After fielding multiple inquiries over the last couple of days regarding the riding and layout of the Owosso/Hopkins Lake trails- I think it is prudent to share some information for those interested. Bob has done a tremendous job of marking these trails with paint/ribbons/arrows. There are 3 loops: Blue, Yellow, and White loops. The white is pretty basic, while the yellow and blue contain some climbs and descents of varying difficulty. Trails can be run in either direction, and are challenging in places in either direction. The blue loop contains one unclimbable hill (okay, it is climbable- I just suck) when run in the counter-clockwise direction. The rest is IMO pretty manageable.
Here is an overview of *most* of the trails at Hopkins Lake. Note the orientation is North to the right, instead of the top of the screen:
The start/finish is located at the main parking lot nearest the entrance off M-52. The park is located at the southern edge of town. The area to the East of the lake contains some very tight and twisty trail snaking through the woods. The SE loop contains a terrific new skinny bridge that adds a little challenge. Overall, the trails are mostly featureless.
Disclaimer: This is not in any way official, and is not the way the trails are necessarily *supposed* to be run. The following GPS track is a nice route that encompasses *most* of the trail, and ties everything together quite nicely IMO:http://connect.garmin.com/player/84665338
You can export a GPX (or other file type) to your own device, or play the track to see the basic elevation profile and routing. This was tracked with an Android phone, and is likely not super precise. Speeds should be disregarded. The route is roughly 4.5 miles.
The route is as follows: Depart the lot and head South(there's a trail worn into the grass) until you reach the boardwalk. Follow the boardwalk and trail to the end. Turn right and follow the white trail counter-clockwise. You will eventually come around to a two track, where you jog left slightly, and cut back into the woods. Almost immediately, there will be a small, steep incline on the left, which takes you up on the ridge trail. The GPS track will take you through the yellow loop from here. You'll cut off the yellow and into the blue on the East side of the lake to hit the tight, twisty stuff and the newly cut trail. Continue on the blue and it will eventually bring you back to the boardwalk, where you'll retrace your route to the parking lot. I know... this description is useless.
Here is a shorter alternate route, which starts on the blue, running counter-clockwise. It contains the unclimbable hill(which is, in fact, climbable) and runs basically blue, yellow, white, and out:http://connect.garmin.com/activity/84665355
When you are done running a circuit, switch it up and it's a whole other trail in reverse. You can mix and match sections and create a lot of different combos. Enjoy.
Bob- feel free to correct or add anything. I had a confused lady asking me about trail routing and if there was any kind of map available. There is not, to my knowledge, and if there were it would be dated now with the new trail. I'm wondering about the possibility of posting a sign/map at the start of the boardwalk or maybe at the end of the boardwalk. It could be something as simple as a GPS track like above, blown up and traced with the appropriate colors for each trail section. Just a thought.
Perhaps it would be useful to post the group ride info here as well. As it is- it's buried in a nondescript thread for scheduling discussion. I rode 4 laps and close to 20 miles out there today. Other than a few small areas, the trail is pretty prime and fast. The bridge in the swampy part of yellow definitely needs a little love. I could probably fix that part. It can be ridden as is. Water is still encroaching on the trail just North of it- as I'm sure you know. Big thanks to those who put in the skinny bridge on that back section. Love it!