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The automotive industry has the most impact on Macomb County’s economy, but it’s the freshly picked apples and squeezed cider that leave lasting impressions on visitors to the Macomb Orchard Trail. Named for southeastern Michigan’s heritage of bountiful apple and peach production, the 24-mile paved trail runs from Rochester’s suburbs in metro Detroit to farms and forestland surrounding Richmond.
The trail follows the path of the Michigan Air Line Railroad, which connected Romeo with Richmond by rail in 1871 in an attempt to build a cross-state railroad. The Grand Trunk Western Railroad took control in 1881 and held on to it as a subsidiary of Canadian National Railway in 1971. Trail supporters urged Macomb County elected officials to buy the rail bed when the Canadian National put it up for sale in 1998.
Beginning on the outskirts of Rochester, you’ll start at the junction of the Clinton River Trail and the Macomb Orchard Trail on Dequindre Road, where a barn roof–shaped gateway arch is emblazoned with the trail’s name. The trail heads northeast through suburban sprawl for about 7 miles on a paved trail and multiuse paths/wide sidewalks until it reaches orchard country.
Your first orchard stand—Verellen Orchards—is 0.1 mile north from the trail crossing with Van Dyke Road. Another mile up the trail at 30 Mile Road crossing, you’ll find the sixth-generation Westview Orchards by taking a 0.3-mile side trip west. Pick-yourself apples, peaches, cherries, and strawberries are available in season, and a cider mill operates in the fall.
At mile 10, you arrive at the trailhead in Romeo, settled in 1822, and a stop on the Underground Railroad. A half mile east is the town’s Main Street historic district, where you’ll find antiques shops and cafés in buildings that represent a mix of nine architectural styles.
Leaving town, the trail passes a Ford Motor engine factory. Then, for the next 6 miles to Armada, the trail is surrounded by farmland. The brush and tree cover around the trail gets thicker too, as the utility lines above your head since Rochester leave the trail for another corridor. Food is available in Armada about a half mile north of the trail via Church Street. One of the houses you’ll pass is an old railroad depot erected in 1924 and relocated to Church Street after passenger and mail service ended.
If there seems to be a lot of activity for such a small town, you might have arrived in August during the Armada Fair, an annual event since 1872, or the Lions Club Cider Dayze, also in August.
Back on the trail, you’ll resume a route through woodlots and farmland for 6.7 miles to the gazebo at the trailhead in Richmond. This town, included in the Detroit metro area, also celebrates its agricultural roots at the Good Old Days Festival.
Parking for the Rochester trailhead is available at the Onyx Rochester Ice Arena. From I-75, take Exit 72 to northbound Crooks Road. Go 3.7 miles, and turn right onto MI 150/W. Hamlin Road; then go 3.1 miles, and turn left onto John R Road. Go 1 mile, and turn right onto E. Avon Road, which becomes Dequindre Road. Go 1.7 miles, and look for the entrance to Onyx Rochester Ice Arena, on the left. After parking, take the path to the Clinton River Trail/Macomb Orchard Trail crossing at Dequindre Road.
To reach parking for the Richmond trailhead from I-94, take Exit 248 to eastbound 26 Mile Road. Go 1 mile, and turn left onto County Line Road. Go 5.1 miles, and turn left onto 31 Mile Road/St. Clair Hwy. After 1 mile, turn right onto MI 19/Gratiot Ave.; then go 0.1 mile, and turn left onto Main St. Follow Main for 1.4 miles, and turn right into a parking lot just before Division Road, just past the Village Cafe. The Macomb Orchard Trail is across the Main St.–Division Road intersection on the left.
I rate this trail with 3 stars because of the good asphalt surface and the connection to other trails. The majority of the trail is boring north of 29 Mile heading towards Richmond. Not many places to stop along the trail and enjoy the view, because there aren’t any, definitely needs improvement.
This is one fantastic trail, at least the part I was on, at this time of year (October).
I started at the Romeo Trailside park and headed left (North?)
The bridge going over the highway at the beginning has an incline up and down. Other than that, flat and level.
The trail is paved, marked every half mile and meanders through wooded and open areas.
A couple bridges over a few creeks is something I always enjoy.
It seems to be a safe trail, in a good area and there was a lot of bikers and several walkers as well.
