After years of planning and collaboration, the first 113 acres of the highly anticipated Holly Oaks ORV Park has opened.
About the park
The ORV park, situated in Groveland and Holly townships near Groveland Oaks County Park and Campground on Dixie Highway, is considered part of Holly Recreation Area, one of Michigan's 100-plus state parks.
It’s the second state park area in Michigan to be jointly managed by state and county recreation agencies. Holly Oaks will be operated by Oakland County Parks and Recreation in partnership with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
The park consists of former and active sand and gravel mines, making the park a unique destination. Riders will be challenged by features like 4x4 trails, single-track trails for motorcycles, steep hills, water crossings, rock crawls and other challenge elements. t's open to all types of ORVs, including full-size vehicles, side-by-sides, all-terrain vehicles or ATVs and motorcycles.
A $15/vehicle daily entry fee and an annual DNR ORV license ($26.25) and trail permit ($10) are needed to enter the park. A DNR Recreation Passport or Oakland County Parks and Recreation Annual Vehicle Permit will not be required.
In 2017, the DNR, supported by a $2.9 million Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant, purchased 235 acres on the former mining and gravel site in southeast Michigan. In 2019, the Oakland County Board of Commissioners approved a 20-year operating agreement (with an additional 10-year option) with the DNR. That same year, the DNR ORV Trail Improvement Fund allocated $160,000 for park design and development. Another $262,000 grant from that fund has helped with park development.
Under the agreement, OCPR will operate, maintain and staff the park with part-time, full-time and seasonal county employees.
Holly Oaks is designed to be “self-sustaining,” meaning revenue over expense will be held in a restricted account and reinvested back into the park for maintenance and improvements. Revenue will be generated through daily entry fees, sponsorships, public and private events and corporate use for filming and testing.
The park’s remaining 122 acres of ORV trails and terrain is expected to be ready for riders by 2023 as mining operations wrap up.