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Michigan Good trail for 9 year old novice?

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Hey guys, I'm looking for a good place to take my 9 year old son for his first trail ride. He is a novice, simple trails would be ideal. I don't ride woods more than once or twice a year and really have no idea where to start. We are in the Kalamazoo area and would like to keep the drive less than two hours if possible.

If it matters he will be riding a KLX 110 and I was going to borrow a TTR 125 from a buddy for my steed.

Thanks for any ideas, Happy Fathers Day!

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Pick a trail and ride during the week as you will have less traffic

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Pick a trail and ride during the week as you will have less traffic

Thanks, I appreciate the response. I don't know much about the Michigan trail system and want to pick one that's not very challenging. My son has been on bikes for about 4 years but doesn't ride very much. I'm looking for an easy trail ride for him to hopefully get him riding more. He's only ridden field edges and easy stuff around our house. I don't want him to get frustrated, injured or overwhelmed by technical stuff...yet.

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Pick any 50" trail and you will be good to go. Michigan is all sand and is tough to learn on. Remember to stay loose on the bike and let it float. The faster you go in sand the more stable you are. The key is to stay loose and ride the bike, don't let the bike ride you or fight it to stay on line. A nice easy grip to maintain control. Being stiff and having a death grip will ruin your day. Use these source to find a trail by you and go for it.

http://www.vvmapping.com/trails/trailInfoMI.html

http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10365_15070-38330--,00.html

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Try White Cloud (sometimes called M20 as the parking lot is right on M20). Linear trail up to a loop. Some of it is deep whooped sand, some not too bad. Recent rain always makes it better.

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Gotta love the kids when they are that old...First trail I took my boy on was Long Lake. I think he was 10, xr80.  I think we spent about three,four hours doing it. I guess in my mind kids will try most anything. Its up to us dads to watch out for them. You will be picking up his bike,, helping over roots , rocks, uphills, downhills,, etc...  take lots of munchies and drinks and enjoy the day wherever you end up. P.S. I'm not suggesting you go to Long Lake.

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Cedar Creek in Twin Lake is a fun trail too. Just go during the week and only run one loop. Take a water/snack break in the parking lot and maybe try another loop. I ride there often on Monday mornings and I'm usually the only one there. 

Just make sure that your boy knows it's two way traffic and there's a possibility you'll see other riders. Have fun!

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It's not close to Kalamazoo but Bull Gap has gotten pretty easy... It went from a challenging/deep sand ORV to flat/groomed/no berms 2 track for UTVs.  If you go during the week I would expect the loops to be dead.  The trail was so boring last time I rode it that I won't go there anymore. 

I remember learning to ride sand as a kid - so very frustrating.  Once you get good at it you don't want to ride in anything else because it's so much fun!

Although not "easy" the evart trail is pretty hard packed if I recall.  I would pick a hard pack trail with higher technical than an easier trail in deep sand for a beginner.

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Well, we ditched the trails and rode at Martin MX. Great time, great track. We spent the day on the peewee track. Few things are better than a day on a dirt bike with my son!! Thanks for the tips, I'm sure we'll hit the trails soon...The other upside is I brought my KTM and wasn't stuck on a TTR 125 all day...:)

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If you have camping gear, there's a campground called Whiskey Creek.  They have some trails for are perfect for new to riding kids.  They also have a pond to swim as well as an indoor pool and an on site store w/ ice cream..

 

Another trail is Cedar Creek, try the North trail, I hear it's more hard pack than the southern one.  I took my daughter on the south loop and it was a little sandy, but as far as sand goes, not that bad.

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If you have camping gear, there's a campground called Whiskey Creek.  They have some trails for are perfect for new to riding kids.  They also have a pond to swim as well as an indoor pool and an on site store w/ ice cream..

 

Another trail is Cedar Creek, try the North trail, I hear it's more hard pack than the southern one.  I took my daughter on the south loop and it was a little sandy, but as far as sand goes, not that bad.

Thanks for the info. I'll check it out.

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Just watch out for Mike's (Elwood) Tiki Bar. You might not make it to the trails. :ride:  :cheers:

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Just watch out for Mike's (Elwood) Tiki Bar. You might not make it to the trails. :ride:  :cheers:

Are you talking aboujt that seasonal camper at Whiskey Creek?  I've seen that set up, but they've never been up there the same time we've been up there.

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Are you talking aboujt that seasonal camper at Whiskey Creek?  I've seen that set up, but they've never been up there the same time we've been up there.

Yep. He's up there for another week. Usually makes it every weekend. Great guy.

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Leetsville is where I would take a beginner.  Just east of Kalkaska a few yards and very flat, and not too sandy.  Easy to see someone coming and wide.  Right up 131 from you.  Not ridden by many folks it seems and no real technical stuff (like Long lake).  I started my boys at Gladwin and Midland area back 20-25 years ago and it was tough for them (although they are better men because of it)....lots of deep sandy woops and water crossings etc...  Leetsville has none of that.  Good Luck

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Leetsville is where I would take a beginner.  Just east of Kalkaska a few yards and very flat, and not too sandy.  Easy to see someone coming and wide.  Right up 131 from you.  Not ridden by many folks it seems and no real technical stuff (like Long lake).  I started my boys at Gladwin and Midland area back 20-25 years ago and it was tough for them (although they are better men because of it)....lots of deep sandy woops and water crossings etc...  Leetsville has none of that.  Good Luck

Thanks! I'll check it out..

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Making progress, he's getting very comfortable on the bike and is almost trail ready!

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