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 dlb » May 26th, 2010, 3:14 pm

Does anyone know if any changes have been made for Mtn. Bike access on the NCT? The info. on the website that Rick listed above seems pretty dated.
They really give us bikers a bad rap!

It would be nice if the Dilling Rd. trailhead to Udell trailhead was open to bikers. That would allow a straight shot from Marilla all the way to Bowman Lk.!
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby hala514 » June 5th, 2010, 10:26 am

General question about the NCT trail:

Why are the sections alternating bike, then no bike, then bike, then no bike, then bike? If you wanted to ride the entire thing, do you just take the roads from the end of one bike section to the start of the next one?

I dug through this thread and saw some reference to a trail study that was done in the 90's - do those findings still apply?
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby Mike_D » June 24th, 2010, 5:38 pm

Need some advice on the Big M interior trails. I have ridden here before but it has been a few years. I was looking at parking in the paved lot and heading out north on the Lumberjack then CCW on Camp 24, then CCW on Big Wheel, then CCW on Oh Me II, CCW on Double Bit to the 2nd intersection of Catamount to climb up to Capper's Corner then south to the intersection at Bullwhacker, east to the Corkpine, and back to the parking lot. I know some of these interior loops are better to ride CW or CCW for a more enjoyable downhill ride rather than a lung buster uphill climb. Can anyone chime in to let me know if I should be going CW or CCW on Camp 24, Big Wheel, and Oh Me II? Also, there is a super fast downhill on the Bullwhacker, almost a 2 track wide but super fast with a quick lefthand turn at the bottom. Is that on the section between the Catamount intersection and the Corkpine?

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

Postby funkydrum » June 25th, 2010, 6:05 am

Honestly, I ride these so much that I mix them around to keep it interesting. My experience has been, if you follow the XC trail directions the climbs are more moderate.

You are correct that the 2-track burner is from Catamount to Corkpine.

I would encourage you to mix in the NCT and outer trails into your ride too. I really enjoy the climb (and decent) to the Udell Firetower and NCT North to Shanty Boy, CCW back to Catamount or Corkpine. I generally avoid the weak trails in the NE outer parts (Bindlestiff, Swedish, etc.)

Either way, it's a fantastic trail network with lots of diversity!
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby Siler » June 26th, 2010, 11:45 pm

If you've recently hiked or biked the NCT in Newaygo County and encountered heavy growth of downed trees, let me know the location and the Western Michigan Chapter will take care of it the weekend of 7/10-11. If you're hiking or biking on the NCT in Newaygo County over the holiday weekend, let me know what you find. With more than 60 miles of trail to tend to in four days of summer mowing and chain sawing, it's very helpful when people let us know where they encounter problems.

You can report problems anytime using the form athttp://www.northcountrytrail.org/wmi/maintain.php

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

Postby bh357 » August 23rd, 2010, 8:42 pm

Forest Road "improvement" at Big M trail crossing.

While riding at Big M yesterday, I noticed where someone/whoever did a lot of work on one of the logging roads which crosses the trail. The particular crossing in question is along "Sky Pilot", just after (going CCW) the southern NCT crossing. The road has been built up with compacted sand, and now sits about 3'~4' higher than the trail tread (it used to be about the same level or very close). You can't ride it, but have to dismount and scramble up.
The NCT is also affected, just north of the trail intersection. The NCT logging road crossing is a bit closer to rideable.

Unfortunately I didn't have a camera with me, so I couldn't take any photos. Anyone know what's going on here, and if whoever is using the logging road plans on putting things back the way they were?
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby bh357 » August 23rd, 2010, 8:44 pm

The second half of my conditions post...

There are a few trees down, but the worst ones (requiring dismounting) are at: the climb on "Shanty Boy" just before the fast switchback downhill, and a "limbo stick" at the start of "Bullwacker".
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby John_H » September 7th, 2010, 7:20 pm

Anyone know latest Hungerford conditions? Is the trail getting bike use, or over run by horses? I have a cousin at Ferris that wants to start mtn biking and I told him about Hungerford. I haven't ridden there in a couple years, but have always enjoyed it there as long as horses stayed off the bike trails.
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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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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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