Intermediate to Advanced singletrack
Fun fast short route today, part of the Red Earth Classic
Old School hand built singletrack (which is a good thing) with some nice technical rock sections. I was able to clean everything minus the third switchback on the "technical section" climb as my 800mm bar and knees couldn't come to an agreement. I actually really enjoyed the trail, but the lack of signs when you pop out onto the roads or 2 tracks is super frustrating. Probably wasted at least an hour trying to figure out where the trail went. The Epic Loop spit us into downtown Ishpheming but we had no idea where to pick the trail back up again so that was irritating as well. Once on the SBT Loop we got spun around a couple times trying to find our way back to Negaunee and kept ending up back in the same spot as there are just too many intersections and the Epic Loop signs apparently didn't continue. It did seem like some new posts and signs were being put in so maybe by the end of 2017 it will be easier to navigate this loop (I hope so as I would give it another go). Oh and the one real steep rock wall that spits you right into the road should probably have a sign saying to watch for cars or something.
Bad signage makes it difficult to know where to go at trail junctions and doubletrack sections. This trail is otherwise pretty good, and I'd give it at least a 4 with proper signage. Pretty technical in spots with short and challenging rocky/rooty climbs. Other places are smooth and flowy. Lots of variety to this trail.
Very technical and demanding riding. Some climbs over technical terrain almost impossible. Great names for various sections (e.g. Sissy Pants) for a rock slab climb. Bring your all mountain rig. Cognition brewery nearby makes it a 5. Don't miss it. There are bail out options, so try it.
I haven't ridden everything in this system (it's about 50 miles total) but I can say that this trail is very well built and a lot of fun to ride. Steep technical climbs and fun twisty descents while enjoying views of the town. I want to come back and ride it all.
This trail is a lot of fun. It's unreal that all of these great trails are right in my back yard.
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