Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford, etc.

For posting trail-specific conditions and problems

Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby brokenbones » September 7th, 2010, 8:45 pm

@ John_H: I hit Hungerford 2 or 3 weekends ago for the first time, on my way home from Big M. The trail was in good shape and quite nice. I'd hit it again on my way by. The only interaction with horses is on the shared 2 track used to connect trail segments. The sandy 2 track was rough from the horse traffic, but the single track was smooth, fast, and fun.
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby adroit rider » April 10th, 2011, 3:17 pm

Any update on conditions at Big M? Thinking of riding there on Friday.
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby Mike_D » April 10th, 2011, 3:35 pm

adroit rider wrote:Any update on conditions at Big M? Thinking of riding there on Friday.


I heard today (2nd hand information) that sections of the NCT south of there still had some snow but with these last couple of warm days, I'm guessing all the snow will be gone. I would do some checking around before heading up there.
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby kblakeyshell » April 11th, 2011, 5:54 am

As of Sunday (yesterday) the outer loop had just gotten clear of snow except for a couple small sections like where you cross the snowmobile trail. Inner loop trails (aka the groomed ski trails) still had a fair amount of ice/snow but I have to believe that will be gone in the next couple days.
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby georgemra » April 14th, 2011, 8:18 am

In I couple of weeks I am going to have a week off that I am going to use to explore a bit of west michigan by mountain bike. I really want to ride Big-M as I have heard really good things about it. I have also heard that it isn't necessarily the easiest to get around. A couple questions. What is a good route to follow to ride the trail? I understand that there are multiple sections that can be linked up in different ways. I would be happy with a 15 mile loop where I can go ride another trail later in the day, or a big loop that I could spend multiple hours on. Also, is there anyone who would like to show me around the trail? I will be up there around April 29th. The day isn't nailed down yet, and I have some flexibility around that weekend. Thanks
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby RickPlite » April 14th, 2011, 8:25 am

georgemra wrote:In I couple of weeks I am going to have a week off that I am going to use to explore a bit of west michigan by mountain bike. I really want to ride Big-M as I have heard really good things about it. I have also heard that it isn't necessarily the easiest to get around. A couple questions. What is a good route to follow to ride the trail? I understand that there are multiple sections that can be linked up in different ways. I would be happy with a 15 mile loop where I can go ride another trail later in the day, or a big loop that I could spend multiple hours on. Also, is there anyone who would like to show me around the trail? I will be up there around April 29th. The day isn't nailed down yet, and I have some flexibility around that weekend. Thanks


ride the outerloop, it is 17 miles and worth every mile. if you want longer miles ride the 25 mile Lumberjack course loop. I still have the 25 mile map if interested you can email me. the trail is now well marked with maps at every intersection
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http://www.barry-roubaix.com
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby sklevorn » April 14th, 2011, 10:43 am

+1 on the outerloop.

If you do get turned around a bit and wind up on the inner trails they are a blast. Just take extra water and a powerbar and you'll be good to go.

Outer loop has a lot of winter fall (aka derailleur and spoke eating branches) according to the report from my bro last night.
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby Mike_D » April 14th, 2011, 11:44 am

If you wanted a shorter than 17 mile ride, jump on the NCT where Gabriel's Horn turns into Shanty Boy. The NCT is an awesome section of trail especially when you ride it north to south (The Road Monkey isn't as scenic IMO). There is 1 heck of a climb once you start on the NCT at this point but after that, it's a nice ride. Ride it south until you hit the Sky Pilot and continue on the outer loop (Sky Pilot to Bullwacker to Corkpine). You could spend an entire day there riding different sections of trails making different loops.
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby adroit rider » April 14th, 2011, 12:17 pm

sklevorn wrote:+1 on the outerloop.

If you do get turned around a bit and wind up on the inner trails they are a blast. Just take extra water and a powerbar and you'll be good to go.

Outer loop has a lot of winter fall (aka derailleur and spoke eating branches) according to the report from my bro last night.


