Favorite trail in the Midwest?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Favorite trail in the Midwest?

    Hey all, let's here it for your favorite trail in the region. I'll start by casting a vote for the Ojibwe Trail (Cable, WI). Nice tight technical single track nestled in the north woods of Wiscy.

  2. #2
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    The one that I have been building for the last year. Jumps, drops, and skinnies....some say build it high, build it skinny. well I'm building it high, building it skinny. This trail(s) will get my vote when done late this spring!!!

  3. #3
    Roy
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    Trails...

    For Illinois it would have to be Palos Hills.

    For St. Louis it would be the Chubb for a shorter ride and Council Bluffs lake for an epic.

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    So far gotta be..

    Quote Originally Posted by Ski-U-Mah
    Hey all, let's here it for your favorite trail in the region. I'll start by casting a vote for the Ojibwe Trail (Cable, WI). Nice tight technical single track nestled in the north woods of Wiscy.
    Fort Custer in Michigan. Fun trail, lots of mileage.

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  5. #5
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    Nine Mile!

    Nine Mile is da bomb! Tight technical rocky rooty singletrack on trails #8, 9, 10, 1; relatively smooth rolling whoopty singletrack on 2, 3, 4 & 5. Miles of doubletrack ski trails to open it up in the big rings. Good trails conditions/maintenance. My favorite at this point.

    Ojibwe in Cable is definitely right behind it. Rode it for the 1st time last September. Mile after mile of tight, I mean tight, singletrack way out in the middle of nowhere. Nothing really to technical, but the seclusion and scenery make up for it. Ski-U-Mah - what do you think the mileage is on the Ojibwe? I think it's about 12 or so. You clock it?

    Levis Mounds and Razorback Ridges both get an honorable mention. Both large networks of trails with varying technicality. Drawback on both was maintenance and trail marking/mapping.

    Roy - I'm with you on Chubb. Definitely very sweet, especially for being so close to STL. I'd have to say an out and back on Chubb is just as "epic" as a loop around Council Bluffs though. One thing is for sure, I'm looking forward to riding the Chubb this year now that I've got my Sugar!

  6. #6
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    Singletrack rules!

    Well, If anyones seen my other post they will know that I'm kind of partial to the HPP trails in LaCrosse, WI. Super technical singletrack that was designed to last. I don't know if it the best in the midwest but its the best in its area for sure. Holtzinger Lodge in Winona Minnesota is great too but really lack signage. We rode most of the trails backwards and didn't know where the heck we were going but the trails are awesome and really flow, which I think is the key to a good trail. Levis Mound in Neilsville is cool too. I didn't have a map but the riding was fun. The views from the overlooks are amazing and some of the trails are wicked. Again, a lack of signage to let you know how the trail is supposed to go is kind of a downer.
    I can't wait to ride Nine mile, Ojibwa, Cam-Rock and whatever singletrack I can find. If anyone knows of awesome technical singletrack that I should check out let me know!

  7. #7
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    Hey Trackrider, where is Nine Mile? Sounds like a must do ride. I've also heard good things about Levis Mounds.

    I've never clocked the O trail but the trail map has it down as a ten mile ride. I'm also hearing some good things about the "new and improved" Rock Lake Trail, but I'm not sure when it will open.

  8. #8
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    Wausau

    "Nine Mile" is actually the Nine Mile Forest Preserve, part of the Marathon County Park System in Wausau. The old name used to be Nine Mile Swamp, so you'll hear people call it that as well. It's basically the forest just south of Rib Mountain (Granite Peak Ski Area), west of I39. FYI, Nine Mile has a $2 trail pass.

    Hitting Levis Mounds the same weekend of riding Nine Mile would be possible as they are approximately 40 miles/1hr. apart. Levis Mounds is due west from Wausau. I plan on doing this at least once or twice this year. Drive up to that neck of the woods, hit one trail system, spend the night in a hotel in Wausau, then hit the other one. BTW - here's the link to Levis Mounds website.
    Good to hear about Rock Lake Trail. I thought that was gone for good. I never rode it, but heard it was good.

