This ride ties together all the fast, flowy downhills and big climb singletrack at the Tech trails. Narrow trails between mature oaks and hemlocks over wooded ravines repeatedly drop and climb through the Recreational Forest at Michigan Tech.
With generally smooth tread, many berms and rollers, and bridges 20 to 30 inches wide, this is a test of how fast you can go in tight quarters and how much you can give to get back to the top for the next descent.
Starting from the main trailhead at the 3D map, just follow the blue arrows to complete this ride. It heads down Outer Limits Loop
counter clockwise to descend 200 feet along Deadman Creek ravine under the hemlocks, with rollers and berms and significant exposure in places. At the bottom you'll cross a fern covered floodplain, turn right on the ski trail and join Hillside Loop.
Hillside consists of repeated short climbs and descents along Tanglewood Creek. Here the trail is more old school with some roots, off camber turns, and long narrow boardwalks.
After a steep, twisting climb, the ride turn left onto Edwards Trail
. This one is short, but halfway through becomes seriously technical and rooty for a short ways on one our oldest legacy trails that we intentionally preserve in this state. Then a sharp right back onto Hillside, then left onto Gonzo Trail
Gonzo is a fast, smooth down focusing on speed. Corridors are wider and much is in abandoned farm field. At the bottom, stop for a quick break by the beautiful Pilgrim River. Climbing back up to the top of the knob, you rejoin Hillside. Hillside flows from here along the side of a razorback between Peepsock Creek and Pilgrim River, coming to Nara park, past the sled hill, then down to Pump House Loop
and the Pilgrim River again. Watch for the trout fishermen above the bridge on US-41.
From the Nara Park trailhead the ride returns on Walk About Trail
. This is the mellower pair to Hillside, and returns you toward the main trailhead. The ride drops of right then left off Walk About to take in Yew Too and Sleeping Bear Loop
. Yew Too threads through a red oak grove across a short ravine, past the Mill Road trailhead, then back, quickly followed by the short Sleeping Bear which drops down to Peepsock Creek and back.
Once back on Walk About the ride drops and crosses and parallels Peepsock Creek, then climbs a small ridge back to the big hills of the Competition Trails. Here you turn right, rejoining Outer Limits Loop
, quickly taking a side line on Bobsled first, with a climb and then ripping descent down the dry bottom of a narrow ravine.
Outer limits then begins the big climb back to the top of the hill. It's nicely broken though with several short descents and swooping turns on the way. At the top you immediately turn left onto Twilight Zone and descent to the bottom again through an array of berms and rollers through the Sandstone Creek ravine, then traverse along Peepsock Creek, climb to the top again, turn onto Inner Peace, and again descend the 200 feet to the bottom though berms and turns. One final steep climb and phew, you're done. Wanna do it again?