Marquette is where I lay my head at night and is also one of the top places in the country to go mountain biking. From Lake Superior trails to Advanced gaps and banks, all bikers will find bliss when riding in Marquette. Here is the 2020 Marquette Michigan Mountain biking guide for all of you pedal pushers.
Beginner Marquette Biking Trails
Presque Isle is always the first place I tell people to bike around when they come to town. Scenic, easy to get to, easy to bike around, it’s one of the best places to roll on two wheels around, especially if you are looking for something simple.
Lakeshore Boulevard – Anywhere on Lakeshore Boulevard you will love. The path hugs Lake Superior and weaves in and out of lovely stretches of nature. The trail also runs into the heart of Marquette only 1 block away so it’s easy to start or stop there for whatever you might be looking for. Don’t underestimate the power of a simple ride.
Iron Ore Heritage Trail – Take this lakeside trail as far as your heart desires or as far as your legs can handle. The trail runs from Marquette to Ishpeming and is very easy paved riding. The ride is easier from Ishpeming to Marquette as it is more downhill and less pedaling.
Intermediate Marquette Biking
North Trails are another lovely section of trails that Marquette has to offer. The terrain isn’t very challenging but beginners will definitely have some hiccups along the way with exposed roots and some rugged, rocky stretches. The leisurely 10 miles of trails run along the Dead River and are easily accessible and intertwined. MARKED VERY WELL with a high frequency of labeled Maps at major intersections.
Notable Areas not to miss on North Trails include:
- Forrestville Dam – As you make your way up or down the Dead River, you will eventually end up at the Forrestville Dam. Enjoy the scenery from below or follow the Upper Blue Heron Trail for a higher perspective.
- Tourist Park – Start or end your ride at Tourist Park. Either way, take a breather or some pictures from the dock at this lovely lake/campground
Advanced Marquette Biking
South Trails provides 30 miles of some of Marquette’s best and most advanced biking. This area will provide endless fun for those who need their daily dose of mountain action. South Trails is broken into 2 sections: Benson Grade side and Mt. Marquette Overlook Side
- Benson Grade side is full of features, flow lines, steep berms, and jump lines.
- Mt. Marquette side is more steep climbs, technical rocky trails, and milder riding.
Some notable South Trails to not miss:
- Chunder Muffin (Double Black Diamond): VERY technical and extremely rocky trail that will definitely rock you in your place. Advanced riders need to give this one a lap or two.
- Down Dogger (Black Diamond): Down Dogger is one of the most popular routes off of the Benson Grade and rightfully so. Down Dogger is a flow trail consisting of steep berms, exposed trees, rock slabs and outcroppings. This one will surely put a smile on your face after its completion.
- Bertha (Double Black Diamond) – Bertha has Marquette’s biggest features and is a definite must for any advanced riders.
Marquette Mountain Ski Hill is not operating this 2020. Although the shuttle service isn’t operating, the hill is still usable for curious and competent riders.
Harlow lake offers close to 15 miles of some of the most advanced and technical terrain in Marquette. Not only is the terrain challenging and fun, but scenic. There are multiple vistas to enjoy Harlow Lake and Lake Superior.
More Marquette Biking Trails
There are plenty of other spots to ride but I haven’t included everything here yet. The places listed should scratch everyone’s itch, and provide more than enough riding for time being.
ISHPEMING – R.A.M.B.A .TRAILS – (Range Area Mountain Bike Association) – Located in Ishpeming, about 20 minutes from Marquette, the RAMBA trails are another excellent area to get your pedal pushing in. There is some incredible terrain in this area and I highly recommend you ride here if you have the availability. Start here or from the Jackson Mine Park trailhead
Munising – Munising Bay Trail Network – Munising is east of Marquette by about 45 minutes and also is another fantastic place to ride. There are a few options at your disposal that include:
- Valley Spur Recreation Area – More than 11 miles of single track that is fun, flowy, and family friendly. There are also an additional 26 miles to ride throughout the VSRA.
- Munising Mountain Bike Park – Right behind the Hillside Party Store, take a spin through the easily accessible mountain bike park in the heart of Munising
- Brunos Run – 13 miles South of Munising is Brunos Run. Brunos Run is a a premiere 10 mile loop that offers exceptional terrain and scenery.
Grand Island – Take the ferry to Grand Island from Munising and make the 21.2 mile loop. The terrain is uphill for most of the first 10 miles but it caters to beginners for the far majority of it. Keep your schedule in mind as ferry services only run at certain hours.
Copper Harbor Mountain Biking – One of the most popular and acclaimed riding spots in North America. Copper Harbor boasts dramatic single track mountain biking and is definitely a must visit for any bike enthusiast. Check Michigan Weather forecasts because weather can change quick on Lake Superior. Driving distances to Copper Harbor from Marquette is about 2 1/2 hours.
Marquette Michigan Mountain Biking Shops
Marquette has 5 bike shops within the county and if one doesn’t have what you’re looking for, I’m sure the next one does. Here are the shops you can poke your head into:
- Sports Rack – Jim and the rest of the crew will get ya where ya need to be lickity split
- Down Wind Sports – Todd and the rest of the team here are well versed and located right in the heart of 3rd Street
- Lakeshore Bike – Jacob and crew are well equipped
- Quick Stop Bike Stop – Next door to my favorite Food joint (Java Bay), your questions will be covered
- West End (Ishpeming) – Spencer and family are all about getting you rolling sooner than later.
Bike Rentals in Marquette 2021
NO shops in Marquette are offering Bike Rentals with the COVID 19 pandemic. Quick Stop and Lakeshore used to but with surging demand and limited inventory, the script has flipped.
Need a Fat Bike rental while visiting or living in Marquette? Head over to West End in Ishpeming and rent a Rocky Mountain Fat Bike for the day, weekend, or however long scratches your itch.
Marquette Winter Biking
Marquette’s riding doesn’t stop as the seasons change. The Fat Tire biking in Marquette is about as good as it gets. This place gets cold, so pack accordingly and have your fat tire bike ready to roll.
To get a sense of the bike scene, take a look at one of the reveled productions, Cold Rolled, that highlights the fat tire phenomenon here in Marquette. If you have the courage to race in a fat tire bike event, enter into Marquette’s, Polar Roll, that happens every winter.
Michigan Bike Trails Info to Know
- TRAILS ARE VERY WELL MARKED – Don’t worry you won’t get lost
- Tire Pumps and Tools are available at the Trail heads for South Trails and North Trails.
- Keep 6 ft distance amidst Covid-19 Pandemic
- Parking Lots get busy, especially on weekends
- A majority of Marquette’s mountain biking terrain is ADVANCED and pretty technical.
- Hard tails & Full Suspensions will both handle well
- Marquette is home to one of the most demanding Michigan Mountain bike races in the country.
Upper Peninsula Biking and More
Marquette is an outdoors paradise. If you aren’t going to ride on some the best mountain biking trails in Michigan, you can dive into a plethora of other outdoors activities. For those who want some ideas for the best of the best in the area,take a look at my Michigan Guides I’ve created, while navigating throughout the area.
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