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

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

Postby whitechickenchili » August 19th, 2013, 2:53 pm

Anyone been to the Big M recently? My wife and I will be there camping over Labor Day weekend, and I'm hoping to get in a few good rides. We usually ride the outer loop, but im thinking we might check out a few of the other trails there. Any recommendations?
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby Mike_D » August 19th, 2013, 6:11 pm

whitechickenchili wrote:Anyone been to the Big M recently? My wife and I will be there camping over Labor Day weekend, and I'm hoping to get in a few good rides. We usually ride the outer loop, but im thinking we might check out a few of the other trails there. Any recommendations?


Open this map:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5373948.pdf

and I would recommend doing either the outer loop (counterclockwise) or NCT (north to south) then (in this order):

Sky Pilot
Left on The Firetower (coming down off Firetower you are treated to a fun downhill)
Keep left on Barber Chair
Right on Oh Me II (counterclockwise)
RIght on Big Wheel (counterclockwise)
Right on Double Bit
Keep right on Catamount (counterclockwise)
Left on Bullwhacker (there is a really wide downhill trail where you could let it all hang out if you dare)
Corkpine to parking lot

If you have more time, legs, and lungs, head back up into the interior and hit those trails. You will have some fun climbs and fast decents.
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby rainman2 » August 26th, 2013, 8:57 am

whitechickenchili wrote:Anyone been to the Big M recently? My wife and I will be there camping over Labor Day weekend, and I'm hoping to get in a few good rides. We usually ride the outer loop, but im thinking we might check out a few of the other trails there. Any recommendations?


Rode at Big M last Friday and the trail was in great condition. If you''re riding the outer loop, avoid the section between markers 2 to 22 to 23 and instead ride from 2 to 3 to 4 then up to 23. There are a LOT of trees down in those sections and between 22 and 23, the trail basically disappears after a large pile of old blow downs. We had to backtrack to a fire road then down to marker 4 then were able to continue up to 23. Our second ride at Big M and was just as good the second time! for the most part, the trail is clear of down trees and they were out there Friday clearing the trail for the running race there last Saturday. Enjoy the trail!

We also rode at MacKenzie on Saturday. That trail has a lot of potential as an MTB trail but is a pretty tough ride since there isn't much established singletrack so most of the riding is on leaves, grass and pine straw. It's a really nice, wide open trail with a few nice climbs in there to get your legs burning. Would be nice if it got more use from riders because it could be a really fun trail
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby Zoo1424 » August 31st, 2013, 7:36 pm

Rode the Big M today. Avoided the section between markers 2 to 22 to 23 per the posts below. Rest of the trail was in great shape. I think we only came across a couple of downed trees & those had re-routes around them. So much fun!
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby bill_m » September 24th, 2013, 6:53 pm

I am staying near Hungerford this weekend and then I see this: http://hungerfordgames.com

I can't tell from looking at the maps if this event will make the trails un-rideable from the runners. Anyone know the scoop? Thanks.
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Re: Huron-Manistee National Forest: NCT, Big-M, Hungerford,

Postby dvroberts » October 2nd, 2013, 3:27 pm

Hi All,

I rode the Mackenzie Trail on Friday, September 27, 2013 and agree with a previous poster that this trail system has so much potential for us mountain bikers. It's a gorgeous area to ride in, and the trails are wide and nicely hilly without being a chore to climb. But the trail conditions were awful: there were so many downed trees and limbs that I spent most of my time getting on and off the bike to haul my bike over the latest downed tree. There is also zero single-track, as it is obvious few of us ride there (and I found out why!). I also managed to destroy my rear derailleur hanger only 4 miles into the ride because a stick got between my cog set and derailleur and ripped it right off! So I had a long hike with the bike back to my car. If the USFS would charge a $5/day use fee as they do at Big M and apply it to maintaining the Mackenzie Trail, I'd have no objections. It could be a great place for us to ride!.

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

Postby Irish57 » October 4th, 2013, 5:55 pm

The Mac Trail does have potential. I rode it when it was in the same condition a couple of years ago. I was off the bike more than riding. It would take a lot of work to make the trail worthwhile to go to. Not right now. It's a much better place to cross country ski.
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