June 11, 2007
Craig writes that this photo is from the outer loop at Big M ski and bike trails (and that recent high winds littered the trail with debris, so keep that in mind).
The Big M Ski & Mountain Bike Trail System is located in the nearly million acre Huron-Manistee National Forest. Information online is pretty scant, with the Big M trail page at the Michigan Mountain Bike Association pointing to the now vanished Udell Hills Trail Network web site.
Fortunately, the Internet Archive Wayback Machine was created to handle just such an eventuality, and you can get the Udell Hills Trails System site as it appeared in May of 2005. It says:
The Udell Hills Trail system is located in Manistee County just north of the border with Mason County. It is a lush area that is predominantly covered in hardwoods and is sandwiched between the Little and Big Manistee Rivers. It is a big pile of glacial poop and includes sandy/loamy soil and some interesting rocks and boulders. At one point, Udell Hills was the home of downhill ski area. Now it is a Mecca for mountain biking and cross country skiing.
There’s also a great trail system page that describes all the trails and their features in entertaining fashion.