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  1. #1
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    Marquette trip this July

    the crew is getting assembled and it worked out that we are going to Marquette for a wknd in July. To give some background, we are all very competant riders with 5" XC FS rigs who ride all the local Wisco trails from Kettles to Blue Mound to Lewis, with experience out west at places like Moab. We plan on visiting a local ship like Lakeshore or Quickstop (sp?)...

    buuut we want the inside scoop on what are the TOP can't miss, best trails. We don't want DH trails, but nice, fun flow trails with some north shore style fun and epic singletrack is ideal. We plan on putting in 15-30 miles / day.

    Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
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    Marquette rocks! I can't help you much with the epic single track, as I'm a DH'er, but any of the local bikeshops will point you in the right direction. I personally like Lakeshore & Downwind Sports....Call them in advance and they will hook you up.

    All of the north shore style trails are in an area called benson's, which is directly across the road from Mqt. Mtn.

    Have fun up there! I know I'm looking forward to heading back this summer!

  3. #3
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    Marquette XC trails

    I live in Marquette and am a XC rider. You must ride the South Trails in Marquette. You have to ride the Mount Marquette loop, The Pioneer loop & the Carp River Loop. These loops are like 5 miles each. You also have to ride the new Gorgeous Trail which was just built last year. It is off the Carp River Loop. It starts right before you get to the pipeline hang a right and it is a nice downhill until you get the edged of the Carp River. Then you ride along the ridge. It's gorgeous. Hopefully the Flow will be cleaned up by the. That trail starts at the top of Benson grade on the Pioneer Loop. This trail is technical and was just picked by Bike magazine as the best trail in Michigan. These trails are the best marked ones for XC riding. The Harlow connector trail is great too. There are many more trails but like the earlier post said the ones on Benson are for DHers. If you still have time you should ride to the Top of the World and Jedi around the Harlow Lake area. This is where we had our local 12 hour ride the last 2 years. This year it is on July 19th and it may be at a new location. You can download a map of the South Trails free at this website.
    http://www.noquetrails.org/

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by palo92
    I live in Marquette and am a XC rider. You must ride the South Trails in Marquette. You have to ride the Mount Marquette loop, The Pioneer loop & the Carp River Loop. These loops are like 5 miles each. You also have to ride the new Gorgeous Trail which was just built last year. It is off the Carp River Loop. It starts right before you get to the pipeline hang a right and it is a nice downhill until you get the edged of the Carp River. Then you ride along the ridge. It's gorgeous. Hopefully the Flow will be cleaned up by the. That trail starts at the top of Benson grade on the Pioneer Loop. This trail is technical and was just picked by Bike magazine as the best trail in Michigan. These trails are the best marked ones for XC riding. The Harlow connector trail is great too. There are many more trails but like the earlier post said the ones on Benson are for DHers. If you still have time you should ride to the Top of the World and Jedi around the Harlow Lake area. This is where we had our local 12 hour ride the last 2 years. This year it is on July 19th and it may be at a new location. You can download a map of the South Trails free at this website.
    http://www.noquetrails.org/
    Out of curiousity, How much climbing is involved in the three 5 mile loops mentioned above?

  5. #5
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    Climbing

    Theres quite a bit of climbing in all 3 loops. The Carp River Loop has the most climbing and there is a stretch where you climb from the Carp River to the top of the Mount Marquette Ski Hill. The Marquette Mountain Loop has climbing too but it's broken up more with some fun descents. The Pioneer loop has one long climb up the Benson Grade. A lot of DHers shuttle up this gravel road or just walk up to the top.

  6. #6
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    Like the earlier posts said, South Marquette trails are a must.

    North of Marq. about 15 minutes is Harlow Lake (home of the Top of the World, The Jeti, and Bare Back.) Most of the trails are not mapped. There is a little bit of everything. You can get maybe 14-16 miles if you know the area real well. It's about 10 minutes from my house and I would be happy to show you around if I'm not busy.

    Also Bruno's Run is a little over an hour east of Marq. On m-28 past Munising take H13 south about 10 miles. There is a parking area next to Moccasin Lake? Really nice trail and scenery. About a 10 mile loop. We usually ride it both ways to make it worth the trip.

    Probably a little out of the way is Houghton. E.N.E. about 2 hours. They have some decent trails there to.

  7. #7
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    Definitely hit the Mount Marquette Loop and Bruno's. We used to stay at a hotel that backed up to the Mount Marquette Loop and did it after riding Ore 2 Shore last year...what a complete blast! The climbing is survivable and the descents are a great payoff! The amount of work that went in to build some of the crib walls on this trail must have been amazing! The next day we went to Bruno's Run and really enjoyed that as well.....my 4" FS bike was plenty for either of these trails but my buddy enjoyed them as well on his Motolite in 5" mode.....

    We always plan a couple extra days after Ore 2 Shore to play around up there..it's so sweet and makes the 7 hour drive from the Detroit area extremely worth it!

    Justin
    Ventana Pantera (FS)
    Redline Monocag (SS)
    LeMond Poprad (Cross)
    Vassago Bandersnatch (29er)

    www.teamtreefarm.com

  8. #8
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    I live in Marquette too, and can offer some insights.

    The south marquette trails are really good and close to town, if you're staying at a local hotel. Expect anywhere from 600 to 1000' of climbing per loop out there, depending on how far up each trail you go. There are typically loops that cut off a little climbing, especially over at Marquette Mountain. They've been expanding the trail system there, some are more xc bike friendly, although you're want to be careful with some trails.

    Harlow is more low-key, smoother trails. Not as much climbing to be had, although the Top of the World climb is pretty decent going up. It's pretty fun to come down too, just watch out for climbers. The backside (Jedi Trail) is much fun too. The bareback trail is pretty rocky, with some hike-a-bike sections (unless you're pretty trials-ish). You can actually ride to harlow on the rail trail from town, which adds another 20 or so miles to the ride.

