Michigan Air Line Trail

Michigan

4 Reviews

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Michigan Air Line Trail Facts

States: Michigan
Counties: Oakland
Length: 5.45 miles
Trail end points: Wixom Road (Wixom) and Haggerty Road (West Bloomfield)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 11475297

Michigan Air Line Trail Description

The Michigan Air Line Trail stretches nearly 6 miles across the communities of Wixom, Walled Lake and Commerce Township in Oakland County. The trail begins on Wixom Road and travels east in the former railroad right-of-way. It passes by commercial, residential and natural areas as well as community facilities like Gunnar Mettala Park in Wixom and Walled Lake Western High School. Throughout much of the trail's length, overhead power lines stretch overhead. The route does feature a number of street crossings, but they are wel-marked and have push-button activated beacons so that trail users can cross safely, with the exception of the M-5 crossing in Commerce Township, which consists of a bike-ped bridge across the busy highway. The trail ends on Haggerty Road at the Commerce Twp-West Bloomfield line.

While the trail is worth riding for its own sake, it's the connections that it makes that make it all the more special. At the east end, the trail meets with the West Bloomfield Trail, which occupies 6.8 miles of the same converted railroad corridor as the Air Line Trail. Not far from there, across M-5, trail users will encounter the M-5 Metro Trail, which continues south for over two-and-a-half miles. Finally, the trail ends just short of the Huron Valley Trail on its west end, but development of the second phase of the trail is underway to close the 2.2 mile gap between Wixom Road (the current endpoint) and Old Plank Road (where the Huron Valley Trail begins). The Air Line Trail is also an important link in the cross-state Great Lake to Lake Trail system.

Parking and Trail Access

From west to east, you can find parking at:

  • Gunnar Mettala Park - 645 Mettala Drive, Wixom, MI
  • Small public lot located at east end of Shearwater Apartment complex, just off W. Maple Road.
  • Walled Lake Trailhead site, on Pontiac Trail just north of Maple Rd. 
  • At the On The Dunes restaurant, just north of the Trail on Haggerty Rd.

 

Michigan Air Line Trail Reviews

Ultra Smooth

New trail makes for a smooth ride. Mixed scenery amongst industrial areas. Connects between West Bloomfield trail and Huron Valley.

Beautiful

Just rode this today and it was great! Very scenic and smooth ride

This is a newly setup trail and is fun to ride. Quiet family friendly. One thing to keep in mind is that it crosses a lot of roads and that might slow down serious riders. Really good for a casual family ride.

This is a newly setup trail and is fun to ride. Quiet family friendly. One thing to keep in mind is that it crosses a lot of roads and that might slow down serious riders. Really good for a casual family ride.

Smooth as glass, good connector trail too!

This trail is newly completed so the blacktop surface is pristine for wheels! It passes through developed areas and wetlands. There's no shade between Wixom Rd and Haggerty Rd, so go when it's cooler outside. The trail has an entrance to Gunnar Mettala park in Wixom and there are bathrooms there.

The trail crosses some roads and, where appropriate, has crossing signals. There's a bridge over M-5, but as of July 2020, Google Maps doesn't know about it, so it will reroute you on busy streets to get across M-5. Ignore the reroute; the trail is clear.

As the description states, the trail is a great connector between the Huron Valley Trail and the West Bloomfield Trail. Many people have eagerly awaited for years for that!

As of July 2020, there is an installation of the Detroit Institute of Art's "Inside Out", with 4 reproductions of prints found in the DIA displayed right on the path (they are spread out; you'll need wheels to see them all). I believe this will last during the summer months but not sure.

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