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

For posting trail-specific conditions and problems

Big-M Info

Postby LuckyCharm4x4 » July 2nd, 2011, 11:49 am

I am looking to head to Big M this weekend. When I look at the map I see the cross country sections and the red trail that looks to be the mt bike trail. Am I correct in what I am thinking or do you guys ride the XC trails? Also how many miles would I be looking at if I ride the red sections? Any favorite trail routes or not-to-miss features?
Last edited by LuckyCharm4x4 on July 2nd, 2011, 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby c0nsumer » July 2nd, 2011, 11:52 am

LuckyCharm4x4 wrote:I am looking to head to Big M this weekend. When I look at the map I see the cross country sections and the red trail that looks to be the mt bike trail. Am I correct in what I am thinking or do you guys ride the XC trails? Also how many miles would I be looking at if I ride the red sections? Any favorite trail routes or not-to-miss features?


You could always ride the Lumberjack 100 route for a nice 33 mile loop.
Steve Vigneau

Unless otherwise stated the content of my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as the official stance of, nor representative of, CRAMBA-IMBA.
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Re: Re:

Postby Mike_D » July 2nd, 2011, 11:02 pm

SlowPoke wrote:

Favorite path.
Click here for the map

:arrow: Park at North parking lot off M55
:arrow: South on NCT past the outer loop at the north end of the system.
:arrow: Continue south on NCT till we hit the Outer Loop at south end (about 4 miles)
:arrow: Left (north east) on Outer Loop till the Fire Tower trail
:arrow: Left on Fire tower (great down hill to Jurassic Park)
:arrow: Left on Jurassic Park
:arrow: Right on Oh Me (This side of Oh Me is not as hard as the name implies)
:arrow: Keep right on all the trail and intersections till you find yourself at the very south end of Catamount
:arrow: Take the very short connector trail from catamount to Outer Loop
:arrow: East on Outer Loop around to the parking lot at the south east side of park
:arrow: From parking lot take Lumberjack north to Camp 24
:arrow: Camp 24 to the West side if Big Wheel for that killer down hill
:arrow: Then that hard to find cut over in the pines over to Antelope

For a guy like me that can?t climb hills for hours at a time this is a great way to see the best the Big M has to offer and still have enough energy to do some more riding or play tennis with the family when I get home. It is a 16 mile ride with all the best downhills (IMO).



I second this route!!!
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Re: Mackenzie Pathway

Postby LuckyCharm4x4 » July 5th, 2011, 7:54 pm

volklgirl wrote:FYI: Just because the DNR says something is a "bike trail" doesn't mean it is.

Mackenzie Pathway is totally unrideable (well, OK, it's rideable but seriously not any fun!). It hasn't been mowed or groomed in any way in.....well, probably ever, it's a muddy, swampy mess in many places, and the briar bushes and nettles are knee to hip high.

Do yourself a favor and avoid this one until someone steps up to be a trail coordinator.


I completely agree! My GF and I were up there this weekend to ride Big M (great trail) then we noticed that there was another nearby trail (Mackenzie). I remembered seeing the name on the trail guide section of this site but I didn't remember any particulars (and I wish that I had remembered that volklgirl's post was about this trail). Since I have not been let down before, I figured that if it were good enough to be on MMBA then it should be a good ride. Boy was I wrong. From markers 1-2 it was a beautiful pine forest ride. Between 2-4 we noticed that it started getting overgrown. Well she decided to take the "easy route" (4-20-19-5) and that I would take the harder trail and meet her at 5. I started my journey to marker 5 by un-clipping to step over a tree about 50 yards into the trail. Then I found myself meandering through woods confused because I couldn't tell where the correct route was. The only way I knew where to go was because of the XC markers on the trees and I was constantly portaging over logs. By the time I got to marker 5 (a little over a mile in) I was miserable. I had never given up on a trail before, but this was not a trail, it was an overgrown maze of wilderness.

Well needless to say my GF and I were separated and I couldn't find her for the rest of the ride, so her story ends here (but it went the same as mine). I figured that I would follow the markers and take the most direct route out of this trap they call a trail! There was another mistake! I should have just turned around and retraced my steps because I knew that way was "rideable". But still, I couldn't use the XC markers going the opposite way and it can't get much worse right? WRONG! I wanted the most direct route so I figured it was 5-13-14-19-20-4-3-2-1. I found myself wading through hip high ferns, pickers, with hidden logs laying under the growth. Then there was a spot where the trail was overtaken with a stream so I had to ride alongside the trail through Fern Gully!

By the time I got out I was *beep* and my legs were torn up from thorns and various plants/insects. I got back to the truck and had to wait for my GF to get back with our dog. My first statement was, "That was sweet, can we do it again!? :evil: " With confusion in her eyes she replied, "Your section must have been better than mine was! :? " All I could do was laugh and replay my rant to her.