The only negative is 3 cross-overs of rather busy roads. One of them had a good bit of cars that I had to wait for a couple minutes before I could get across. But don't let that deter you from enjoying this trai.
So as always, if in the area and want to get a couple miles in, head here.
You should your run, walk, bike.
Great trail with good asphalt. Has a couple of bike shops directly on the trail as well as restaurants and pubs. Bonus if you go in the fall you can stop at a code mill for cider, apples and other goodies.
This is a Beautiful and Scenic Ride thru Northern Macomb County.
Mostly smooth and free of pesky pedestrians.
A beautiful ride on a beautiful fall day!
Trail is nice and smooth. Nicely maintained. Rode from Romeo to Richmond. One of my favorite rides
The surface is flat and smooth. Slowdown at the street intersections due to the ongoing traffic. If you’re looking for a scenic route this one is not for you.
Hands down the nicest trail we have ridden. Nicely paved, flat, and well shaded in many areas. All 23 miles of this trail are well maintained.
Trail surface is in very good condition.
Was there on a very nice Saturday morning - was quite busy but manageable. Trail is clean and good, crossings are fine, just use your head. Parking in Richmond can be tricky to find - follow signs for Public Parking. Good ride
Love riding this trail! You can ride as little or as far as you want. Well maintained, scenic route!
If you are looking for a ride that is flat, straight and in good condition, this is the one for you. The street crossings are a little hairy in places, but this is otherwise a great route for road bikes. It can get crowded with a mix of pedestrians and bicycles, but there is generally room to get through. My only qualm with it is that it runs straight as an arrow through most parts and is bordered mostly by open fields or small businesses. I've only gone as far as 29 Mile (entering from Yates Cider Mill), but I can't imagine it gets much more scenic as you go north.
Everything was very clear, clean, and easy to follow. Easy path with very little incline. Good for all ages.
We road this trail on road bikes to avoid traffic. Was a great trail...wide open and good surfaces. Fellow trail users were courteous. Started from the Clinton River Trail junction and road out to 13.5 miles and back. Signage was generally pretty good at intersections but there were one or two crossings around mile 2 that were less clear resulting in some wrong turns.
The trail is well maintained, just the right distance, mostly smooth bridge transitions, road intersections well marked. Pretty scenic, plenty of places to rest, buy refreshments and use restrooms. I'd like to ride this one again! Started in Romeo, rode to Richmond, back to Romeo then onto Utica before returning to Romeo.
Started at 33 mile road and Romeo Plank Rd and headed west. Paved the whole way there, with a great lookout view of the Clinton River, ice cream shops, pizzeria, restaurant and bar and about 10 miles in we stopped at a 7-11 that also had a bike shop in the strip mall. Overall about a 20 mile trip and we loved it!
I have biked on most of the trails in southeast Michigan and I believe this is the best one. It has very smooth asphalt for 98% of the 23 mile stretch (there is an 1/2 mile section just east of Romeo that is rough). There are several parking spots along this trail and a couple restrooms too. Several stores along the trail have bike parking for their businesses. There is a spectacular scenic overlook of the Clinton River about 2 miles east of Romeo. The north/south section from Rochester to Romeo has the businesses. The east/west section from Romeo to Richmond is pleasant farmland.
Fully paved trail, thru farm fields, woods, rural. Less crowded than Paint Creek Trail. The late Summer/Fall rides are beautiful. Bonus: You can get to Achatz Pie house, 1.5 miles off trail thru Armada, only .25 miles of road riding at end.
We made the drive from Ohio on October 6th to ride the Paint Creek trail connection in Rochester to the Clinton River Trail with the intention of riding the MOT as we had heard from several riders it was exceptionally beautiful in the fall. We did ride the Clinton River Trail until it abruptly ended at, as i recall, South Blvd. then returned and headed to the MOT. However when we arrived there at the entrance, nice sign by the way, it was posted as closed about 1 mile in but no data why. Does anyone know why or the duration? We now hope to ride it in the spring. Happy fall riding everyone.
I parked near the library on the Riverwalk in Rochester and think this was a great beginning and ending to this ride. It is central to the Paint Creek trail as well as Clinton River Trail (which connects to Macomb Orchard within a couple miles or so). Macomb Orchard is nicely paved and varied in scenery and terrain. Much is shaded toward the higher numbered mile markers. There are a fair number of street crossings including a couple with extra corners to cross, but generally not an inconvenience. There had been more than a few trees and branches knocked over but I wasn't aware if it was recent or slow maintenance. Only negative was that none of the many trail map dispensers had any maps in them along the entire 23 mile ride. The ones posted along the way were helpful however.
Clean, wide, paved. Exactly what I was looking for!
Nice paved trail between several towns, good for biking. Starts at the Macomb County border at Dequindre Road and travels northeast. No dedicated parking at the beginning of the trail - the local ice arena doesn't prohibit using the corner of their parking lot (everybody does it), although you start the trail by crossing a very busy road. You can usually make it to the safety island in the center of the road, but especially on the weekends it's not an easy crossing unless you're daring and challenging cars to at least slow down for you.
The crossing at Van Dyke and Campground is fairly dangerous - once traffic clears at Campground, turners from Van Dyke don't pay attention to those who are already chancing the roadway - it's a wide crossing and you're in the road for quite a while. You'll wait for a really clear and safe break (especially if you're with slower bikers). They need a light there, but that's a traffic issue...
Lots of oblivious walkers who need to learn trail manners, lots of fast bikers who also need to learn trail manners... sometimes it's tough for the weekend bikers like us to travel without being shoved one direction or the other because of someone who won't share the trail.
About 1/2 mile off the trail in downtown Romeo there are some great places to eat. It's a nice distance for the weekend biker to ride to Romeo, have lunch, and ride back.
We do like the trail, although we like the Paint Creek Trail much better... for both less crowded conditions and more rural atmosphere. (That one isn't paved.)
I had the opportunity to bike this trail on 8/23/2015, a beautiful Sunday morning in Michigan. The trail is very well maintained barring the approximately quarter mile stretch about halfway in that could use a resurfacing (see most other reviews for the same input). It's relatively flat, pedestrians are very conscious that others are around and stick to trail etiquette, and for the most part is well marked (the VanDyke and 29 Mile intersection was a bit confusing but quickly got back on track). There are also plenty of places to stop and rest with a few restrooms along the way as well.
The only reason this trail is a 4-rating for me is the road crossings at dirt roads. As a road-biker, going over very coarse and loose gravel is dangerous for the rider and the bike tires. I found myself actually dismounting and carrying my bike across a few of the intersections (generally all in the Richmond/Armada area) to make sure I didn't puncture the tire/tube.
I have to say that the Macomb Orchard Trail, except for one older section, is the smoothest I've ever ridden. It is straight and primarily flat. Traveling west from Richmond, it is an easy trek. Once you get past Armada, there are some very slight inclines, not too noticeable. The climb over the M-53 expressway is rather neat with its "barn-covered" bridge, and is the only real "hill" I encountered. So far I have only traveled to just past Romeo (stopping at 31 Mile Rd.) but have enjoyed most of this path. There is a very rough section of the path between Armada and Romeo, near the power lines.
Scenery to watch for: Only in our part of the state can you pass a farm one minute, and a Ford factory the next! I crossed a branch of the Clinton River and saw cattle grazing in a field below, and not much further ahead at the M-53 bridge, saw the Ford Romeo plant. Downtown Romeo is a nice diversion off the path if you need a refreshment. Another nice (but sad) stop is at the crossing in Armada: the April Millsap memorial garden.
VERY important tip: if you encounter any mechanical difficulties, a local company has donated a bicycle repair post at 31 Mile Rd. There is a stand to place your bicycle on, and tools are attached to the post via steel cables, and there is also a tire pump available. As long as you have your own consumables (patches, or spare tubes, for instance), this is a handy stopping point if you have hit any difficulties along the trail.
I consider this my "home" trail and ride it 2 to 3 times a week during the summer. My normal route is 20.5 miles from Dequindre Rd. and 24 Mile Road. Plenty of parking at the Onyx Ice Arena and clean bathrooms - then to 32 Mile Road and return.
Yes it has a city-suburban feel, but if you venture farther east from Romeo (32 Mile Road) to Armada or Richmond it does feel like "Up-North".
Best to go on the weekdays as this is a VERY popular trail and can be crowded during the weekends with families and kids.
Stop at Verellens Orchard for ice cream, homemade peach pies and fresh veggies.
I was disappointed with this trail. It was nicely maintained, but it was like biking through spawling suburbia, not country, as many other reviewers described. Would not go again. I started at the beginning of the trail at 24 mile. If you are going to try it, I recommend parking no further west than West Rd for the prettier part
Started at the Richland Trailhead at noon on the Sunday of a Memorial Day weekend 2015.
Surprisingly little traffic. Easy to park in the High School lot 100 yards off the trail.Load up on water before you leave. It's 13.2 miles in Romeo before you find any.
First couple miles heading west are open and sunny, then some more mature trees start to provide pretty good shade. Trail is somewhat wind sheltered most of the way to Romeo.
It's long and straight and rural. Scenery for the first ten miles is mostly forest and wild flowers. Then there's a view from the bridge overlooking a river with a few riffles in it. Nice place to stop and selfie.
Roads to cross have very little traffic. Problem in crossing is that the surface shifts from blacktop to loose gravel five to fifteen feet before the road, which themselves are often dirt or stone. And the approaches turn sharply so the trail crosses the road at a 90 degree angle, instead of 45 to 60. That helps with the ability to see traffic, but creates sharp turns over shifting surfaces. Be careful.
Nice wide trail. Well paved most of the way. When you hit a mile of old pavement you are close to Romeo, where you can find water and snacks within 100 feet of the trail, or ride into town in a quarter mile to look for more serious food.
I would do it again. Best Michigan trail I have been on. Better than the western section of Kal-Haven. It's not Elroy Sparta or even Illinois' Prairie Path, but it's also right up the road.
I biked the western portion of MOT from Rochester last year and only went three miles before giving up. On that end it's all open to sunlight and the trail is flanked by high vegetation so a rider can't see anything. And the road crossings on the Rochester end are killers. Roads are busy, some are blind. Like I said, I gave up.
We rode end to end and back on 10-18-14 including around the Stony Creek Park Lake. 53 miles. Lots of wooded areas, apple orchards, farmers fields. Mostly flat and straight. Came upon one deer midday. Quite a few roads to cross. The western end is busier than the eastern end. Highly recommend. Be sure to have breakfast in Richmond at Ken's Country Kitchen.
This year, I purchased a nice mountain bike, so all this trail riding is so new to me. I have heard great things about Macomb Orchard Trail. A couple of days ago, I started my ride on this trail, starting at Armada, Michigan. I rode all the way down to where Clinton River Trail starts, and then turned around and rode this trail to where it ends in Richmond,Michigan. After that, I rode it back to Armada. 50 mile ride! So, having rode this entire trail from beginning to end, I give it 5 huge stars! The high grade trail, clearly marked, along with the beautiful scenery, gave me such a huge impression, that I must say that I fully intend on riding this trail every 3-4 weeks, for the rest of my life.
Great trail once rode from armada to Richmond new pavement and beautiful trees. Today rode from armada to van dyke expressway great trail. A little bit needs to be redone from Powell road to vandyke expressway
Got on this trail at the Onyx in Rochester, rode to Romeo and back. Just under 22 miles; smooth, clean, and great riding on my bike. As a "newer" rider, it was pretty easy, although I was running out of gas toward the end of the return leg. Worth doing again, perhaps on a slightly cooler day. Lots of places to set up a good cruise speed. Had no trouble with drivers at crossings, but there also wasn't much traffic on that Tuesday afternoon. As I gain experience and endurance, I'll do this trail again, but will definitely take more water and a couple of energy drinks, protein shakes, etc.. Also, will take the legs past Romeo as well to really see the whole trail.
This is a fantastic trail! Great scenery and plenty of places to stop and rest.
Watch out for drivers when crossing though! In a single day I was almost hit and had profanities yelled at me, all while legally crossing the street (I had the pedestrian light at the stoplight both times).
Rode the trail from Shelby Twp. to the City of Richmond and back on Friday. The trail is great for longboards. With the exception of a small stretch in Armada that needs to be redone. Quiet, serene and smooth.
This is an awesome trail.
The trail is available to all levels of fitness year around.
I love the trail so much I have a dedicated Art Gallery on my website.
If you would like to see more views from the trail please visit.
My review has two corrections I need to make. First I need to point out that the "cathedral of trees" is between Coon Creek and Armada Ridge. Second thing is the wind can be a factor when heading back WEST from Richmond.
I live in Bruce Township just north of Romeo and my first experience on the MOT was a night ride early this summer. We rode from 32 mile in Romeo to Fulton (North Ave) and back. The first thing we reached was a very nice bridge crossing M-53. Next we reached the bridge over the Clinton river and we were quite surprised. Under the full moon it looked incredible. After a 10 minute stop to take in the scenery we peddled on until we reached a "cathedral of trees" as another review pointed out between Armada Ridge and Fulton. Once again we had to stop and take in what we saw. I instantly knew I'd spend a lot of time on this trail. I've made the Romeo to Richmond and back journey every Saturday or Sunday morning since and even though the trail closes at dusk I make one night (8pm-11pm) trip a week as this is the only time on weekdays I can make the journey. You will need a pretty bright headlamp after dark for night-riding. From the 32 mile road starting point in Romeo - Richmond is about 27.5 miles round trip. It takes us about 2.5 - 3 hours. I have found a couple open areas when heading back east the wind can get pretty strong so be ready for some leg burn on those breezy days. Good news is that pain is weakness leaving the body. Overall the Macomb Orchard Train is a must do for riders of all levels.
Rode the West Bloomfield trail from the Nature Center, all of the Clinton River trail, and about 10 miles of the Macomb/Orchard trail today - they link to each other giving 40+ miles of biking (one way). This was by far the best of the three trails. It was paved and smooth with periodic bathrooms and many benches along the trail. I only rode 10-11 miles at the west end because I had ridden 20 miles before I got to this trail, but if the rest is like the west end, it is GREAT. My only comment would be to have water available periodically. It was about 90 today and I went through my two water bottles pretty quickly. A place to refill on the trail would have been nice rather than having to leave the trail for water.
What a difference pavement can make! I highly reccomend the northern leg of trail between Romeo, Armada and Richmond. It was paved last year and it is gorgeous. It's tree-lined, skirts several large farms and there's even a cathedral of trees just west of Armada. The only drawback is that you have to cross gravel at the dirt road crossings which is a danger and anoyance to road cyclists. A brand-new parking lot was built in Romeo on Clinton Street last year, one block west of M-53 and 1/2 block north of 32 Mile Road. I recomend starting from here and heading east towards Armada and Richmond. Or another good starting point is in Richmond near 32 Mile and M-19. Park on the street and head towards the highly visible trailhead at the interection.
The news during for the southern leg of the trail is not as good. The International Transmission Company cleared trees to provide clearance for their powerlines along the east side of the trail. Some of the character of the trail has been lost but it is still and excellent paved trail and it is excellent condition.
Overall, bravo to the Macomb Orchard Trail Commission and the Friends of the Macomb Orchard Trail for having the vision for this trail and seeing it through.
I posted a review in '09 when there was gravel between Richmond and Romeo . . not so good. This trail is now completely paved and is absolutely gorgeous. I have ridden the full length of this trail many times the past year and fully enjoy it. I thought the Richmond to Romeo part of the trail would be kind of boring, but it is the best part of the MOT. If you live close to this trail . . . . RIDE IT!!!
I'm a newbie just started riding again this june for health reasons and found this trail just north of me. Its now paved all the way and the bridge past Romeo is finished. Very nice and peaceful ride good for the soul. Lightly traveled during the weekdays but still not bad on weekends. Lots of friendly faces and if you venture off the trail in the towns you will find very nice little shops and very nice people. Try Armada and its quaint beautiful century old homes and quiet downtown. I sometimes start there by going up North Ave all the way and park just on the north side of the trail just east of the road. At 59 yrs old I hope to enjoy riding for many years and have lost 30#s this summer just having fun on the trails.
Parked at 33 Mile/Romeo Plank roads and rode to Richmond and back. Totally paved for this distance! Used to be loose gravel. Many people on the trail now and all pass with a smile. Trail marked well for road crossings and some stretches almost fully shaded. Like riding in a tunnel. You can really enjoy this section of trail now. Will be out there more often for sure.
Rode this last week end and found the trail was nicely paved and grade was very level. The downside is that they have been doing quite a bit of clearing out the trail growth and there isn't much shade to be had, with the pavement it is a very hot ride. Although you were never "alone" on the trail the traffic was light and easy managed. Some of the turns could be better marked when you had to cross a major intersection and pick up the trail again and there were no maps on the trail available so come prepared. For those riding solo you were never far from a house/business if you needed help. I would do this trail again but would plan better for an early or late day ride. Enjoy!
I ride this trail, or portions of it, at least twice a week. While most of the trail is either paved or hard packed pea gravel the section east of Fulton Rd. in Armeda to the paved portion in Richmond is very loose, large, gravel (rocks: golf ball to racket ball size). I ride a cyclocross bike and will not attempt this section with out putting the knobby tires on. According to the MOT website this portion is due to be blacktopped by summer 2011.
The most congested portions of the trail tend to be between the western trail head and 32 Mile Rd. Though I am seldom held up through here it is best to keep your eyes open.
An absolutely beautiful ride - 5 stars when the Armeda/Richmond section gets paved.
September 6, 2010
We had ridden this trail last year & found the middle 10 miles tough. We heard it was finished & thought we would try it again.
Left Richmond; paved for 2 1/2 miles then once again the trail was just miserable. We have hybrid bikes and even with those we were constantly swishing & swashing. There was no time to look at any scenery as we had to concentrate solely on the trail. It was work. But as scenery lovers as well as bike lovers we decided to jump off at Armada & work our way through the back roads until the asphalt resumed. Got off at Powell rd;left for maybe a half mile & jumped on 33 mile road for 10 miles. This back road was actually pretty good; heaven compared to the trail. Stayed on 33 until Romeo Plank. Jumped back on the trail & was easy riding from there. There are two closed signs, one has been up since last year, other is a warning that there is a bad gravel spot. No big deal but slow down. On the way back, we got off at Powell road to 33 mile rd & stayed on that until Lowell Plank; right for 1/2 mile & trail was right there.
Lots of beautiful home on 33. Nice. Love the rest of the trail but that middle part is something to avoid.
My husband and I have been riding our bikes on the trail this entire summer. We ride from Richmond where we live, and try to take it a little farther every day. Our longest ride to date has been to Pitt Rd. through Armada.
On Wednesday of last week while crossing over 33 Mile Road, my tire got caught in the gravel and i fell, resulting in 5 stitches to my knee and multiple abrasions and bruises on both legs.
I cannot stress enough how dangerous and treacherous the gravel is on that stretch of trail in Armada. Before any more injuries occur, it is imperative that the surface be redone, please.
Parked at 32 Mile and headed east for Richmond with my wife last week. Rode this trail early last year and it was very tough with the gravel. So we tried something different. Stayed on 33 Mile all the way to where trail is paved west of Richmond then rode trail into town. 33 Mile was not fun between Omo Road east to Armada Ridge. Freshly graded with lots of loose stone made for a bouncy ride. On the return trip I decided to skip this part of 33 Mile so we stayed on the trail headed west until Omo Road. It wasn't that bad! Had a very strong cross wind and averaged about 11-12 mph. As long as you pay attention and stay out of the middle where it is soft (unpacked) it is doable. At Omo Road, headed south to 33 Mile and took that west back to Powell Road. The tree lined trail does a good job of blocking the wind. Saw one big bodied deer along the way and no people on the gravel part of the trail. Beautiful weather, 80 degrees, and very breezy. Am going to try it again soon and will stick to the trail this time.
I just wanted to let everyone know that Westview Orchards is located at 30 mile and Van Dyke and is just West of the bike trail. We have ample grass parking available if anyone is looking for a parking area to jump on the trail. We also have restrooms, a farm market, ice cream shoppe, cider mill, etc. We will be installing bike racks this year for people that stop at the farm on their ride.
The reports of the "gravel" situation are accurate. Sadly, it appears that there will be NO effort made to change this situation. It was clear to me that additional pea gravel continues to be purposefully supplied in abundance in an obvious effort to support the horse traffic in that area. It is virtually impassable by the the average rider because I think it is almost 9 miles of deep, loose and treacherous surface material. I am an advanced rider and chose to do it the first time just cuz I was so pissed that it is that screwed up. On my return trip I used 31 Mile road which WAS fun and virtually NO traffic. Check the trail map in Richmond and you can see how easy a fix this is. I can only hope that someone eventually gets this situation fixed because that section could make this trail one of the most outstanding in America.
