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Discussion Starter #1
Totally new to off roading and looking for some novice off roading in Michigan. Something easy peasy I can have some fun on with my kid, nothing risky etc.

Driving a stock 2018 pro-4x, for what it's worth.
 

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if you have an experienced buddy then silver lake is a good place. it's sand dunes and you'll learn real quick how to drive in the sand. if you don't want to dig out your truck then St Helens is a good spot pigeon river national forest in Otsego is scenic and easy with great wildlife viewing.
camp grayling... you didn't say where in Michigan so I'm just throwing places around. tin cup trails up near Baldwin

here is a map of pigeon river
Pigeon River State Forest - Otsego County Michigan Interactive™

I would also look up places near you or maybe ask some guys you know where they ride.

If you are going by yourself and you are inexperienced here's some advice any veteran will tell you.

1. if you are unsure, don't do it. don't go up something you know you cant.
2. Bring some snacks and a case of water in case of an emergency
3. Fill up before you touch the trail. the trail may be only 20 miles but you may waste half a tank getting through it.
4. I can't stress this enough. if you do not have a RLS phone (remote location service, aka a satellite phone) tell your buddies where you plan on going and what time you are gonna be back. Had a friend who went out to the woods with no reception only to come back two days later cause he got stuck and no one knew where he went.
911 will work anywhere regardless if you have reception or not but the cops won't be happy when they drive 30 miles into the woods to pull you out of a rut.
5. NEVER TRUST A MUDHOLE they are almost never as shallow as they seem.
6. bring a change of clothes..just trust me
7. Bring first aid
8. trail running is usually exhausting mentally and physically.
9. Relax, take it slow and enjoy it. snap some pics
10. Always respect the trails. don't go off them and don't litter

Welcome to 4x4ing you are gonna love it
 

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Discussion Starter #4
if you have an experienced buddy then silver lake is a good place. it's sand dunes and you'll learn real quick how to drive in the sand. if you don't want to dig out your truck then St Helens is a good spot pigeon river national forest in Otsego is scenic and easy with great wildlife viewing.
camp grayling... you didn't say where in Michigan so I'm just throwing places around. tin cup trails up near Baldwin

here is a map of pigeon river
Pigeon River State Forest - Otsego County Michigan Interactive™

I would also look up places near you or maybe ask some guys you know where they ride.

If you are going by yourself and you are inexperienced here's some advice any veteran will tell you.

1. if you are unsure, don't do it. don't go up something you know you cant.
2. Bring some snacks and a case of water in case of an emergency
3. Fill up before you touch the trail. the trail may be only 20 miles but you may waste half a tank getting through it.
4. I can't stress this enough. if you do not have a RLS phone (remote location service, aka a satellite phone) tell your buddies where you plan on going and what time you are gonna be back. Had a friend who went out to the woods with no reception only to come back two days later cause he got stuck and no one knew where he went.
911 will work anywhere regardless if you have reception or not but the cops won't be happy when they drive 30 miles into the woods to pull you out of a rut.
5. NEVER TRUST A MUDHOLE they are almost never as shallow as they seem.
6. bring a change of clothes..just trust me
7. Bring first aid
8. trail running is usually exhausting mentally and physically.
9. Relax, take it slow and enjoy it. snap some pics
10. Always respect the trails. don't go off them and don't litter

Welcome to 4x4ing you are gonna love it
Silver Lake is definitely a spot I want to check out, but I don't currently have any friends into this letalone experienced friends. I need to work on that.

Pigeon River and Tin Cup sound perfect. The Little Manistee Route, near Tin Cup sounds a bit long for my liking. Maybe after a little more experience.

I'm actually an avid long distance backpacker and a lot of your tips mirror many things you need to do when you're going into the backcountry, so that's a Texas size 10-4 on that.

Thanks for the advice!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I will second the Baldwin area. And grayling. Tons of trails. Nothing a stock truck can’t handle. ORV trails in Michigan are sand. Fallowed by sand.

Get your ORV stickers. And check out the DNR site. They have maps of locations. Nothing really for navigation. Not that you need that. Trails are marked.

http://www.midnr.com/publications/pdfs/forestslandwater/ORV/Maps-Trail/orv_lp_for_web.pdf
I assume I need to get both the ORV License and ORV Permit? I've seen those on the back of peoples vehicles before. Is that the required placement?
 

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I assume I need to get both the ORV License and ORV Permit? I've seen those on the back of peoples vehicles before. Is that the required placement?
Yes. You’ll get different answers from different people, even at the DNR office. It’s just cheap insurance against a ticket. They were $37 last year. Need to get mine for this year. They are required on the rear of the vehicle. Truck or side by side. If you go to a off road park, I think you’ll still need them. One is to get you to the trail. The other is for the trail. This part isn’t spelled out well at all or marked anywhere on the trails. Any gas station sells them. I get them at Walmart or a true value hardware in town here in Williamston.

You want to look for “routes” on the maps. When you’re looking. Trails are for motorcycles and quads. 50” wide is the dividing line between the two.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You want to look for “routes” on the maps. When you’re looking. Trails are for motorcycles and quads. 50” wide is the dividing line between the two.
Excellent. I was wondering about that too. I noticed many trails saying 50" wide and was wondering if that basically means "you can take a passenger road vehicle down this"

I downloaded the Polaris Ride Command app too and it looks like it has a lot of the available routes on it, which is cool.
 

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Excellent. I was wondering about that too. I noticed many trails saying 50" wide and was wondering if that basically means "you can take a passenger road vehicle down this"

I downloaded the Polaris Ride Command app too and it looks like it has a lot of the available routes on it, which is cool.
Yeah..... I wouldn’t be taking a passenger car down the routes. Lol. Most are deep sand. Nothing that will stop a Frontier but the wife’s daily driver won’t like it. Unless you know where you’re going. I use Avenza Maps on my phone. There are maps out there that you can buy and put into your gps unit to use.
 
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