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The Border-to-Border Trail is a work in progress, which when complete, will stretch across Washtenaw County from its border with Livingston County in the northwest to Wayne County in the east. Much of the off-road trail is open and sees heavy use, particularly in the more urban areas of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.
Beginning in the north, the scenic trail provides an important connection between Hudson Mills Metropark and downtown Dexter. The path, also known here as the West River Trail, is primarily paved as it follows the west bank of the Huron River; a section through wetlands is boardwalk. The wooded 1,500-acre park at its northern end offers a wide range of recreational opportunities, including hiking, golfing, camping, fishing, canoeing and cross-country skiing.
A short disconnected trail segment extends eastward from Dexter to Dexter-Huron Metropark, but the longest open stretch of the Border-to-Border Trail resumes in Ann Arbor. Cyclists can use Huron River Drive to bridge the gap while trail plans are drawn up but should exercise extreme caution around the road’s several blind curves.
In Ann Arbor, the Border-to-Border Trail extends south from the Barton Nature Area toward town, mostly following the course of the Huron River. The trail passes close to the University of Michigan’s main medical campus, crosses the river several times and parallels an active Amtrak line on its way to the campus of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti. Here the off-road trail ends for a few miles but picks up again in south Ypsilanti near Interstate 94. It then continues south along the north shore of Ford Lake to its current eastern trailhead at North Hydro Park.
There are several access points and places to park along the Border-to-Border Trail in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, including Huron Bridge Park, Bandemer Park, Broadway Park, Riverside Park, Fuller Park, the ball fields on Fuller Road near the Veterans Hospital, Argo Gallup Park (3 separate areas), off McAuley Drive near St. Joseph Hospital, at the Convention Center (restrictions may apply) and at Eastern Michigan University (check campus parking for details).
Parking for the Ford Lake segment is available at Ecorse Service Road off Grove Street (west end of trail) and at Loon Feather Point Park.
Parking for the stretch between Dexter and Hudson Mills Metropark is available at the southern end of the trail off Main Street in Mill Creek Park and at the northern end of the trail in Hudson Mills Metropark (8801 North Territorial Road).
We started at the Ann Arbor end of the trail in Bandemer Park. There is a lot of activity in this park-kayaking, canoeing, tubing so there are a lot of people walking on the trail which makes for slow riding. It's a very pretty and obviously well used park but bike riding is not one of it's highlights.
Once past that, the trail is not marked well, we missed several of the B to B sign posts (look on the posts when crossing the street). I'm not sure how many miles we did but I think we only managed to do 10 each way because of all the missteps and when we got to Eastern Michigan U. the trail just stopped. I'm guessing that's an on the road section but as we had no idea where we were going, we turned around. With all the other great continuous trails, we won't do this one again.
Tried this on a new bike yesterday and it was DELIGHTFUL!! It was a wonderful trip through open meadows, wetlands and climax forest areas along the south bank of the Huron River (not always visible - but close based on chatter from people in rafts/canoes/etc.). There’s a small street connector thru Dexter but this is minimal - and Dexter is a wonderful town for a meal/rest/drink/chat.
Pavement is smooth as a baby’s butt and there are no challenging hills. It’s just a very pleasant, easy ride and I enjoyed myself very much!
Previous reviews have mentioned the poor condition of the asphalt trail through the parks in Ann Arbor. I was in Gallup Park May 11, 2017 and can report that the Ann Arbor Park system had just freshly replaced asphalt on the trail through that park.
Enjoy the smooth ride y'all!
2/17/17 Parker Mill to to west side of Bandemer park.I give this section 5 stars for the ability to travel through a big town of Ann Arbor and only have to cross one major road, doing this on my mountain bike. I was surprised of the quite wooded sections,and many walking trails along the river.There is no easy way to bike around the perimeter of Ann Arbor.This trail is a great ride right through the middle of town with out being on the shoulder of a road.Will play important role on the Border to Border system.
Started our ride at Bandemer Park. Easy to find parking lot and many spaces. Outhouse style toilets but in permanent structure. Trail a little hard to follow once outside the park. You have to really look for "border to border" signs. Nice ride through Michigan University and then on to Eastern Michigan University. Not your typical flat rail to trail ride. Some larger hills, (not too bad) and quite a few crossing of 4 lane roads. We road to Ypsilanti and turned around at main intersection as we were unsure where the trail led next. Nice ride especially if you're looking for something different than a ride through the woods.
This is a very pleasant trail, running between the town of Dexter and Hudson Mills Metropark. About 5 Miles each way. Perfect for an evening ride followed by a bite to eat in town. Each
It was a very nice trail! We had a hard time finding our way around it though and went in a circle three times trying to find the end but we enjoyed all of the river and parks they were very nice!
Just walked the trail from Hudson mills metro park to Dexter and back to metro park today. A great trail! clean...small inclines...One porta potty along the way...Open area and wooded...boardwalks ....info signs about the area and nature along the way....plenty of benches for resting! in the residential area it is accommodating for many people and becomes all boardwalk. In downtown Dexter I stopped and ate a snack and rehrdrated.I just had a pleasant brisk walk. it was a 12 mile walk today as I walked to where the boardwalk leaves the river and goes into Dexter...then I returned to the metro park.very nice paved pathway. Thank you border to border conservation. !! Look forward to walking more of your efforts!