  9. #9
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    Proximity largely influences my vote

    Because it's my local trail, I can ride to it, and know it very well, I have to vote for Deer Grove in the NW burbs of Chicago. Though it's probably not the best trail in the Chicagoland area, when I figure in the drive, i think it's the best.

  10. #10
    Hazzah!
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    Highland..

    In Michigan. 16 technical miles of tight and twisty single track....and less than 5 minutes from my house!

  11. #11
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    ... and if we just ... In north eastern Illinois

    the ones that can't be mentioned.

  12. #12
    Roy
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    Quote Originally Posted by wi1trackrider
    Nine Mile is da bomb! Tight technical rocky rooty singletrack on trails #8, 9, 10, 1; relatively smooth rolling whoopty singletrack on 2, 3, 4 & 5. Miles of doubletrack ski trails to open it up in the big rings. Good trails conditions/maintenance. My favorite at this point.

    Roy - I'm with you on Chubb. Definitely very sweet, especially for being so close to STL. I'd have to say an out and back on Chubb is just as "epic" as a loop around Council Bluffs though. One thing is for sure, I'm looking forward to riding the Chubb this year now that I've got my Sugar!
    I was trying to remember the name of the Wausau trail to add to the list for Wisconsin and you nailed it - Nine Mile is excellent. The "Flower" trail has to be one of the best but it's been 5 years or so since I've been up there.

    Next time you're at Council Bluffs, you need to do 2 loops - one each way. Completely different trail and it gives you a 25 mile epic that is just relentless. Next time your around for a Chubb or CB ride, give me some advance notice and we'll hook up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wi1trackrider
    Roy - I'm with you on Chubb. Definitely very sweet, especially for being so close to STL. I'd have to say an out and back on Chubb is just as "epic" as a loop around Council Bluffs though. One thing is for sure, I'm looking forward to riding the Chubb this year now that I've got my Sugar!
    I just got a chance to ride Chubb for the first time this past weekend. It was after dark by the time I finished (yes, I had my headlight!), but I'm glad I made the ride. I did the out and back as far as I could before the trail dropped under water just past the RR tracks. I'll have to admit, the hill on the way back from the tracks fairly whipped me and I wound up walking too much of it on the way up. Kinda glad I was alone just for the sake of not holding up someone who was better at riding the trail.
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  14. #14
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    Razorback Ridge

    All this talk about Razorback Ridge got me interested. I'm deffinetly going to have to take a trip up there this year. Does anyone have a decent trail map that they could scan and send me, or copy and mail it? I'd be willing to pay for it. Or, if you get up in the LaCrosse area I could show you the trails.

  15. #15
    Awesome! Totally awesome!
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    I'm a fan of Palos, and the other local trails. Peoria is growing on me, but I haven't ridden all of it yet. 9 mile rules, and I've only ridden the 24hr course there! Can't wait to get some more time in up there. Owassippe Scout Reservation's/MMBA trails are good, as is the North Country Trail(illegal?) in Manistee National Forest, MI. Downtown Chicago is always fun and a nice change of pace.

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    Razorback Ridges Map

    Rokklym - I've got a copy of the Razorback Ridges trail system. It's the map they have lying out for use at the trail head, and inside the cross country ski warming building. It's not that great, definitely not to scale or showing any elevation, but it gives a general overview "in concept" of the trail layout. Believe me, I pulled this map out of my Camelback so many times in the course of one day, I was getting sick of it, but it was better than nothing. The Ridges I'm sure is one of those networks of trails that gets better the more you ride it. Not having to stop every 10-15 minutes to reference a map, or maybe knowing of some un-marked trails would definitely be beneficial. Like I said, the maps are available for free (a donation box was present) in the ski-building, and the bike shops in Minoqua also had them.

    I'll testify that unmapped trails exist out at RR. On the far west end, I came upon an intersection, which I believe the trail name was Hell Loop, or Dead Loop, something like that. Anyway, I thought I'd be a brief 5 minute technical loop. It ended up being about 4-5 miles! It was fun though, I just wasn't too sure where I was going. Ended up on the main path though eventually.

