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Paved and mostly flat, the Huron Valley Trail links several suburban communities, parks, and a large recreation area while providing connections to a growing network of trails.
Forming a lowercase y shape, the trail can be divided into three sections—northeast, west, and south—of fairly equal lengths. From the northeast to the south, the trail is flat and passes through wooded areas bordering residential neighborhoods and travels across creeks, past ponds, and along a surface street. The western branch features more hills and ends at the Island Lake State Recreation Area, where it meets the Island Lake Pathway at Kent Lake Beach Road. The trail contains bumpy and potholed pavement in some sections, and some road crossings are gravel.
The trail’s northeastern endpoint begins in Wixom at the edge of Lyon Oaks County Park. Flat, it passes fields of flowers and stands of trees and other foliage and periodically crosses wooden footbridges. Note for all trail users: Among several road crossings in the northeast branch, one requires extra vigilance. After crossing South Hill Road, you’ll head southwest and cross a curved section of Pontiac Trail—a high-speed road. There is a crosswalk but no traffic light. Traffic from the west (to your right) comes around a blind curve just before the crossing. Use extra caution here.
Near the midpoint of the trail in New Hudson, users can choose to continue south toward Dixboro Road or turn right onto a western segment of trail toward the 4,000-acre Island Lake State Recreation Area. Heading west, you’ll pass strip malls and a former industrial park; here the trail surface is rocky and uneven and requires extra care to navigate. The western branch terminates inside the state recreation area at Kent Lake Beach Road, where you can pick up the 4-mile Island Lake Pathway. The popular park also offers canoeing, volleyball courts, picnic shelters, swimming, and cabin rentals.
The southern branch of the y is similar to the northeast branch, featuring wooded areas interspersed with suburban neighborhoods. Entering the city of South Lyon, the Huron Valley Trail overlaps a portion of the South Lyon city trail system. Signage—limited throughout—can be confusing in this area. At 10 Mile Road, the trail parallels Reynoldsweet Street a short distance toward McHattie Park, which has parking, restrooms, and a drinking fountain near the trail’s terminus.
Just before the terminus at Dixboro Road north of Londonderry Drive, users can continue south along another city trail that passes over wetlands and along extended wooden footbridges, through suburban neighborhoods, and past a park containing athletic fields.
To reach the northeast trailhead at Lyon Oaks County Park in Wixom from I-96, take Exit 155 from the west, or Exit 155B from the east, toward New Hudson/Milford, and head north on Milford Road for 0.3 mile. Turn right onto Pontiac Trail, and go 2.7 miles. Turn right at Holtz Drive, go 0.4 mile, and turn at the dead end into the trail parking area.
To reach the western trailhead at the Island Lake State Recreation Area from I-96 heading east, take Exit 151 for Kensington Road, and head south for 0.5 mile. Turn left onto State Pkwy. and go 0.2 mile. State Pkwy. turns slightly right and becomes State Park Road, then Kent Lake Beach Road. Continue onto Kent Lake Beach Road for 1.3 miles to its dead end and a parking lot. Just northwest of the parking lot, look for the short connection to the Island Lake Pathway heading west or the Huron Valley Trail heading east.
To reach McHattie Park in South Lyon from I-96, take Exit 153 toward South Lyon/Kent Lake Road, head south on Kent Lake Road, and go 0.9 mile. Turn right onto Silver Lake Road, go 0.5 mile, and turn left onto Dixboro Road. After 1.9 miles, swing left to continue onto 11 Mile Road for 0.8 mile, and turn right onto N. Lafayette St. Go 1.2 miles, turn right onto W. McHattie St. Go 2 blocks, turn left onto S. Warren St., and look for parking on your left where the street dead-ends. Look for trail access adjacent to the south side of the parking lot.
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