We rode this trail Sunday and it was a pretty good trail. The reviews here are pretty much spot on as I read then prior to the ride. Trail was narrow in spots, and was bumpy in areas but no big deal. Good way to see the rafting spots along the river. Lots of brush right along side the trail. Could use a bush hog. Signs were tough to follow in acouple spots but we found our way with google maps.
Great scenic and challenging bike trail!
Up to 10 mile-long newly installed trail in the perfect condition especially bladers. Because if drinking water availability in Metro Park and Dexter, this trail is also perfect for jogging. Moreover, the clean restroom is available on the trail. I like it.
I used to jog on this trail and today still bike a little bit there because there are many restrooms and several water fountains to support half marathon runners between Bandemer Park and Parker Mill Park. For bikers, the surface of the trail is not smooth and the Ypsi area is messy.
This is a nice trail, a little crowded on Memorial Day, but that's no surprise. Somebody else commented that it was poorly marked, I would agree. There is at least one place where the marker appears to be missing (after coming across Argo Damn, when starting from the Ann Arbor end, the trail takes a jog to the right under a bridge...if you get to the street you've gone too far). And many of the trail markers are not FACING the trail, so if you are biking you might sail right past them. They are green metal, so be on the lookout.
We rode this trail October 13, 2013 starting at Parker Mill County Park heading east to Bandemer Park. This part of the trail generally follows along the Huron River, occasionally veering away from sight of the river but never for an extended time. We passed through a series of city and county parks offering a large variety of amenities (picnic tables, playgrounds, kayak and canoe rental, frisbee golf course, restrooms). The trail is mainly asphalt and does have some cracks causing a slightly bumpy, but not horrible, ride on a two-wheeler. There were a couple of spots where the trail was difficult to find (mostly as you pass the University of Michigan hospital and the trail becomes sidewalk on Fuller Rd). Turning toward the river was helpful in finding the way. All in all, the river views and the trailside amenities combine for a delightful ride.
Rode the trail today with my wife for the first time. To begin with, the instructions for where to access the parking area was poor. Why didn't the site just say Bandemere park? Within the parks the people don't realize it is a bike lane as well and are not keen to get out of the way even when prompted with " on your left". Once in Ypsi, it was just a guessing game. I printed the map out and brought it with me but it is low resolution and I cannot seem to be able to enlarge it enough to make it readable. Complete lack or marking on Huron River Drive where the trail seems to end. I wanted to ride all the way to the end but the traffic on Huron River Drive was bad and there was not a bike lane. Not safe for a new rider. I look forward to riding it again now that I know where most if it goes, but I completely understand those that feel it is too difficult to navigate.
I rode my longboard on this from end to end. Started in Bandamer Park which was nice. The further I got on the trail the asphalt was trecherous for small wheels. The condition got better as we got towards Ypsilanti. The scenery is nice, but it could be loads better.
I began the Border to Border (B2B) trail at Bandemer Park in Ann Arbor, the parking area is small and the entire area smelled like a rotting carcass. I'm not sure if there was a dead animal nearby or was it the river. The restroom there was locked with nobody in it. I began riding along the trail as it winds along the train tracks north of the city, the trail can be quite narrow at times and there is a lot of overgrowth of trees and plant life that makes the ride challenging especially when other riders are in your path. The views are nice while you are near the river but that only lasts a mile or two, and you end up crossing a lot of streets trying all the while to stay on the trail that is poorly marked. I ended up at Eastern MI University and had to turn around there as I could not find the way to continue along the trail. I have been on the Paint Creek trail in Rochester and that is a much nicer trail.
Started biking at Huron Bridge Park. No markings thru residential area. Suggest parking at Fuller Park in Ann Arbor. Lovely trail ... blacktop, boardwalk, bridges, curves, slight hills, woodchips. Saw lots of colorful kayaks on Huron River. Many people walking (some with dogs), jogging and biking. Sadly, no one (all ages) smiled, nodded, some folks actually turned their heads to avoid our greeting. When we pass anyone, we ALWAYS say "passing on your left" as a courtesy so not to scare/startle folks, as well as kindly imply they get out of our way. Had to play "chicken" with three people (in their 20s) coming towards me. No one moved ... REALLY!!! I WON ... UNREAL!!! Again, lovely trail ... WON'T go back. Never have my husband and I experienced such SNOBS and IGNORANCE. Life's too short to be so miserable.
Took the trail from Rawsonville (Grove St.) to downtown Ann Arbor. Great trail, especially going past all of those beautiful old houses and churches in Ypsilanti and going through Gallup Park in Ann Arbor. I would suggest that the signs in the Ypsilanti neighborhoods be larger and closer together. We had to guess a few times how to proceed. The pdf of the brochures/maps on the Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor official parks sites, when printed, are too small and low-res to read the street names. And the map on this site has gaps in it.
The Border To Border Trail is still a work in progress, but is completed between the two major population areas, Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, in Washtenaw County.
For more information on the Trail, visit the Friends of the Border To Border website at www.bordertoborder.org.
In August 2008, the path was completely reconstructed and now is smooth as silk. The construction company also did a first class job of drainage, so no more massive puddles. This path is also a segment of the Washtenaw County Border To Border Trail (www.bordertoborder.org).
"This is Ypsilanti's only rail-trail and while it is used a great deal by local residents, maintenance has been nil. There are some underground utility rights of way along the trail and you will occasionaly see utility trucks on the trail, which crushes the pavement. Also, the Eastern Michigan University police rountinely patrol the trail by driving down it in a patrol car. "
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