If you're an off-roading enthusiast living or traveling in Michigan, you'll be happy to learn that there are many places where you can indulge in your favorite pastime. One of the state's most well-known places is The Mounds in Mount Morris. This park is a popular off-road destination because it has an extensive variety of trails that can accommodate riders of all skill levels and many kinds of off-road vehicles. Find out why The Mounds is a great place for off-road adventures.

Overview of The Mounds

Founded more than 45 years ago, The Mounds is an off-road vehicle area with 230 acres of riding space that consists of ATV trails, pits, mud holes, rock climbs, open scramble areas, and many other types of terrain. It's open to dune buggies, motorcycles, Jeeps, pickup trucks, and

atv riding

Image via Flickr by thigpen.robert

Exploring the Trails

The Mounds has about 9.5 miles of trails, which, except for a number of dedicated ATV trails, are two-way trails. The trails connect many different areas of the park (identified by numbers) and collectively offer a wide range of challenges.

If you're riding at The Mounds for the first time, you should start at the East Whoops (6) and ride through the Old Railroad Grade (7), Flat Track (10), Sand Ovals (12), Fence (13), North Loop Road (15), and the Sandpits (22) before finishing at the parking lot (3). On this route, you'll encounter a variety of terrain types and challenges, including a lightly whooped trail, a hard-packed oval, an open motocross-like area, bermed turns, and small jumps.

If you're a beginner, the best places to ride are areas (7) and (8). These areas provide an open practice space with easy terrain and good visibility. After you've had enough practice, move on to the Little Hills (30) for a more challenging ride.

More experienced riders can have fun rides at the Flat Track (10), Sand Ovals (12), Fence (13), and Little Hills (30). In addition, the Holes (26) offers acute turns and steep descents and climbs, and the East Mounds (29) features undulating ridgelines. For a fast, rollercoaster-like ride, try the Tubes (19).

Visitor Information

The Mounds is located about 3 miles north of Flint on Mount Morris Road in Genesee County. It is open from 8 a.m. to sunset between Monday and Saturday and 12 p.m. to sunset on Sunday. The park is open year-round, but all trail areas except the 8-acre scramble area near the ticket booth are closed between March 15 and May 15. Only ATVs, dirt bikes, and UTVs are allowed in this area.

If you're a resident of Michigan, you need to pay only $10 per vehicle for a daily pass. Daily passes for nonresidents cost $15 per vehicle. If you wish to use the park regularly, you should consider getting a seasonal pass, which costs $40 per vehicle for residents and $70 per vehicle for nonresidents. Equipment and staff assistance are available for an additional cost.

Rules and Safety Precautions

  • To ensure riders' safety and compliance with state regulations, The Mounds has a number of rules.
  • Your vehicle must have a U.S. Forest Service-approved spark arrester.
  • You must have a Michigan off-road vehicle sticker, which can be purchased at any place that offers fishing and hunting licenses.
  • You're required to wear a crash helmet that has been approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), unless your vehicle has a DOT-approved roof and you're wearing a seat belt.
  • Unless your vehicle has a full windshield, you must wear eye protection that meets the safety glass standards of the Vehicle Safety Equipment Commission or the American National Standards Institute.
  • Your vehicle cannot exceed Michigan's sound limit of 94 decibels.
  • cannot enter the wetland areas while riding in the park.
  • You cannot bring alcoholic beverages into the park.

The trails at The Mounds are soft and relatively forgiving during spills. However, since most of the trails are two-way trails, it's possible to collide with an oncoming vehicle if you aren't cautious. Head-on collisions are especially common in areas such as the Tubes and West Mounds, where there are many fast, blind turns. You should be particularly cautious when you're riding on narrow single-track trails, especially when you're taking a blind turn or during the summer, when vegetation reduces visibility.

Whether you're a beginner or seasoned off-road enthusiast, you can be confident that you'll have a great time at The Mounds in Mount Morris. Make sure that you're properly equipped and that you follow the rules while you're riding in the park.

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