    There's a little singletrack to be had around the start of the Noque trail, by the tourist park. It's pretty rocky and not ridden as much as everything else around here, but it's there.

    There's a wednesday night ride that starts at the brewery in Ishpeming, which is typically a little faster paced ride, and it is NOT a NO-DROP ride, so be prepared to keep up. Good fast trails over there, speedy two-track and fast single track stuff.

    If you've got the time, Houghton (2 hrs. away) has a lot to offer, but if you're going that far, I'd suggest going to Copper Harbor, which is about 3.5 hours from Marquette. Lots of trails, kinda XC-All Mountain oriented. Everything is accessible from town too, and multiple loops are there, are typically well mapped and you're likely to be the only ones out there.

    Lakeshore bike would probably be the best place to start for trail help or try to hook up with someone local. I'd offer up my services as a guide, but my daughter (1yrs old) has eaten up most off-road time. Any saddle time now typically involves a chariot.

    Feel free to PM me if you need some more info. You probably won't get lost, as all trails pop out at some trailhead. It may not be the one you're aiming for, but you won't die in the woods looking for the way out.

    Plum
    This post is in 3B, three beers and it looks good eh!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plum

    There's a wednesday night ride that starts at the brewery in Ishpeming, which is typically a little faster paced ride, and it is NOT a NO-DROP ride, so be prepared to keep up. Good fast trails over there, speedy two-track and fast single track stuff.



    Plum
    There is a "B" group which IS a NO-DROP and less technical than the "A" group that I believe he is referring to and there is talk of having a "C" group this year as well.

    I'm sure you could ride with the A guys/gals, I was just posting that info in case anyone else was wondering. There are some great trails in Ishpeming as well and if you get hooked up with someone from there, you will have plenty to do between Ish and Marquette.

    Have fun!

    http://www.upmtb.com/?sectionid=2

    check out this link - it has some maps and such.
    Last edited by Tackhammer; 04-29-2008 at 09:53 AM.

  10. #10
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    Gee Marquette has some sweet trails! Ok we’ve only done the one that you can start from Nordic Bay resort. Which trail is that anyway? Whatever the case that loop was well marked and challenging enough to be fun. We tried finding the connector trail to cross the Carp river but we couldn’t locate it. If you folks get up to the Copper County (Houghton, Hancock, Calumet or Copper H) let us know and maybe we can tag along.
    Arly a tandem Nerd, Who rides them, loves them, so we sell them. superiortandems.com

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by arly
    Gee Marquette has some sweet trails! Ok we’ve only done the one that you can start from Nordic Bay resort. Which trail is that anyway? Whatever the case that loop was well marked and challenging enough to be fun. We tried finding the connector trail to cross the Carp river but we couldn’t locate it. If you folks get up to the Copper County (Houghton, Hancock, Calumet or Copper H) let us know and maybe we can tag along.
    That would be the blue loop around Mt. Marquette. You can get on it by the Nordic Bay (now closed) or off the McClellan trailhead. I've also heard this referred to as the 'Granny Loop'.

    The trail to get across the Carp isn't directly off the blue trail, you have to go up the gravel/dirt road from the Nordic Bay, then head to the South towards the creek. Some refer to this as the Powerhouse parking lot, as the old powerhouse for the carp river resevoir used to be there, but it is just a dirt cul-de-sac now. Head towards the river, you'll see the bridge across, then you're behind the prison property and can head up the East side of Marquette Mtn. From there, you can access any of the lift-accessed trails after you do about 1000 ft. of climbing.

    For the OP, you might do a quick check on the Superior Bike Fest dates and depending on your attitude, either skip that weekend or schedule the trip for it. Lots of viewing to be had that weekend (road stuff too) but the trails will certainly be more crowded. Better chance of hooking up with somebody that knows the trails probably.

    Plum
    This post is in 3B, three beers and it looks good eh!

  12. #12
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    Quick stop is sweet, go there and ask about the trails. Lots of good people in there. Down wind is good too,

  13. #13
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    Hey Plum

    I think the bridge is actually part of the Yellow loop. You can also hit it if your on the Yellow loop and you come down the ridge and hit the two track just before it turns left toward the bridge. Is the bridge in and the trails in good shape?

    I've been messin around up at Harlow. The snow is pretty much gone now.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevebiker
    Hey Plum

    I think the bridge is actually part of the Yellow loop. You can also hit it if your on the Yellow loop and you come down the ridge and hit the two track just before it turns left toward the bridge. Is the bridge in and the trails in good shape?

    I've been messin around up at Harlow. The snow is pretty much gone now.
    I haven't been up there yet this year, my riding time is pretty curtailed with my wife working out of town and my 1 yo daughter to drop off & pickup via the chariot. I'm told that the blue loop is dry and in good condition, and as quickly as everything is drying out, I'd expect that it's mostly rideable.

    You might be correct about the bridge being on the yellow loop, but I think they call that the Carp River loop too.. Regardless, there's a ton of trails out there, marked and unmarked. The bridge is pretty easy to find and you can easily spend a weekend riding there without doing anything twice, although you'll find stuff that you'd definitely want to.

    It should be mentioned that there are trail maps for most of the main trails at the two major trailheads. Maybe elsewhere too, but for sure at the McClellan trailhead and the Nordic Bay trailhead, so finding the core loops is pretty easy..

    Plum
    This post is in 3B, three beers and it looks good eh!

  15. #15
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    anyone have any pictures of any of the trails/loops, especially some of the typical north shore style structures? curiosity sake

    sounds like we will have a blast, thanks all for the input thus far

  16. #16
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