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Horseback Riding

Copper Peak

MI-TRAIL welcomes you to enjoy our beautiful area!  We look forward to finding your hoof prints on the trails!   (www.mi-trale.org).

(Yes, our trails are open in the Western U.P.  We are currently under the Michigan Stay Home, Stay Safe order.  Therefore, trail riding will not be the same for a while due to the restrictions currently in place by the State of Michigan and the DNR.  Trail maintenance has been halted, DNR personnel are very restricted, most Michigan businesses have been closed and others are limited.  All of us certainly look forward to the day we can provide you with clear sailing trails and the outstanding hospitality that you have come to expect from the Yoopers!)

Equestrian Safely and Trail Courtesy

  • In areas, ride with others and leave word of your travel plans with someone
  • Slow down when sight lines are poor.  Watch and listen. Be aware of other trail users.
  • Stop and face other approaching trail users
  • Keep horses a safe distance from others
  • Speak to others and suggest how to safely pass
  • Pack out what you pack in
  • Clean manure from loading areas


Mi-TRALE is very fortunate to be located in the nearly one million-acre Ottawa National Forest (ONF).  The ONF provides a wide variety of equestrian opportunities ranging from well maintained and signed roads and trails to the more challenging cross-country travel.  Except for the Sylvania Wilderness and specifically designated hiker only trails, including the North Country National Scenic Trail, the entire Forest is open to horses including open roads, closed, gated and blocked roads unless the road is specifically signed as closed to horses.  Horses are not permitted in developed recreation areas.  Many of the roads and trails on the Ottawa are open to other uses including motor vehicle travel, ATVs, ORVs, snowmobiles, hikers and mountain bikes unless otherwise specified.  Roads and trails travel through a variety of management areas across the Ottawa Notional Forest.  These areas are managed for a wide range of multiple use activities including recreation, threatened and endangered species, fish and wildlife, water quality and wood products.  To help prevent erosion and impacts to threatened and endangered species, please stay on the roads and trails!


OTTAWA RIDE:  LL ROUTE  On US HWY 45, 10 miles north of Watersmeet is the Paulding Pond disbursed camping area.  There is plenty of space for parking or camping.  Once unloaded, head north along US-45 to the first road that goes left/west turn left.  At the T turn north/right up the gravel road.  You are now on the LL Route.  Travel up the gravel road about a mile where the LL Route signs will turn right, through the trees.  You will cross back over US-45.  Follow the signs through the forest 2 ½ miles.  You will reach a paved road marked LL/CW.  Take the LL to the right 1 mile, you then will follow the signs north, there are 4 more miles of beautiful forest trail.  We suggest turning around when you reach the paved road.  OR, at the LL/CW intersection turn left and opt for a side trip into the town of Paulding for hand scooped ice cream at the General Store.

TRESTLE RIDE:  BN Route   Rail Trail – There is parking at either end.  On the southern end, there is a public Park N Ride parking area on the corner of M-26 and M-38.  Once unloaded head a short distance down the side of M-38 where you will come to the BN Route.  Head north/left up the BN Route.  This will take you over the 3 Trestles 100 feet above the Firesteel River.  Return to the Park and Ride or continue through the Copper Country State Forest and end in the town of Twin Lakes where Krupps Mini Mart is famous for their traditional Pasties.

SHORELINE RIDE:   Lake Superior Shore Misery Bay  Drive your rig to the town of Toivola on M-26 and turn west onto Misery Bay Road.  Follow Misery Bay Road back approximately 7 miles to the DNR boat landing.  Parking there is ample with a loop for a turnaround.  Unload and take the pedestrian path from the parking lot to the beach, the best riding is to the South (left) when looking at Lake Superior.  You will have to ride your horse into the water to reach the southern shoreline.  People often use the beach area immediately next to the parking lot.  Please be courteous and remove any manure droppings in that area.  There is a latrine, but no running water.  Beautiful place for a sunset view!

THE COURTNEY EQUESTRIAN TRAILS  The trails are a little known attraction in Northeast Ontonagon County in the Ottawa National Forest.  These beautiful trails lie on both sides of the West Branch Firesteel River access points from HWY M-38 and Dishneau Road. Northeastern loops are enjoyed by cross country skiers, snowshoer’s, and intersects with hiking trails.  Here you will enjoy approximately 14 miles of horse trails on diverse forest landscapes that carry you through areas of hardwood, pine, mixed foliage and forest vegetation.  Trails are near Courtney Lake Campground which is seasonally open to the general public, but closed to horses.  This is a peaceful retreat with well-marked trails cared for by MI-TRALE, local skiers and the Ottawa National Forest.

MULTI-USE ROUTES  Open to horses and other users including motor vehicles, ATVs, ORVs, motorcycles, hikers and mountain bikes so be prepared and stay alert!
BN Route   48 mile Rail Trail – Trestle Bridges
IM Route   67 mile Rail Trail
LL Route    26 miles – Many small bridges, beautiful wooded area
OC Route  79 miles – Country roads, forest roads and trails
P Trail        25 miles – Through the Ottawa National Forest
SB Route  49 mile Rail Trail – Trestle bridges, waterfalls and several small towns each offering something unique

*NEW MI-TRALE MAP APP:  “Michigan UP Trails”.  Download FREE app from the store (iOS & Android).  We encourage you to download the app and take a look at what it has to offer.  Use it to plan your next vacation.  It covers the same trails contained in the current MI-TRALE Map Guide for ATV, cycle, equestrian, biking, hiking, and paddle.  We also are producing a new folding map for sale to those who prefer a paper map.

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