Tucked away in the bustling city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Robinette’s Trail provides mountain biking enthusiasts with a surprising blend of technical terrain and scenic beauty. With 5 miles of looped trails, this often-overlooked spot offers more than meets the eye.
To kickstart your adventure, head to Robinette’s Apple Haus & Gift Barn, located at 3142 4 Mile Rd. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525. Once there, you'll find ample parking near the East Beltline and 4 Mile Rd. Before hitting the trail, make sure to pay a $3 fee per ride or opt for an annual pass at $30. Helmets are mandatory, and riders must register and sign a waiver.
Starting among apple orchards, the trail quickly plunges into wooded terrain. Expect tight switchbacks, challenging root-infested climbs, and equally rooty descents. For those with finely-tuned full suspension bikes, there's plenty of opportunity to gain speed. A striking feature of the trail is a long, straight downhill run flanked by columns of evergreens, a part that many riders consider a highlight.
Reviews indicate a dichotomy—while some laud the trail as a favorite local mountain biking spot, others criticize its maintenance. In recent years, however, the trail appears to be receiving better care. Riders have noted that even fallen leaves were cleared, probably by a local running club.The trail layout can be confusing for first-timers. It's broken into three sections, requiring navigation through the orchard to re-enter the woods. GPS or map apps like Strava are recommended to avoid getting lost.
The trail has a reputation for being a bit "overgrown," with some riders reporting washed-out sections and ruts. The area has also seen an increase in runners, which has led to further wear and tear. First-time riders are advised to approach cautiously, especially around blind corners and unexpected short climbs.
Robinette’s Trail in Grand Rapids may not be everyone's go-to mountain biking destination, but its location and technical challenges make it worth a visit for intermediate riders. For a modest fee, this trail offers a chance to improve your skills while enjoying a unique setting. With better maintenance and signage, Robinette’s could very well evolve into a mountain biking hotspot in the Grand Rapids area.