    I can copy the map and mail you a hard copy if you want. E-mail me if you want.

  17. #17
    Lone Wolf
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    Razorback

    Hey Witrackrider, Thanks for the info. I dug out my copy of Mountain Bike Wisconsin, which is a pretty worthless book, but it did have a section on Razorback Ridge and gives directions to the place, so I should be OK. If I make it up there I'll stop in and get a map..Thanks for the offer though. Sounds like quite a place, I can't wait to go.

    OK, heres a question for anyone.. Both the Razorback system and the Cable area trails are about the same distance from me, So which would you go to if you had to pick one? The Ojibwa trail sounds pretty cool too, so thats why i'm asking.

  18. #18
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    Depends on the Length of Stay

    rokklym - I'll chime in on this one as well. I visited both Razorback and CAMBA just last fall.

    If you are planning a one day journey, I'd go with Razorback. One full day there would allow you to cover the entire network. It would be a long day, with one or two extensive breaks to pound some food and catch some rest, but definitely do-able.

    If you're looking for a multiple day adventure I'd hit CAMBA. I don't know how much you've read, or heard about CAMBA. I thought I understood what it was all about, but learned a few things in the 3 days I was there. Now I only rode the CAMBA networks off the Seeley/Cable, and Cable/Telemark Resort trailheads - so my comments are based off that. The whole CAMBA system/trail network basically uses the forest roads, logging roads, jeep roads, snowmobile trails, ATV trails, Berkie (x-country ski trail; yeah the insane 40 mile one!) that are present in the Chemequon (sp?) forest. CAMBA designed trail loops using this endless network of different trails. I was expecting a bit more singletrack, but it was good for a change of pace. Looking back on it, I did read the trail descriptions, and they are quite accurate in outlining what percent of the trail loop is singletrack, jeep road, fire road, etc. The advantage is that they do an excellent (I did find a few errors/ommissions - possibly just some missing signs that some ATV numbnuts ripped down) job with signage, and they put together some killer loops for distance, terrain, scenery, etc. Don't get me wrong, 100% singletrack trails do exist - i.e. Ojibwe, Esker trail I believe is also primarly singletrack. When they cut singletrack, it's true singletrack - not a wide ass snowmobile trail with all terrain graded out.

    I'm actually planning on riding the CAMBA network again this year, maybe a bit earlier in the season too enjoy some warmer temps, and longer days. In early October I had to pack it in around 6 PM due to darkness (no I don't have a light!), and it was a bit chilly the days I was there.

    Again, if you plan on hitting CAMBA, make it at least a 2 day stay, that way you can really explore and try some of the different trails. I mixed it up a bit. Rode a 20 mile or so jeep road trail in the morning, took a break for lunch a bit of R & R, and rode 10 miles or so of singletrack. I don't know if you plan on camping, or staying in a hotel. If the later, I'd recommend just staying in Hayward. I stayed at Telemark Resort in Cable. Yeah it's right at one of the more popular trailheads, but it's not much of a resort. It was built in the 60s, and it shows. Not much of a room, and the price was rather high I thought. Plus, the resort is right outside of Cable, and let me tell you Cable has nothing, I mean nothing to offer. A Subway built into a gas station, and maybe a diner. They do have a chamber of commerce that has all the CAMBA maps for sale for $5 or so. That's it. I ended up going to Hayward, about a 20 minute drive, for food and stuff, so that's another reason I recommend staying there.

    Well, I got a bit long winded, but just thought I share some from my experiences.

  19. #19
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    Hey Rokklym, I've not ridden Razorback so I won't compare it with CAMBA. However, CAMBA does have three trails worthy of a trip: Esker Trail, Ojiwa Trail, and the new and improved Rock Lake Trail, which will be open this season. As far as lodging, I'd have to agree with Trackrider, find something in the Hayward area. That's where my group usually hangs out. If you do make the trip, remember the Seeley Sawmill Saloon (about halfway between Hayward and Cable). It's a great place to grab a post ride burger and beer.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the info

    Hey guys, Thanks for the info. I'd like to hit both trail systems this year but I'm sure I'll be lucky to hit one of them. It seems alot of plans thought up this time of year seem to get forgotten about when summer actually comes around. I think i'll try to hit up razorback first because it sounds like a bit more singltrack.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by kattywhumpus
    In Michigan. 16 technical miles of tight and twisty single track....and less than 5 minutes from my house!
    I agree! Highland is highly underrated and a boatload of fun. Do all the loops and I gurantee you'll feel like you got you heiny kicked by the time the D loop is over. 16 miles doesn't sound long but on this topo, its a bunch o work! Good call on Highland.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roy
    For Illinois it would have to be Palos Hills.

