side of the hill onto another trail by the top. When I said the DNR was giving people tickets on Huron Trail I was wrong. I realized that's National Forest land so it would have been forest rangers up there, but I don't think it makes any difference. If you're a repeat offender they'll confiscate your ATV and you can't buy a trail permit for a new one.

Have you ever been to The Mounds in Mt. Morris Township? It's not far from me and I went there once about 20 years ago, and most of it was fenced off. I haven't been back but one of my brothers plays in the mud there a lot. Google Maps says it's 90 miles from Taylor. It looks like ATVs are allowed in a scramble area, maybe one of the rock crawls, one of the pits, some mud holes, and ATV trails. The rest is for trucks and 4x4s. The Mounds Off Road ORV Park, Flint MI Genesee County
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:56 PM
Trailblazer
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Yes, have been to the mounds many times back in 80's and 90's, but like you, not since then. I hear its much improved now. I wouldn't mind spending a day there if It were closer, but I figure by the time I get up there, that far north, I might as well just keep on going a little further, especially having the time now for 2 or more day trips, and then once there, being able to do so much more, as you know! Were so lucky to have this playground right here in our back yards, with so much sand, hills, lakes and gazillions of trails, once this pesky rain gets out of here, that is! lol
Its also ok to Email a reply [email protected]
thanks Steve
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Old 05-17-2018, 01:00 AM
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The Mounds is a 25 minute drive from my house and the M-33 parking lot for Bull Gap Trail is 1 hour 45 minutes away. I'd rather drive the extra 100 miles to ride the trails instead of going to an ATV park. It takes over 2 hours to get to my friends' cabin and even longer than that to unload the truck and set up my tent.
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