Description: This trail system is a Canton Township/Wayne County funded multi-phase project that runs along the Lower Rouge River from Canton Center road east to just past the I-275 freeway to Hannan road. There are 3+ miles of crushed gravel pathways and in between are 5 miles of new hiking/biking singletrack. The trail consists of 5 (non-directional) half mile and mile long loops with some straight sections in between and more trail will be developed as the township progresses in the future phases. The terrain is relatively flat with some small hills, but is twisty and scenic with optional technical sections and some wooden bridges connecting the two sides of the river. (2 more are being installed this summer) By linking the various sections together, a rider/hiker can enjoy up to a 5+ mile loop.
Here are descriptions of the five loops:
South Loop (Whitetail): This trail starts from the west end of the main parking lot and has a larger 3/4 of a mile easy level loop that circles a wetland pond and a smaller more tight, twisty and technical section called the Dragon’s Tail. There are three new small wood bridges that will help keep your feet dry in the wetter months. There are many varieties of birds, wildlife and deer that can be seen in this area.
East Loop: This trail starts just across the road from the entrance of the main parking lot and travels east towards Lilley road. The first half loop section (before the ITC power lines) is flat and considered easy with the second half getting more difficult because of the hilly and tight terrain. It offers some very nice ridge line views along the river. When reaching Lilley road, you can make a sharp left, go along Lilley road for a short distance, take the wide gravel path west and just past the large wooden bridge you will see the entrance of Crooked Vulture.
Crooked Vulture: This trail section is in between the East and West loops on the North side of the river. It is a tight and twisty trail with some small hills that can be used to access the West loop without having to go back on the East loop. It takes you to Morton-Taylor road and across from the entrance of the West loop.
West Loop: This trail starts on the left (west) side of the road just North of the main pedestrian bridge. It starts out straight with a loop at the end and contains 9-10 optional log piles along the way that gives the rider a choice of riding the stunt or going around it. There is a also a new optional extension called “Lucky Dawg” with 10-12 more cedar ramped logs that do not have a go around to them for the more advanced rider. The West loop also connects with the Wetland loop and the Sheldon Bridge connector trail.
Wetland Loop: This small half mile trail lies within the Northern wetland area and is in between Morton-Taylor road and the West loop. It is an easy level trail with hilltop views of the open grassy pond area and contains abundant wildlife.
Trail Miles: 8
Hours: Parking lot gate opens a half hour before sunrise and closes a half hour after sunset.
MMBA Forum Trail Conditions Thread: Link
Trail Website: Link
MTB Project Page: Link
Trail Coordinator: Gary Anderson
Directions: Take the Michigan Avenue exit off of I-275, go west about 1.5 miles to Morton-Taylor road (between Lilley and Sheldon), go North for a short distance, look for the green sign, turn left to find the parking lot. Most of the trail can be accessed from Morton-Taylor road, the parking lot or just North of the main pedestrian bridge (look for the trailhead signs). Once on the trails, look for the orange diamond markers or flagging tape on trees.
Print the color map and take it with you.