    For St. Louis it would be the Chubb for a shorter ride and Council Bluffs lake for an epic.
    Great trails, but my riding pals and I call them south because it's a long drive from our homes in WI. I think Berryman near by is more of an epic ride though.


  23. #23
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    quarry park madison, wi

    Quarry park in madison has got to be up there. Got some very challenging and rocky freeride terrain and jumps.

  24. #24
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    Yankee Springs

    12 miles of fast, fun, challenging singletrack.

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    I've been hearing good stuff lately about Syllamo down in Arkansas. I'll have to get down there this summer to check it out. Anyone for a road trip?
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    while your there

    Quote Originally Posted by bhutata
    I've been hearing good stuff lately about Syllamo down in Arkansas. I'll have to get down there this summer to check it out. Anyone for a road trip?

    bhuta...while your down there check out the small town of Eureka Sprgs...they boast a ton of good riding within the vicinity of town. I almost crapped myself..it was that good. Plus it's within close proximity of Devils Den st. park which is worth the stop.

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  27. #27
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    I vote for me!

    A loop around Berryman seems to be almost all descending with minimal climbing.

  28. #28
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    Tell me which Peoria trails you have ridden......

    Quote Originally Posted by kennbenny667
    I'm a fan of Palos, and the other local trails. Peoria is growing on me, but I haven't ridden all of it yet. 9 mile rules, and I've only ridden the 24hr course there! Can't wait to get some more time in up there. Owassippe Scout Reservation's/MMBA trails are good, as is the North Country Trail(illegal?) in Manistee National Forest, MI. Downtown Chicago is always fun and a nice change of pace.

    and I'll tell you which ones your missing out on. We probably don't have the best trails in the midwest, but we are damn fortunate to have all the great trails we do have. We have 4 fantastic trail systems all within 15 min. of downtown and a new beginner/family trail system in the works. Again, we won't claim to have THE BEST, but our trails are all worth the drive. Take a weekend and hit them all.

  29. #29
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    Smile LBL Canal Loop...Angel Mounds...

    Used to Live in Evansville IN. Always looked forward to a trip to Land Between the Lakes in Western KY. Canal Loop was a great trail..Closer to home we rode along the Ohio at Angel Mounds...

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Berryman
    I vote for me!

    A loop around Berryman seems to be almost all descending with minimal climbing.
    Fort Custer in Mi and Kickapoo State Park in Illinois. Palos is ok but the trails down in Kickapoo have better singletrack and much better scenery.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Berryman
    I vote for me!

    A loop around Berryman seems to be almost all descending with minimal climbing.
    That depends on which camp ground I start at!


  32. #32
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    copper harbor. you should go sometime. the other trails in the area are sweet as well.

  33. #33
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    Yearly visits:
    1) Decorah trails
    2) Southern Kettle
    3) Peoria/Pekin area trails

    Local:
    1) Palos
    2) Secret

  34. #34
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    Just remembered a couple more favorites...........

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffSkisMontana
    Used to Live in Evansville IN. Always looked forward to a trip to Land Between the Lakes in Western KY. Canal Loop was a great trail..Closer to home we rode along the Ohio at Angel Mounds...
    We liked Ft. Duffield near Louisville and OtterCreek(I think that was the name) which was fairly close to Ft. Duffield and was actually a Louisville City Park! Also, in Southern IIlinois, we rode in Shawnee National Forest with the Shawnee Mountain Bike Club a ton of trails one with the name Preachers Ledge. One more comes to mind right now...it was in Boonville Indiana....Scales Lake.

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