There are a surprising number of trails in the metro area, which I shouldn’t be surprised by due to the number of state parks, but I didn’t mountain bike growing up. I never looked for trails in the area before.
I ended up checking out Island Lake Recreation Area near Brighton, MI. The two trails, totaling about 15 miles of singletrack, were beginner friendly and fast. A few areas were moderately technical, but most of the miles flew over smooth, packed sand. It was great practice for the Iceman, but it confirmed that I'm moving pretty solidly into the "Intermediate" skill level. I'm kind of proud of how much my skill and confidence have improved this summer!
I had a great time on the trails and could have gone a lot farther, but I had other places to be. And what an amazing day for riding! It was joy on a bike.
Gotta love the windblown look!