Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has some of the BEST attractions and MTB trails!!
Here’s a recap of our recent trip up to Marquette, Michigan for their epic 2019 Marquette Trail Fest!
Base camp for us was at Tourist Park that conveniently connects to the North Marquette trails where you can either hike, run, or bike. We chose to bike. Most of the UP trails aren’t the type of trails you would want to bike on your hard tail (at least not for this old gal!). With my interest in purchasing a full suspension bike we thought it would be a great time to rent a few different ones and test them on the terrain we thought would give me the best feel for my riding abilities.
Our first morning out we decided to meet up with some friends and teammates and hit the South Marquette trails. Our first stop was to Quick Stop Bike Shop where I was set up with a Trek Fuel EX 8 bike. Then it was off to the trails. Going into the ride I’ll admit I was a bit apprehensive knowing that I was probably going to be riding trails above my skill level and I was also going to be riding with more experienced riders (my husband being one of them). Nonetheless I was in it for the fun and adventure– it was worth every bit of the nerves I “suffered”. My suggestions to anyone a bit fearful of trying new trails they think may be over there head is to “DO IT AFRAID!” You see and experience things you never would have if you just sat back at camp or home on the couch.
Our first part of the South Trail adventure did not include “shredding the gnar!” (in a tone that I clearly should NOT be using those terms). We jumped on across the street from the trailhead and the first 8 minutes we ascended, what I would call, a true “Yooper mountain”. From there we jumped into a trail that was a bit sketchy but definitely mellowed out as we got further into it. What I really like about these trails and most MTB trails is that you have choices whether you want to hit some crazier terrain or take it easier and go around them.
A couple miles into our ride we discovered a fun waterfall and decided it would be a great place to cool down. Oh how refreshing it was!! We played in the water a bit and chatted with some folk who were actually from our area (Grand Rapids, Michigan) and happened to be camping along the trail. After a few photo opportunities we were back on our bikes to discover more of the trail. We found it to be fun and “flowy” in some areas and rocky and “rooty” in others. The Trek bike with the dropper post did not disappoint!! Overall it was a great trail to ride even though we didn’t hit all of it.
An 8+ mile ride in 85 degree weather tends to make one thirsty and I cannot think of a better place than Blackrocks Brewery to quench that thirst! With many craft beers on tap (Coconut Brown being one of mine and the hubsters favorites) along with other refreshing libations I am certain you will enjoy it too! Order some food from a local eatery and have it delivered out on their patio and sit around their fire pit in a cool atmosphere and listen to some live music while you reflect on your days adventure!
The next day we returned the Trek bike and rented the Yeti Beti full suspension to hit the North Trails. That day was equally as fun! We rode along discovering that we were actually on parts of the route for the Ore to Shore MTB race that we have enjoyed racing over the past several years.
In my humble opinion: it’s better to ride than race a Mt. Bike… You see so much more when you’re riding than you do when you’re focused to get across that finish line. You also get to stop along the way and dip your toes in the rushing cool waters, taking your time without a care in the world.
I highly recommend checking out these trails along with MANY others in the Marquette, Ishpeming, and Copper Harbor area. Now, GO RIDE YOUR BIKE!!!