A group of five of us rode the whole trail on July 4th with a total of 65 miles, round trip. I agree with the previous comments that the gravel was very difficult to ride on and there were horse tracks on the dirt part of the trail which was very soft. Eventually, we rode out all the gravel and did enjoy our record breaking ride. Where the asphalt ends and the gravel starts is a very picturesque stop over. Many people ride to that point and then turn around. My group did divert from the gravel trail at Richmond, on our return, by taking Armada Ridge road, about five miles, to pick up the gravel path and then only had about two/three miles on the gravel. Armada Ridge is a nice two lane road without much traffic.
I have biked the Macomb Orchard Trail from 24 Mile and Dequindre into Romeo. It's a very nice ride with all pavement and good scenery.
I tried riding from Richmond to Romeo. The ride was nice on the paved trail starting in Richmond, however the pavement ends at Armada Ridge Rd., only 2.5 miles. The gravel surface was horrible to ride on, I would say almost impassible on bike (mountain bike would even be questionable). I was very disappointed in the condition of the gravel, it is very loose and fairly deep making the ride extremely unstable with a ton of resistance. I turned around after about a quarter mile into the gravel. In comparison, the gravel section of the Wadhams to Avoca Trail is hard packed and quite nice. If only the Macomb Orchard Trail had the gravel of the WTA Trail it would be a great 23.5 mile ride. Ride this trail between Shelby Twp. and Romeo, wait for more work to be done between Romeo and Richmond if you bike the trails.
Started at 32 mile road, wanted to check it out after the completion of the bridge over M-53. Once you cross Powell Rd. the gravel is pretty treacherous. Looks like they put down the wrong gravel, more like pea gravel instead of limestone. Also, horseback riders have left some pretty deep gouges from hooves. Went as far as Armada, then turned around and rode back to Romeo for a brew at Irish Pub. All in all, it was a pretty ride. Can hardly wait til they get the right surface down.
October 11, 20008
Enter the trail at 32 Mile Rd. (St. Clair St.) east of downtown Romeo, west of M-53.
The bridge over M-53 at Romeo officially opens this weekend.
The trail from Romeo to Armada is mostly stone dust. Not particularly hard-packed, so watch it. Quite passable and dry, however.
Be careful of the crossing at Romeo Plank and 33 Mile Rd. Traffic moves at 55 mph.
There is plenty of farm country scenery between Romeo and Armada, mostly soy bean fields and corn fields. The trail crosses North Ave. at the grain elevator in Armada, which is south of downtown. The downtown is worth the short side trip. There are restaurants and an ice cream shop or two (otherwise my wife would not make the trip with me.) Watch the traffic on North Ave. There is a lot of it, especially during the flea market (Sundays April-October) or during the Armada Fair (middle of August.)
The flea market is east of Armada on Armada Ridge Rd. (which is the main east-west street.)
The trip between Armada and Richmond is more of the same semi-improved rail roadbed. Stone dust underneath, dry with a tendency to be a little loose. Watch the crossing at Armada Ridge Rd west of Richmond. Traffic moves quickly there. Trail ends in downtown Richmond.
There are two downtown areas. To the north is Richmond proper. To the south is the old Muttonville downtown area. Both are worth the short side trip. Typical mid-western small towns. Decent small-town restaurants. There is a bathroom at the small park at the trailhead in Richmond (reasonably clean according to wife.) For bike repairs there is a bike shop on M-19 north of the trail head park in Richmond. There is substantial traffic in Richmond up and down M-19, so be careful.
Mileage => Romeo to Armada ==> 6.75 miles
Mileage => Armada to Richmond ==> 6.8 miles
Wildlife: endless deer, small mammals and rodents, occasionally a fox or coyote, midwestern, farm country birds.
The trail is open and paved with asphalt all the way to downtown Romeo. In the other direction you can connect to the Clinton River trail and go through Auburn Hills and into Pontiac.
We drove from 24 /Dequinder to 32 Mile and have to say what a good job!!! Great trail. I can't wait until it's finished all the way. Thanks.
"Rode the trail from the start point on Dequindre to where the pavement ends at the VanDyke Expressway. Very nice ride of about 20 miles, all asphalt. A nice change from eating limestone dust with this dry summer we have had!
There is a sign when you are going northeast at about 7 miles or so that says there is a bridge out - but the bridge is now complete.
Nice job by the county and trail organizers on this one! "
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