With all that said, this place does have some potential. If it were ridden more and trimmed often this trail would be adequate. It is signed decently and has great scenery. In it's current state I would say that it hasn't been used since XC season. It is definitely NOT rideable now and I would not attempt this trail at this current time. But with some TLC this trail could be a great ride!



The overgrown sign should have been our first clue:
Image


Here is a picture of the map. If you want a larger version PM me.
Image



Sorry for the rant! *beep*
Bryan
Last edited by LuckyCharm4x4 on July 5th, 2011, 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby LuckyCharm4x4 » July 5th, 2011, 8:10 pm

c0nsumer wrote:
LuckyCharm4x4 wrote:I am looking to head to Big M this weekend. When I look at the map I see the cross country sections and the red trail that looks to be the mt bike trail. Am I correct in what I am thinking or do you guys ride the XC trails? Also how many miles would I be looking at if I ride the red sections? Any favorite trail routes or not-to-miss features?


You could always ride the Lumberjack 100 route for a nice 33 mile loop.


I ended up following: Lumberjack :arrow: Camp 24 :arrow: Big Wheel :arrow: Oh Me II :arrow: Double Bit :arrow: Catamount :arrow: Capper's Corner :arrow: Double Bit.

It was an awesome ride. It seemed to me that every trail section started with an incredible downhill and ended with a torrential up-hill (or maybe I was just tired). Still, I logged aver 10 miles and I went home tired and very satisfied. The northern terrain is much more drastic than the downstate trails. I had a great time and I take home a new respect for northern trails!


Thanks Guys, Happy Riding,
Bryan
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby yamaha13 » July 5th, 2011, 8:24 pm

Rode The Big M Saturday, Sunday and Monday what an awesome place
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby redrabbit » August 1st, 2011, 7:23 am

I was at Big M this weekend. I saw more riders there then I have ever seen for a "non event" day. A bit more sand then earlier in the year but alway a fun place to ride.

Our group came accros 4 downed trees that required a hike a bike over or around.

1 in the stretch from Point 15 along the downhill to the parking lot.

2 out in the area of Road Monkey and Sky Pilot

1 on the way up to Udell Lookout Tower when we were climbing it from the East.
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby mikesathome2 » August 18th, 2011, 8:09 am

Cranked out about 12miles of the Big-M on Sunday Aug-14th. First time ever to Big-M, and the trail is a blast! It was a little slower pace as we had to stop at each sign so we didnt turn it into an all day bike ride. One large tree right accross the trail, but I have no idea where I was LOL.. other than that, it was riden fast as it rained 2 days before.

Link to the GPS track, I hit 40MPH at some point!!
http://www.sportstracklive.com/track/map#mikesathome/Mountain-Biking/bigM/306114/full
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby Exodus » August 21st, 2011, 2:26 pm

Rode Big M yesterday for the first time. We did the inner loop and the trail was well marked and in great shape, just one tree down at the bottom of a hill and the sand was tollerable.

This course isnt really my cup of tea, seems like a lot of climbing and then a few long strait downhills. Very nice area area and I'm glad I did it.

Did we miss a lot on the outer loops that we should make a trip back?
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby miGTRider » August 23rd, 2011, 2:10 pm

Rode the Big M this past Sunday we did followed the 33 mile route used for the Lumberjack. Trail was is great condition. Very little debris and it was a great ride. Only issue was at marker 29 we got turned around and ended up on the North Country trail (still a nice ride but this trail is a little more for the hikers then the bikers). If you find yourself on the Blue marked trail without diamond markers GO BACK! you can make a very long mistake if you go down the North Country trail. Also by marker 24/25 area there is a new road that is not on the map so don't let this turn you around.
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby georgemra » September 1st, 2011, 12:07 pm

How does the NCT hold up with rain. I am going up to ride this weekend and it's looking like it's going to rain most of Friday to Saturday morning (which is when I want to hit it). I was going to ride the Dilling Rd. to Marilla section of it. Where exactly is the Dilling Parking lot? Thanks
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby Arbor79 » September 2nd, 2011, 5:28 am

I have only ridden from Marilla south and when at Dilling road I did not see a parking lot. That part of the trail is pretty sandy so it should not be bad with the rain.
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby georgemra » September 6th, 2011, 8:40 am

Fantastic trail, I will be back. I haven't climbed like that in a long time. I rode the NCT from Coates Highway to the Marilla trailhead.
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby Jered Michael » October 20th, 2011, 8:48 pm

My girlfriend and I are going to try to ride the Lumberjack 100 loop this saturday- first time ever heading out there. How is it with the hunting? Should we be wearing hunters orange?

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

Postby RickPlite » October 21st, 2011, 8:40 am

Jered Michael wrote:My girlfriend and I are going to try to ride the Lumberjack 100 loop this saturday- first time ever heading out there. How is it with the hunting? Should we be wearing hunters orange?

Pretty excited!


There are hunters up there but not tons. I would wear bright colors and stick together.
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http://www.lumberjack100.com
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