Border-to-Border Trail


32 Reviews

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Border-to-Border Trail Facts

States: Michigan
Counties: Washtenaw
Length: 33.13 miles
Trail end points: North Territorial Rd. (Chelsea) and Rawsonville Rd. (Ypsilanti)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Boardwalk, Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016141

Border-to-Border Trail Description


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 traffic, particularly where the trail skirts downtown Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

About the Route

Leaving off from the northern end of the route, there are a couple of discontinuous sections of trail north of 
Dexter. The northernmost section leaves off north of Chelsea and heads south along M-52 towards town. There are another two sections of trail between Chelsea and Dexter, along Dexter-Chelsea Rd. 

The next, easternmost section of the 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 a 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.

Parking and Trail Access

The Border to Border Trail runs between North Territorial Rd. (Chelsea) and Rawsonville Rd. (Ypsilanti).

Parking is available at:

  • Mill Creek Park North, 8140 Main St (Dexter)
  • 1407 Fuller Rd (Ann Arbor)
  • Parker Mill County Park, 4650 Geddes Rd (Ann Arbor)

See TrailLink Map for all parking options and detailed directions.

Border-to-Border Trail Reviews

Trail needs better markings!

I tried the trail for the first time today. I started at the parking lot off Barton. As I entered the city, I found it very confusing. Various trails ended up on city streets with no indication of where the trail picked up again. I finally was able to find my way to the long stretch along the river. More markings are needed, especially where the trail branches off, to help guide us on the right direction!

Hudson Mill to Dexter Huron Metro Park

Pretty trail that’ follows along the river. We staged in Hudson Mill and added a loop around the park. You have to walk your bike through downtown Dexter (signs postings) to get to the connecting trail that goes in to Dexter Huron. Need more signs to point the way. Otherwise a great bike trail with plenty of views and shade.

Nicely built trail

This trail is being built a section at a time. We rode from Hudson Mills to Zeeb road where the next trail section is not complete. About a 20 mile round trip.

Started early morning and found the section from Hudson Mills to Dexter very quiet and peaceful. The trail meanders through woods and meadows with some rolling hills.

Had the rare sighting of a coyote that popped out onto the trail ahead of us.

As you enter Dexter under a historic rail bridge, the connector route to the continuation of the path is not well marked. Head east on Main Street then turn left and head north on Central Street, the trail starts again just over the railroad tracks that you went under heading into town.

The next leg through Dexter-Huron Metropark crosses the river 3 times.

Passing through the center of Dexter made for a good opportunity to stop from lunch.

We look forward to the future expansion of the system connecting the borders of Washtenaw County.

Good potential, just not there yet.

I drove half an hour to try out this trail, and ended up riding only 3 miles before turning back. Poorly marked trail and detours made it a chore to stay on course, then when I finally got to what looked like the most interesting section, there was a sign stating bicycles were not allowed. On the bright side, most of the people were friendly, and the students painting the underpass were so nice that I wanted to park my bike and help them paint!

PS: The parking lot at Huron Bridge Park is small, but if you cross the bridge into Bandemer Park, there is much more parking available.



Excellent and easy to access through Hudson mills metro park; poor signage through Dexter. The portion that is marked is fabulous.

border to border trail

This trail would be so much nicer but need mowed on the sides, better signs and trail markers. We are from Pennsylvania and it was nice to see the river and would have loved to see the rowing team practicing hence our neighbor is a rowing coach. Will or would we come back to this trail…..not anytime soon….

Note RE ypsi/EMU

For those heading east from Ann Arbor, this map and local b2b marker for the area around ypsi and emu is poorly mapped and labeled. When you pass the emu stadium, map to frog island park and go through the emu camps.

Wonderful trail connecting Ypsi, Ann Arbor, Dexter and Chelsea

As a disclaimer, the Border-to-Border Trail isn't technically complete yet. There are still connecting pieces of it being worked on and created, but once this trail is complete you will be able to ride from Ypsilanti all the way to Chelsea without once having to turn onto any roads.

I rode this trail a lot in summer 2020, starting in Ypsi and making my way to either Ann Arbor or Dexter. It is a shared trail and goes through some very popular parks, so expect to see more leisurely bikers, runners/walkers and families on parts of this trail. Unless you're heading out very early or very late, this is not the trail to smash PRs or sprint on. It is a wonderful trail for scenic routes, has plenty of places to stop for a snack break (tables available in parks) and has access to restrooms (also available in the parks). There are a couple water fountains in certain sections on the trail for refilling any water bottles and there are also bike stations with air pumps for any needed bike repairs while on the trail.

