Tips for a UP trip?

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Tips for a UP trip?

Postby raymears » July 20th, 2012, 11:13 pm

4-6 riders from my group are planning a 4-day trip to the UP.

The first draft of our plan is:
Day 1: Drive to Marquette.
Day 2: Ride Marquette trails in the morning, drive to Copper Harbor, ride some trails there in the evening.
Day 3: Copper Harbor all day.
Day 4: Some mix of Copper Harbor and Michigan Tech trails.
Day 5: Drive back home.

Are we biting off too much here? We ride 1-2 times per week on the western trails, usually around 10 miles per ride.

Is one morning enough to allocate for the Marquette trails? They look pretty involved, but the map I have seems to be trying to tell me too much... I don't know what's single-track and what isn't when the map says Iron Ore Heritage Trail. For a group looking to experience the best trails in the area, which are must-rides and which can be skipped here?

How long should we spend at the Michigan Tech trails? They don't look too extensive on the map I printed off - how many miles of single-track are there?

How many miles of trails are there at Copper Harbor? I have a map, but it's a bit hard to sort out what I'm looking at - there are single track, pavement, double track, gravel, and hiking trails on the map, which is a bit too much to digest. Which Copper Harbor trails are the best?

Any suggestions on local restaurants we can't miss in Marquette, Copper Harbor, or Houghton?
Last edited by raymears on July 21st, 2012, 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby raymears » July 20th, 2012, 11:41 pm

Okay, some more research is answering a few of my questions, but I figure I'll post what I find here in case others are looking for the same information.

Michigan Tech: http://www.sportsrec.mtu.edu/index.php? ... Itemid=108 has a lot more information than I found when I searched around about six months ago. This might be all I need to know for choosing the trails to ride and guessing at how long they will take. There's also a cleaned-up map there that shows only the mountain biking trails at http://www.sportsrec.mtu.edu/images/sto ... %20map.pdf .

Marquette: Just a text description helped a lot here, and it was available right from the trail list at the MMBA site at http://mmba.org/trail-guide/#79 . Four loops of 5 miles each, mostly singletrack. 45-60 minutes per loop, blue loop is the best. Again, the map has been improved in the past six months - I have the 2011 version printed, and the 2012 version has much better information on it. http://www.noquetrails.org/wp-content/t ... ap2012.jpg The resolution isn't great, and I saw a note to buy a map from a local bike shop... can anyone suggest one in Marquette where I can purchase a map? Also, there's an iPhone trail guide at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/marquett ... ?mt=8&ls=1 for $9.

Copper Harbor: There's an interactive trail guide at http://www.copperharbortrails.org/trails that took me awhile to sort out... for me, the best thing was to toggle on certain items. The settings that worked well were: HIDE Hiking, HIDE Roads, HIDE Trail Heads, SHOW Epic Ride, HIDE Race Course. This yielded a map of the epic ride that's pretty easy to sort out, and I can hover over each section to see what it's called. Are the paper maps available for purchase better than http://mmba.org/library/maps/copperharb ... ap2008.jpg ?

Are we skipping any important trails? Are any of these trails closed in mid-late August?
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby Jason » July 21st, 2012, 9:12 pm

Seems like you should be fine with the schedule you mentioned. I think one morning is enough in Marquette. While I found the trails fun I had a hard time navigating them last summer. Copper harbor is the best riding I've ever done. We go up once in the summer to ride and again on Labour Day for the fat tire festival. Just buy a map in CH and you'll have no trouble navigating the trails. The riding is so good we never get back to ride the mi. tech trails or swedetown either. Hopefully we will this year. A bunch of us are heading up there next weekend for 4 days.

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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby Scaryrider » July 21st, 2012, 9:43 pm

Allow yourself as much time as you can for Copper Harbor trails. THEY ARE GREAT! Stop in to Keweenaw Adventures and talk to the folks there and get a current trail map. They have been making new trails the last few years specifically for MTB and they are excellent. Lots of elevation here- 3 or 4 hrs of riding and you will be done. I ride a lot. Twice up to the top and down was a good day... third time I broke it off halfway up. They run shuttles (if you want to skip the climb- I don't) to the mountain lodge and up Brockway mountain- The Edge is awesome- off to the south side of Brockway, the Flow is off to the north. You can ride up garden Brook to the Edge- then take the Flow back down. For some hard core U.P riding- the Red trail is one of the best. Do not try to ride it up- go to the Mountain Lodge and ride it down. There are places you may want to stop here and there and size up - it is a blast to ride if you "clean it" but my advice is go with someone who has been on it or pay attention and scope out the hard parts first time down. Make sure you check out the Stairway to Heaven- rides good up or down- just watch for opposite direction traffic. Have Fun!
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby i69whitey » July 22nd, 2012, 9:27 am

and say hi to Sam
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby raymears » July 24th, 2012, 11:12 am

Jason, where is your group staying? We're just starting to look at lodging.
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby Jason » August 3rd, 2012, 7:27 am

Hey Ray,

We stay in one of the cabins at the Pines. Access to everything really close to the cabin.
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby raymears » August 3rd, 2012, 8:02 pm

Thanks - I just booked a cabin at the Pines... I'm psyched for this trip.
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby Jason » August 4th, 2012, 1:01 pm

Hard to go wrong staying there. Micro brew right next door and trails a minute the other. Make sure to check out Garden Brook and Woopity Woo. The new sections of garden brook are great. Ride them both, both ways. You won't be disappointed. Enjoy the trip. If your able ride up and partake in the breakfast on the Flow on sunday morning, well worth the early start.

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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby gossamer » August 4th, 2012, 1:33 pm

try to fit in the swedetown trails, they are a nice ride after CH
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby Nelg » August 7th, 2012, 10:40 am

Given the amount of time you have, I'd try to hit only two trail systems. We just did a five day trip and had some much fun at Copper Harbor alone we realized that hitting Sweedetown on the way up probably wasn't worth the time.

My idea of a 4 day trip would be hit either Marquette or Tech Trails on the way up and spend the rest of my time at Copper Harbor. We were grinning and laughing like school kids after riding Garden Brook and Whoopity Woo for the first time. The new section of Gardenbrook is open for riding as well. The flow is awesome and On the Edge going up or down is lots of fun. There is some good riding to be had on the older trails, but the new machine built stuff is really top notch.

While you are up there, ride your bikes north on 41 past where it ends and turns to dirt. A few miles in on the top of a hill you'll see a sign that says Horse Shoe, take it. It will drop you back down to the lake and in to a great little hidden harbor. Also, if you need a break from riding, the Calumet Theater has different events and if you like to see old industrial and mining type stuff you can take a tour of the Delaware Mine.

If you are looking to splurge on one really good meal while you re there, make 5:30 or 6:00 reservations at the Harbor Haus. This is typically the time when the Isle Royale ferry comes in and the wait staff goes out to the lake front to greet it with a dance.

Enjoy and be prepared to be spoiled!
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby Leroi Brown » August 7th, 2012, 2:03 pm

We had an absolute BLAST riding the trails in Marquette, and wish we'd spent more than a morning there. The trails are phenomenal!! Definitely hit the Tech Trails on the way to Copper, as you won't have any energy left after riding Copper to ride anywhere else.....because it't THAT GOOD!! Copper Harbor is unmatched by anything else, unless you head west.....long climbs, rocky descents, and fast, flowy singletrack.
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby TheyCallMeBruce » August 7th, 2012, 7:22 pm

After reading all the gushing about the C.H. trails I was beginning to rethink my plan to move to Marquette. Oh well, at least I'll be 7 hours closer to the good trails than I am now. :D
FWIW I think the OP had some outdated maps of the Mqt trails. They have been adding a lot and the Red/Green/Yellow are much more than 5 miles. My fav is to ride the Georgous trail from the 553 trailhead, then finish the last 1/2 of the Blue - head back across 553 and take the Carp River trail to the Pioneer to Greywalls and back on the Green to the trailhead. Should be around 16 miles.
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby raymears » August 10th, 2012, 11:27 pm

Thanks for the tips... I'm starting to think this might turn into an annual thing, since we need to hit Marquette, Tech, and Swedetown sometime.
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby LuckyCharm4x4 » August 11th, 2012, 12:12 am

I want to make a trip like this. I wish my friends could commit to something of the like.
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