Time to mark the HCP on your calendars.
The Northern Chapter will be hosting our annual High Country Pathway Summer Solstice Ride on June 1st, 2013. The High Country Pathway is one of only two trails in Michigan to be handpicked by the International Mountain Bicycling Association as an Epic Ride!
The High Country Pathway is like no other trail in Michigan's lower peninsula. When you are on the trail you feel like you are in a really remote area. The terrain varies from lowlands with boardwalks to gently rolling hardwoods to sections with many hills, a couple which are too steep to ride. There are a few scenic vistas along the way. This is some of the best mountain bike riding you will find in the United States.
The 80-mile ride typically takes from 12 to 15 hours to complete with an average speed of 6 to 8 miles per hour. This counts time to enjoy the scenery along the way. While this may sound like a slow pace, only a handful of racers have been able to ride at a higher speed. This trail can be physically demanding at times and takes a lot of energy to ride. Other options are available if this sounds like too much time in the saddle.
Because of the remoteness of this area, we typically don't offer very much support for the ride. Be sure to outfit to self-support. We do spot a few cars along the route so that you can stash extra food and water along the way, or to be used in an emergency. We don't have an appointed group leader. We usually all start riding at the same time and small groups varying by rider capability form along the way. This seems to work very well.
Ride Description: We are trying to accommodate different abilities by offering two choices: 80 miles and 45 miles. On the 80-mile ride you will ride the entire trail in one day, approximately 14 hours (11 hours in saddle). The shorter 45-mile ride covers what many consider to be the best part of the trail, taking 6 to 8 hours to complete. Warning to riders not fit enough to complete the ride. These rides are very strenuous. For those who aren't as ambitious, we recommend other options, such as riding back from the Pigeon Bridge campground (about 28 miles), riding back from Rattlesnake trail (about 12 miles), the Clear Lake/Jackson Lake Pathway or the Shingle Mill Pathway.
Camping: We will be staying in the group campground at Clear Lake State Park. Located just 9½ miles north of Atlanta on M-33, this is an idea place to bring the whole family. There's a large central fire pit with benches, hand pump, and pit toilets. It is just a short walk to the hot showers, real toilets, sandy beach, trails, etc. If you are planning to bring a camper, plan to reserve a campsite in the regular campground.
Driving Directions: Clear Lake State Park is located 9½ miles north of Atlanta on M-33.