There are sections that definitely need some TLC - hence the 4 star rating - mainly the section right after the Gallup Park wooden bridge (when heading west). The path here is rough - the pavement is rutted, not smooth and often I have to ride in the middle of the path since the edges are worn and broken. The going is very slow here -- but hopefully that will be repaired sometime in the future.

The Ann Arbor "terminus" is at Bandemeer Park. There currently isn't a connection to the Dexter portion of the B2B trail (currently being worked on and not slated for completion until 2022, I believe), so if you wish to continue your journey to Dexter some road riding is needed. You can either ride through the Barton Hills neighborhood (the first left outside of Bandemeer Park) to Huron River Drive, or take a shorter route through the Barton Nature Area to connect to Huron River Drive. The route through Barton Nature Area is short while the ride through Barton Hills is longer and has some steep hills (especially near the Barton Hills Golf Course). Still a pretty ride, though. Once you get to Huron River Drive -- there's no bike lanes but it's a popular road cycling route so drivers are usually familiar with seeing cyclists there. It's about 6 miles of curvy road riding on Huron River Drive before you can connect to the Dexter portion of the B2B trail. Ypsilanti to downtown Dexter is the longest section of the trail I've ridden so far, so I can't comment on the Dexter to Chelsea route.

Overall I highly recommend this trail, and I really commend the cities of Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Dexter and Chelsea for creating and managing it. You can ride select parts of the trail or all of the trail -- since the B2B goes through main parks it's easy to drive and park at different spots to start. And since the trails also pass through or near each of the cities' downtown areas, you can also easily hop off to check out any restaurants, events or sites in town. My favorite stops are the Argo Cascades in Ann Arbor (you can pull to the side of the trail and watch the kayakers and tubers go down the river -- and even take a dip in the river if it's a particularly hot day), the local Dairy Queen in Dexter during the summer, the Dexter Cider Mill in the fall, and Go! Ice Cream in Ypsilanti any time of the year. When I'm doing shorter, leisurely rides with others I like to pack a lunch and bike from the east end of Gallup Park (off N Dixboro Road) to the Argo Cascades and stop to have lunch on the river bank and bike back, or bike from Ypsilanti to Gallup Park, have a picnic at Gallup Park and then bike back to Ypsilanti.

As one last head's up there is a local bike shop near the Ann Arbor B2B trail if you have any major bike issues during your trip - Sic Transit Cycles - only about 200 feet from the trail, right by the Argo Cascades.

Heavy foot traffic

This seems like a reasonably nice trail, but I ended up riding far less of it than I had originally planned. The foot traffic was so heavy, it lowered my typical average speed my about 2 mph. I felt like I couldn't get into any rhythm because I kept having to slow down. Also, the are long stretches of the trail that are in heavy shadows and the condition of the path is only fair, so it's hard to see potential danger spots. Probably fine for recreational rides on a mountain bike, but not for a training ride on a road bike... not that paths are the best places for any type of speed rides anyway.

Border To Border

Bikers should get an early start! Heavy foot traffic due to runners and walkers enjoying the trail. Clean but overgrown foliage in areas causing the trail to narrow forcing walkers into the weeds when trying to pass on bikes. Very few if any restrooms along the path, outhouse style. A few new benches. A local lake side picnic area very busy and congested but clean. Parking best in the early morning!!

Poorly marked, lots of foot traffic, connector not marked

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.

Dexter-Clinton to Huron-Clinton Park Segment

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!

No more bumps on the Gallup Park section

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!

Urban Ride

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.

Not your average rail to trail ride.

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.

Frequent Rider

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

pretty good view

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 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!

Good trail

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.

rode 20 miles on the Ypsi- Ann Arbor Border to Border trail today!

Great scenic and challenging bike trail!

Perfect, smooth and flat 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.

This is the finest trail for runners

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.

Keep your eyes open for trail markers

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.

Fun Along the Way

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.

Nice Ride Poorly Marked

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.

Needs new asphalt

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.

Not a good trail

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.

Nice trail. SNOBBY people!!!

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.

Poorly marked in Ypsilanti

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.

Border To Border Trail

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

Bob Krzewisnki

Path Reconstructed

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 (

EMU Bike Path

"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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