Race - Jul 17, 2020
Lake · Views · Wildlife
Access on the out and back leg during the winter at the Overlook Picnic area parking lot.
Woodland canopy with lakeshore views make this challenging singletrack a great run or hike.
Need to Know
A daily car permit can be purchased at the entry guard house if you do not have the Michigan Recreation passport. Restrooms are available at locations along the trail network, and there is ample parking in many areas of the park. Disc golf, water rentals, beach access (with food/refreshments during the summer), and fishing make this park one of the best in Michigan.
This is rooted and rocky singletrack, mostly hardpack in the summer. Traction aids are recommended during winter or wet conditions.
Start at the peaceful lakeside Wildwood and Valley cabin in the south end of Holly State Recreation area. Access from the parking at the top of the hill and run past the gate to the cabins where the public trail is accessed. Start at the cabins.
The official race transits back up the hill to help spread runners out for each lap start prior to entering the challenging 0.5 mile singletrack Lakeshore Trail that runs along northeast side of Wildwood lake. Turn right at or just before post 19 to climb approximately 85 feet vertical in 250 yards up the "stairway to heaven" and cross past the picnic area to enter the Wilderness Trail (restrooms here). This is also the alternate/winter access point.
Stay right to keep the next parking access on your left and proceed 0.5 miles to post 12, where you u-turn. Retrace your steps and descend the stairs, this time taking a right at post 19 to continue counterclockwise around Wildwood lake. Transit the bridge between lakes to re-enter the Lakeshore Trail. Enjoy the tricky singletrack with almost continual lake views along the connector to Valley Lake.
Continue along the Lakeshore Trail passing several picnic and lake access sites, generally staying left to hug the lake. You can't get lost, but the roots and rocks require concentration and trail running care. At post 21, make a 90-degree left and enjoy some of the most beautiful sections of trail as you complete the last half mile before the woods open up to the cabins where you started.
Flora & Fauna
You'll experience the typical Southeastern Michigan woodlands, and see numerous species of birds and waterfowl. Typical woodland animals like whitetail deer, turkey, fox, squirrel, rabbit are numerous. There is no need for bear spray or other predator protection.
History & Background
Conveniently located within an hour of Detroit, and accessible by the most populated areas of Southeastern Michigan, Holly Recreation area is an easy wilderness getaway offering hiking, nature watching, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, and beach relaxation.
Shared By: Tad Machrowicz