Does your bro think it will be good to go on Saturday, 4/16?

Thanks!
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby adroit rider » April 18th, 2011, 10:17 pm

Ended riding the Vasa Single Track and it was good. Lots of downed trees but the sand was packed and firm on Saturday.
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby rideondirt » April 22nd, 2011, 12:15 pm

Anyone ride from M-20 yet? It looks like the weather may decent this weekend and I could use a little NCT in my life right now.
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby Mike_D » April 22nd, 2011, 12:27 pm

rideondirt wrote:Anyone ride from M-20 yet? It looks like the weather may decent this weekend and I could use a little NCT in my life right now.


That section usually dries out pretty quickly so it should be good to ride on Sunday. Saturday, it may be a bit damp yet since we are supposed to get rain overnight and into Saturday am.
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby MusicManBikingAimlessly » April 23rd, 2011, 6:34 pm

I rode M-20 first Sunday it was warm, when we had that beautiful 80 degree day.. Nice ride though there was still lots of ice & snow at the 2 mile mark. M-20 section of the NCT is in good shape though there were 2 big branches blocking the trail. Tried to move one but both are a 2 man job. Thinking about getting back up there on 4/28 weather permitting with another rider to clear away any trees or branches. Anyone interested?
Be nice to the people on the ride up, you'll likely see them on your way back down!
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby Siler » April 25th, 2011, 10:32 am

Temporary closure of North Country Trail - West Pierce Road to West Nine Mile Rd in Newaygo County - April 30 - May 15.

Please note that approximately one mile of the North Country Trail is slated for closure from April 30, 2011 through May 15, 2011 (possibly through May 22) to allow for a bridge replacement and bank stabilization at Bear Creek. Users are encouraged to honor the reroute in order to protect habitat in this spring-fed, cold water trout stream. While the stream can be forded, this work is being done to protect habitat; thus your cooperation with the temporary reroute would be appreciated.

Reroute instructions are as follows:
- Heading north, turn right onto West Pierce Road (now paved) and head approximately 0.3 miles east to Parson. Turn left on to Parson Ave, a dirt road, and head north approximately 0.5 miles where Parson ends and West Nine Mile turns left. Follow West Nine Mile west for approximately 0.2 miles to where the North Country Trail crosses (shortly following changeover to "seasonal road" status). Resume north travel by turning right.
- Heading south, turn left (east) onto West Nine Mile Road. In approximately 0.2 miles, West Nine MIle Road will end and Parson Ave will turn right. Follow Parson Ave approximately 0.5 miles south to West Pierce Road. Turn right and follow Pierce Road (now paved) approximately 0.3 miles west to where the trail enters the woods adjacent to Taylor Drive. Resume south travel by turning left.

One other note. Earlier posts on this bulletin board suggested volunteers removing fallen trees from the trail. Please be aware that volunteers are prohibited from using chainsaws on National Forest lands unless they have completed an intensive training and safety class and are certified by the Forest Service. This policy was set in place to protect volunteers, ensure the safety of national forest visitors, and to protect habitat. In recent years, there have been numerous blowdowns removed by uncertified volunteers in the area north of M-20 that have left very hazardous trail conditions. Because the trees have been removed, these conditions often go unreported for a longer period of time, exposing trail users to unnecessary safety hazards. If trees are small and can be removed using hand tools, uncertified voluntary efforts are always welcomed. If larger trees requiring chainsaw removal are encounteredl in Newaygo County, you are encouraged to report them at http://northcountrytrail.org/wmi/maintain.php

Your help with protecting the trail and surrounding environs is appreciated.

Paul Haan
Volunteer Trail Manager
Western Michigan Chapter NCTA
http://www.northcountrytrail.org/wmi
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby Purple is a Fruit » May 2nd, 2011, 4:45 pm

Anyone been up to Big M lately? Trails ready to go? Inner loops clear of brush? Too mushy yet from the long snow and rainy spring? Looking to head up this weekend and do some riding. Just wondering if I should change plans. Thanks!
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