Destinations

Wadhams to Avoca Trail – Michigan Bicycle Trails

By  | 

 The Wadhams to Avoca Trail is located in the southeastern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The south end of the trail is actually just about 2 miles west from downtown Port Huron.

 

Wadhams to Avoca Trail

The trail passing under I-69 freeway.

 

The Trail

Like many other trails in Michigan, it is a rail-trail. It was built  in the early 2000s on a former railway line.

The trail is 12.5 miles long. First 5 miles from the south, the section from Griswold Rd to McLain Rd is paved. The rest is a two-track, either dirt of thin layer of finely screened limestone. Both sections are quite smooth. On the unpaved section you might run into an occasional chipmunk hole.

 

Wadhams to Avoca Trail

The Avoca Trailhead.

 

The trail is pretty much completely flat, and if there is any incline or decline, it is so slight that you will not be able to see it. (My GPS recorded less than 200 ft of elevation change during the round trip of the entire trail.)

The trail is not heavily used. I rode it on Sunday, and while I encountered people on the entire length of the trail, the numbers were quite small. I probably never had more than 2 – 3 people as far as I could see in front or behind me. So, I can only imagine that during a week, especially during the day, you might be there alone.

The northern, the unpaved section, is frequently used by horseback riders. So, don’t be surprised if you run into few people riding horses. They have the right-of-way, so let them pass, or pass them carefully, as horses get spooked easily. The best way is to ask if it is OK to pass. The riders usually know how the horses will behave…

The trails passes by some residential areas, industrial sights, farmland (mostly north section), but mostly it is surrounded by trees and bushes providing it with some good amount of shade.

 

Wadhams to Avoca Trail

The trail passes by industrial site.

 

The Mill Creek Trestle/High Bridge

The main attraction of the trail is the Mill Creek Trestle called often a “High Bridge”. It is located about 1.5 miles south of Avoca. The steel trestle is 640 feet long and 60 feet high.

 

Mill Creek Trestle

Mill Creek Trestle.

 

Often, when you see articles in press or online about the trail, it will show the impressive picture of the bridge. Unfortunately, from the trail you cannot enjoy the view of the mighty structure. You get the nice view of the narrow and lazy Mill Creek below instead.

 

Mill Creek Trestle

View of the Mill Creek Trestle.

 

Wadhams

The southern most parking lot by the trail is in town of Wadhams, west of the Wadhams Rd.

There are two gas stations with small convenience stores and Wendy’s right by the trail.

 

Wadhams to Avoca Trail

The parking lot in Wadhams.

 

Avoca

Avoca is one of those one street towns. But right by the trail you have a market and also a diner.

The northern parking lot is right at the trail end on the southern side of Avoca Rd and east of Kilgore Rd.

 

Avoca Trailhead

The Avoca Trailhead parking lot.

 

Parking

There are few parking lots by the trail.

The one at the north end of the trail in Avoca is relatively big, with vault toilet and small pavilion. (43.0491528,-82.6932187)

Further south, there is a parking lot of Imlay City Rd, on the north side of it, west of the trail. It has a vault toilet. (43.0302417,-82.6720346)

 

Wadhams to Avoca Trail

The Imlay City Rd parking lot.

 

Next one south is at Lapeer Rd, on the south side of it. It has the vault toilet and bicycle repair station. (42.9926765,-82.5654025)

 

Wadhams to Avoca Trail

The Lapeer Rd parking lot.

 

The last one is at Wadhams Rd. This one does not have any restrooms. (42.9823624,-82.5383729)

There is no parking lot at the south end of the trail at Griswold Rd. I’ve seen there cars parked on the shoulder. However, I would not recommend it.

 

Wadhams to Avoca Trail

At the south end trail ends at Griswold Rd. There is no parking lot there.

 

The U.S. Bike 20 Route

The Wadhams-to-Avoca Trail is a part of the U.S. Bicycle Route 20, which runs from Marine City, MI to Ludington, MI and connects with other U.S. Bicycle Routes leading to other parts of the country and also into Canada.

More info about the U.S. Bicycle Route System.

 

Wadhams to Avoca Trail

The Wadhams-to-Avoca Trail is part of US Bicycle Route #20.

 

Connected Trails

There are no other local trails that connect to Wadhams-to-Avoca Trail. However, in Port Huron starts, not completed yet, Bridge-to-Bay Trail.

 

Wadhams to Avoca Trail

The trail map, as displayed in all parking lots along the trail.

 

Camping Options

For those who are touring the places where they can stay overnight matter. The Wadhams-to-Avoca Trail offers few camping options.

Maps, and Google show another campground by the trail – Fort Trodd. However, it’s not good for bike tourers. It is a RV, seasonal campground.

 

Camping along the trail

Port Huron KOA Resort right by the trail.

 

My Ratings

Scenery (0-boring, 10-breathtaking):

4.0 (the trail goes through wooded areas, residential, some industrial and in northern section – along some farm fields)

Easy-to-Follow (0-no maps, often broken into section without clear directions, 10-well marked with maps showing current location):

9.5 (once on the trail – easy to follow, but no printed maps available (maybe because of COVID situation)).

Food Access (0-no food facilities at all, 10-food available every few miles):

5.0 (in Avoca, Wadhams, otherwise not much along the trail, but since you are close to Port Huron there are many choices close by)

Restrooms (0-none, 10-moderen restrooms every few miles):

6.0 (at Avoca, at Imlay City Rd and Wadhams (Lapeer Rd) parking lots; all vault toilets)

Surface Quality: 9.5 (pavement smooth, dirt/limestone section quite smooth too)

Accessibility (0-no trailhead parking lots, no easy access, 10-trailhead parking, and many in-between):

8.0 (parking lots in Avoca, … no parking lot at southern end)

Usage (0-not used at all, 10-extremely popular):

3.0 (not busy on weekend, I would venture to say – pretty empty during the week)

Hills (0-completely flat, 10-Extremely hilly): 0.0 (pretty much flat)

Sun/Shade (0-no shade at all, 10-competely shaded): 5.5 (about 50 – 60% shaded)

 

Mill Creek

Mill Creek viewed from the Mill Creek Trestle on the Wadhams-to-Avoca Trail.

 

Final Thoughts

The Wadhams-to-Avoca Trail is a great route to go for a leisurely bike ride.

However, since it is not connected to any other trails is only offers the maximum riding distance of 25 miles, which is kind of short for any serious cyclist. This is the biggest limitation for people that would come from a distance away. Since many riders have the rule that their round trip drive time to the trail has to be shorter than their ride time.

So, it is pretty much a nice choice for riders from Port Huron area.

The local government is trying to advertise it with images of the Mill Creek Trestle. However, as I mentioned before, you cannot admire the view of the trestle from the trail.

However, if you are looking for some different smooth, easy to follow, trail to ride, where you won’t run into tons of people, the Wadhams-to-Avoca Trail will be a nice choice.

 

Diner in Avoca

Diner in Avoca.

 

Resources

 

Wadhams to Avoca Trail

If you are lucky, you might run into Helmeted Guinea Hens on the trail, which must be raised by somebody nearby, as they are not native to the U.S.

*     *     *

If you are interested in Southeast Michigan bicycle trails, you might also want to check out my post about West Bloomfield Trail.

 

 

 

Rich S. is a lifetime photographer and traveler based in Metro Detroit area. He has been traveling the Great Lakes area for over 30 years. Follow his blog about his trips, interesting activities and destinations in the Great Lakes region.