Hiawatha National Forest
A range of bicycling opportunities for beginners to experts is offered along the Valley Spur Mountain Bike Route, located six miles southwest of Munising.
Four separate loops take advantage of both cross-country ski pathways and low-traffic woods roads to provide a total of 26 miles of marked bicycle route. The woods roads are shared with other vehicles, so though traffic levels are low, ride with the expectation that you might meet other vehicles. The majority of the 26 miles passes through northern hardwood forest. However, the routes do take the cyclists past meadows, hemlock groves, 40-inch diameter white pine, red pine areas, and several small lakes.
The main trailhead is located just off of M-94 at the Valley Spur Day Lodge. Facilities include a parking area, trailhead map and display, toilet, and drinking water.
The second trailhead is located on FR 2264, one-half mile east of M-94. This location features only a trailhead map and small parking lot (five to seven vehicles). The trailhead provides access to the flat sections of the bicycle routes, particularly the easiest route, Loop 4.
The routes are open daily during daylight hours from May to November. There is no trail fee.
The Trail Loops
Each loop has been marked with a brown trail marker and a white bicycle symbol. The average distance between markers is one-quarter mile. Routes are also numbered. Route numbers (three-inch numbers on blue diamonds) are posted at each intersection. For example, to follow route 2 starting at the parking area, look for a blue diamond with the number 2. Ride in that direction looking for white bicycle symbols. At each intersection look for a diamond with the number 2. Intersections of routes also have location maps.
12 miles. Gentle, flat terrain with a steady 1/2-mile-long uphill near the beginning. The trail is very easy after the uphill section. Most of this trail is along woods roads where cyclists may choose to ride side by side. Take a short side trip to Truman Lake off of FR 2266.
4 miles. This loop is the most challenging route and was designed for experts. There are very steep ups and downs on the back half of this route.
7.5 miles. This route has generally flat terrain with the exception of one steep uphill just past the point where Trails 2 and 3 spilt. Most cyclists will need to walk up this hill. The last 1/2 mile of this trail is all downhill, so use caution in this section.
3 miles. This route features flat terrain and a relatively short distance. This is a perfect route for a ride with the kids. The access to this route is from the second trailhead on FR 2264.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication