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  1. #1
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    Mackinac Island Trails

    I am in the process of planning a little UP North vacation for the Spring, likely in May. I am interested in doing some of the North Country Trail from Mackinac to Petoskey as an overnight bikepacking trip. However, I saw that there are some inland trails on Mackinac Island. If I am in the area are these worth the trip over? Cheers.

  2. #2
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    Not worth the trip to ride, but worth the trip to see the history and explore around the Island if you have never been there. On the bike packing From Mackinaw to Petoskey, just be aware that bikes are frowned upon on the northern part of the trail around Sturgeon Bay because of the very sandy soil making the trail fragile. But there are plenty of nice two tracks and dirt roads.

  3. #3
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    There are lots of trails but, only 7 miles or so of single track worth riding on the island with some of that rather challenging. Some of the wide paths are pretty fun to cruise if there aren't a lot of horses or walkers. The rest is either real rooty or to much horse poop. Fun enough that when my wife and I go, I bring a mtb though. I'm not sure I would bring a nice bike though, unless you are going to keep a good eye on it.

    S

  4. #4
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    I hate to say it but I have thought a lot about playing stealth tourist and enjoying the historical sites, road ride and interior singletrack AND trying to find a place to stealth camp and make it a bike overnight. Likely illegal and I am not sure it is a good idea but I have been pondering it. I think with a really ultralight setup you could manage in the interior or on the beach.

  5. #5
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    My family and I have been making the trip to Mackinac every year for about 16 years now. There is a nice mixture of trail types, from the fast to the technical. Some of my favorites are the Tranquil Bluff and the Coffee.

    Few years back my friend and I decided to camp on the island on the night of July 4th since the hotel rates were ridiculous. Ended up setting up hammocks in the school's outdoor basketball courts since we were too tired to make it out to the woods. Got a visit from the cops the next morning but they basically said don't do it again and let us go. There's tons of places you could camp and not be bothered though.

    Overall its a beautiful island. You can definitely find better trails elsewhere, but not in this kind of setting.

  6. #6
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    Just found the trail map online but can't post a link because of my low post count. Search Google for "Mackinac Island Trail Map" and it's the first one that comes up.

  7. #7
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    I wouldn't make the trip specifically to ride the trails, but worth hitting them if you are planning to go to the island already. Its an interesting place, you could definitely kill a day there. Weekdays would be less crowded.

  8. #8
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    I've ridden the trails there and it's pretty fun early in the season. Two years ago I had a great time there, a year ago less so, because storms had done a bit of damage to some trails (and a lot of damage to a couple!) and it was later in the season so there was more horse poo and hoof postholes to deal with.

    Like others said, riding the trails is a nice diversion from the more touristy end of the island but maybe not a destination ride in itself. I love spending time on the island, though, and try to do so every year or two. There are a lot of trails, two track and dirt roads that make poking around the island by bike fun and worthwhile. I finally broke down and toured the fort a couple of summers ago for the first time and it's really interesting and cool-worth the price of admission...

    Here's a link to my pics and a route I put together connecting various trails into a pretty decent clockwise loop.

    6/8-mountain biking Mackinaw Island! - a set on Flickr

  9. #9
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    I appreciate the comments. I have always enjoyed the scenery and history that the Mackinac area provides! Being able to add a biking component only adds to it. Also, there is an interesting piece on bike culture on Mackinac Island in the latest issue of Bicycle Times. Worth taking a look at. Cheers.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsgerig View Post
    I appreciate the comments. I have always enjoyed the scenery and history that the Mackinac area provides! Being able to add a biking component only adds to it. Also, there is an interesting piece on bike culture on Mackinac Island in the latest issue of Bicycle Times. Worth taking a look at. Cheers.
    Heh, yeah, a riding buddy of mine wrote that article...this is him:

    Out Your Backdoor for Indie Fun...with Bikes, Canoes & XC Skis...Gardens & Porches

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