Bill Nicholls Trail (UP3)

Total Miles


401.54 ft


2 Hours

Technical Rating



Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall

Trail Overview

This is one of Michigan's ORV Routes that is open to all licensed vehicles and ORVs. It runs from Houghton to Greenland at roughly 40 miles in length, utilizing the old Copper Range Railroad grade. There are 2 trestles that have been removed, and these account for the only hills on the trail. Otherwise, the trail is pretty flat and generally well-maintained. The surface is generally gravel, but there is a stretch of sand near Twin Lakes and loose rock near each end. There are three old railroad trestles that cross the three branches of the firesteel River near the Southern end of the trail, these are famous for their view as they sit 200' above the valley below. This trail should not be driven after a snowfall as it is a groomed snowmobile trail in Winter. There are numerous businesses along the way to stop for gas, food, and recreation.

Photos of Bill Nicholls Trail (UP3)

Bill Nicholls Trail (UP3)
Bill Nicholls Trail (UP3)
Bill Nicholls Trail (UP3)


98% of this trail is graded gravel, sand, and rock. The 2% of loose rocks and hills lie at the ends of the trail at the Old Mill Rd crossing (North) and the Adventure Creek crossing (South).


This is the Historic Copper Range Railroad grade built in the 1890's to service the Copper Mines in the Southern range of the Copper Country. It's last stop was the Depot in Greenland, MI

Technical Rating


Status Reports

Kc Tanner
Sep 25, 2023
Ben Mcgarey
Jul 12, 2023

Access Description

The Southern trailhead is at the Ontonagon County Fairgrounds in Greenland, MI. The Northern trailhead is located off Canal Rd in Houghton directly across from the Houghton Campground.

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