Archive for November, 2012

Trail Trial

Thursday, 8th November 2012; 10:31 am

I’ve been thinking a bit about the backpacking part of next year’s UP ride. I’m not too concerned about it, but it would make sense to do a trial run closer to home beforehand. Make sure I’ve figured out how to pack my gear. Confirm that my hiking legs still work. And it’d be a great way to spend a few days.

One option would be the trail connecting Waterloo and Pinckney State Recreation Areas, between Lansing and Detroit. It’s considered the best longish (36 miles) hiking trail in southeast Michigan… which admittedly isn’t saying a lot, but I’ve stayed at both Rec Areas on previous rides, and kind of wished I had time to do the hike between them.

But I have my eye mainly on a loop in the area west of Cadillac, consisting of the Manistee River Trail and a segment of the North Country Trail. The Manistee River Trail runs for 11 miles along the east side of Manistee River, which is popular for canoeing and fishing. At the north end it hooks up (via a suspension bridge over the river) with a segment of the North Country Trail, which is a more up-and-down-y trail to the west of the river, connecting again with the southern end of the Manistee River Trail. (The North Country Trail is a 4600-mile trail on par with the Appalachian Trail… or at least it will be when it’s finished… running from upstate New York to North Dakota, with a long stretch through west Michigan and the UP.) It’d be a 125-mile ride up there, a couple days on the trail, then a ride back. Just enough to make sure I’ve got the ride-hike combo properly equipped.