There’s so much summer fun to have in West Branch!


Trail Riding


Come Explore Our Beautiful Hiking Trails!

Ogemaw County is the ideal place to spend a day outside!

West Branch offers many great scenic adventures to enjoy with friends, family, or solo! Both Ogemaw Hills Pathway and River Rifle Recreation area offer beautiful trails to hike. The beauty of this region lies in the wide variety of hills, lakes and streams. Come explore our natural wonderland

Ogemaw Hills Pathway – Trails for Beginners AND Pros!

Ogemaw County is the ideal place to spend a day outside!

Ogemaw Hills Pathway offers over 13 miles of smooth, maintained trails. In the summertime, they’re perfect for pleasure hiking and nonpowered bike rides. There are three distinct trailways, marked from easiest to more difficult to most challenging. Many pathways also have connecting trails you can plot your own course using our map! Ogemaw Hills Pathway begins on the corner of Clear Lake and Fairview Rd. Take Exit 212 (West Branch) following Business Loop 75 to Fairview Road.

Rifle River Recreation Area Trails for Beginners AND Pros!

Rifle River Recreation Area is a beautiful park of rivers and lakes, and also includes 14 miles of pathways throughout! There’s even an amazing observation tower to get a fantastic view of the entire area. Use the handy trail markers to plot how far you’ve gone!

Any Hiking Questions? See our FAQs below!

Enjoy the Freedom of the Open Road!

Our off-road trails are the thrill of a lifetime!

West Branch has an extensive trail system for off-road vehicle driving, and our local ordinances allow for riders to easily cross between trails on some streets and highways in Ogemaw County. As a state-designated ORV trail, a state ORV trail permit will need to be obtained. For more exact information about our ORV ordinance, see the language in our Trail Riding FAQs.

Download Our Trail Maps Now!

Don’t Have Your Own Ride? Rent One!

RZR Ripn’ Rentals

(989) 632-3229
938 N Saint Helen Road,
St. Helen, MI 48656

St. Helen Power Sports

(989) 389-4961
1901 N. Saint Helen Road,

Saint Helen, MI 48656

More questions about ORV trail riding? See our FAQs below!

Summer in Michigan is Lake Season!

Come enjoy the lakes of Ogemaw County!

Take the whole family out on the water in West Branch. We have some fantastic lakes for boating including Clear Lake and Lake Ogemaw to name a few. Our lakes are generally much warmer than any of Michigan’s Great Lakes thanks to their smaller size, which make them great for swimming!

Download Our Lake Maps Now for Boat Access Points!

Need to Rent a Boat? Check Out These Shops!

Lake Ogemaw Marina

(989) 873-4153
2970 Rifle River Trail,
West Branch, MI 48661

Clear Lake Resort

(989) 345-2459
3802 Grass Lake Road,
West Branch, Michigan 48661

More questions about boating? See our FAQs below!

Hiking FAQs

What hours are the trails open to public?

6:00 am – 10:00pm

What should I bring on my hiking trip?

GPS/compass, water, 1st aid, a snack for you or someone you encounter that may need it.

Are there any specific dangers to look out for in the area?

Always be aware of your surroundings, beware of wildlife with their young, trees, and branches on windy days.

Is there anyone to call if I face trouble?

Always let someone know where you are going and what time to expect you back, 911 is the best call when trouble is present. As always, Safety first.

Trail Riding FAQs

What hours are the trails open to public?

Open all hours EXCEPT for during the regular November firearm deer season from 7-11 a.m. and 2-5 p.m.

What is the West Branch ORV ordinance?

An ORV shall be operated within a designated route in the City. The following City streets are hereby established as the City of West Branch ORV designated route:

Street Name From To
Dow Road City Limits Annie Street
Annie Street Dow Road North Fifth Street
North Fifth Street Annie Street Lucas Lane


Are there any Trail Rules to Know?

Except as set forth herein, or otherwise provided by law, an ORV meeting all of the following conditions may be operated in the ORV designated route:

(a) At a speed of no more than 15 miles per hour or a lower posted ORV speed limit if such lower speed limit shall be established.

(b) On the far right of the maintained portion of a street within the ORV designated route.

(c) By a person not less than 12 years of age.

(d) With the flow of traffic.

(e) In a manner which does not interfere with traffic on the road or street.

(f) Traveling single file except when overtaking and passing another ORV.

(g) When visibility is not substantially reduced due to weather conditions.

(h) While displaying a lighted headlight and lighted taillight at all hours.

(i) While displaying a valid registration.

(j) While the operator and each passenger is wearing a crash helmet and protective eyewear approved by the United States Department of Transportation unless the vehicle is equipped with a roof, or roll bar(s), or windshield that meets or exceeds standards for a crash helmet and the operator and each passenger is wearing a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt.

(k) With a throttle so designed that when the pressure used to advance the throttle is removed, the genuine speed will immediately and automatically return to idle.

(l) While the ORV is equipped with a spark arrester type United States Forest Service approved muffler in good working order and in constant operation.

(m) Pursuant to noise emission standards defined by law.

(n) For the purpose of obtaining access to recognized off road trails and for the operator to purchase retail goods and services in conjunction with the legal operations of an ORV.

(o) No ORV will be permitted to drive on the ORV designated route before 7:00 a.m. or after 10:00 p.m.

See this link for more information.

Are the trails monitored by any law enforcement?

Michigan DNR & local law enforcement assistance monitor the trails.

Boating FAQs

What hours are the lakes open for public boating?

The majority of state-sponsored boating access sites are closed 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. unless otherwise posted.

Is drinking alcohol allowed on the water?

Yes, except for the person driving the boat.
Click here for more information.

Are the laws monitored by law enforcement?

Yes, Michigan DNR patrols the lakes.

Can minors be out on the water unsupervised?

No, see rules & regulations for more information.

Are there any other lake rules to know?

Every lake can be different, including no wake zones, speed & time restrictions, as well as motorized options.