Born and Raised Small Town Michigan. Today we’ll be focusing on fun things to do in Chelsea and the surrounding areas. Michigan is beautiful and scenic, so of course, one of my favorite things to do is mountain bike so I can get some fresh air, get my body moving, and appreciate all of the beauty Michigan has to offer. One of the biggest hiking spots is the DTE Energy and Foundation Trail.
A little history about the trail itself; In February 2015, PotoMBA and MDNR signed an Operating Agreement to construct the Midwest’s most epic mountain bike trail system. In early 2016, the DTE Energy Foundation provided over a quarter-million dollars to fund trail construction, and the trail was rebranded from the “Waterloo Trail” to the DTE Energy Foundation Trail. The first 5.2-mile loop of the trail at Green Lake was completed in June 2016. The second loop, on “the Big Kame” was completed in May 2017. The third loop, “Winn” was completed in August 2018. The fourth loop, “Sugar” was completed in August 2019. It is now a five loop, 20+ mile mountain bike trail system in the Waterloo Recreation Area.
An important fact you should know about is that it does require a recreational passport to utilize the parking lots at the trails. To obtain a said passport, you will either have to go to the Secretary of State’s office or visit the Michigan DNR Customer Service Center. If you decide on the Secretary of State’s office, you will be paying roughly around $12 and if you choose the Michigan DNR Customer Service Center it will cost you $17. These prices are both for Michigan residents. If you are not a resident you will be paying a bit more in fees to obtain the passport. The parking lots themselves are located off of M52 and Cassidy Road. The M52 lot will give you access to the Green Lake and Big Kame loop while the Cassidy Road lot will give you access to the Winn Loop as well as the Big Kame loop.
No matter what your skill/experience level is, the DTE trail will have something for you. The Green Lake loop at 5.2 miles long is considered the best beginner trail because it is relatively flat, but even for those with experience, this can still be a fun adventure because out of all the loops it has the most diverse habitats. The Big Kame at 4.7 miles long is a bit shorter but will challenge you a bit more because of the obstacles and bridges thrown at you throughout the trail. The most challenging is the Winn Loop at 8 miles long. With a length like that, you will definitely have your endurance tested, but also have the most diverse trail system, some drops of 100 feet! Lastly, the Sugar Loop at 4 miles long which are filled with obstacles and twists and turn to keep you on your toes.
For more information, feel free to check out their website: https://dtetrail.org/.