Big M

Big M of Manistee County, Michigan

Hiking Big MCross country skiing Big MMountain biking Big M

Trail Distance:

46 miles long.


Big M is located between the communities of Manistee and Wellston in Manistee County, Michigan.

From Wellston, travel west on M-55 for about 4 miles to East Udell Hills Road, then south 3 miles to the Big M entrance and parking area.

Trail Description:

The Big M Cross Country Ski and Mountain Bike Trail is located deep in the heart of the hardwood and pine forest of the Udell Hills. The trails offer a variety of terrain to challenge every biking and skiing experience level. The hills receive an average of 130 inches of snow from December through March, providing excellent cross country ski conditions. From April through September the hills offer a lush green canopy with many scenic vistas. During the winter the trail system is operated by the Manistee Cross Country Ski Council (e-mail address:, a nonprofit volunteer organization, in cooperation with
the USDA Forest Service. The Forest Service and volunteers maintain the trails during the summer season.


There are 30 kilometers of well marked trails available. The trails are groomed during the winter and maintained during the summer. The trail system offers a Chalet open during the weekends, a plowed parking lot, and a vault toilet building. The Chalet may be closed during the summer months. A single-track mountain bike trail completed in 2002 offers a 26 mile loop around the other Big M tails. A Huron-Manistee NF vehicle pass is required from April 1st
to November 1st. For the latest information regarding fees and conditions, please contact the Ranger Station at Manistee.


There are no fees required for the use of the Big M Cross Country Ski trail system. Big M is operated by a non-profit group of volunteers and contributions can be placed in donation pipes located at the start of the trail system.


The ski trails are groomed when snow conditions warrant and and grooming usually starts in mid to late December through March. The best
snow conditions are in January and February. The bike trail is open from April 15 to September 30. For more information, call the Manistee Ranger Station at 231-723-2211 or TTY 231-723-0124.


Most trails are one-way (clockwise) and are extremely dangerous if skied or biked backwards. Care should be taken to keep the trail system clean and in the condition it was found, so visitors are asked to please pack out what they pack in. Dogs Must be Leashed on groomed trails. “USDA Forest Service is an equal opportunity provider and employer.” This information is available in large print upon request.

Return to Manistee County, MI Trails Page

Permission and information sources are from Contributers to this Web Site, the Department of Natural Resources,, National Park Service, and the USDA Forest Service.


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