Saturday, February 27, 2016

A short list of mountain bike trails around MacGroveland and Highland neighborhoods

Made this up for the Highland-Mendota mountain bike team.

Site Travel Good for
Deer pen (Minnehaha park, NE corner and by creek) bike Climb skills, turns
Hidden Falls bike Short loop skills, hill climb
Crosby Farm (high trail) bike Short fun outing on way to Hidden Falls
Brickyard (fossil beds) bike Brutal hill climbs
Mendota (Minnesota River S) bike Basic trail ride speed skills
Minnehaha Dog Park/Upper bike Basic trail skills
Murphy drive Great terrain, good change
Theodore Wirth drive Great for staging race practice, passing skills
Battle Creek bike/drive Later season, all around skills, technical downhill
Lebanon drive Intermediate with advanced options
Carver drive early season skills, night ride, intro to mtn bike events
Elm Creek drive Twisty trails with quick climbs and fast hands
Terrace Oaks drive Short but very race like. Should do this more.
River bottom - Bloomington Ferry drive Fun creek crossing, basic riding
River bottom - 77 to 35 drive Good fun terrain, some hill climbs, night ride
White tail, WI drive (long) Great climbs, terrain and scenery

Monday, February 8, 2016

Michigan's Maasto-Hiihto & Churning Rapids XC ski: ultimate dog-human nordic ski experience.

It doesn’t get better than Michigan’s Maasto-Hiihto & Churning Rapids XC ski trails.

My family spent a long weekend there recently. With our usual stops along the way it took us 8-9 hours (Google says 6h) to drive from St Paul Minnesota to our hotel, the Magnuson Hotel Copper Crown in Hancock Michigan. From the Hotel it was 5 minutes to the Chalet trailhead (red P lower left below, from map 2015, this excerpt is lower 1/3 of system).

Screen Shot 2016 02 06 at 5 21 02 PM 

We made the long drive partly because human CO2 emissions have warmed Minnesota enough to make snow cover unpredictable. At our scheduled 2016 holiday slot there was reliable snow cover at two locations near Lake Superior — Minnesota’s far north (arrowhead, Grand Marais) and Michigan’s famously snow Keweenaw peninsula.

Snow cover wasn’t the entire reason though. Minnesota is pretty nice too. The winning feature was that we could ski with our dog Kateva. The trail system is explicitly dog welcoming. We paid to be supporting members and we will be back.

Obviously, if you are taking your dog to Maasto Hiihto, you need to have a system to get any poop away from the trail. A baggy in a backpack works best.

Update 1/14/2017

See also: