Ken Blakey-Shell and Scott Quiring, of Quiring Cycles, have been exploring some local Off Road Vehicle (ORV) trails on their fat bikes and it turns out they are really, really fun. Ken shared the following description of what the Manistee National Forest, in Northern Michigan, has to offer.
“This video was taken on one of the ORV trails named the “Little O” that forms an “S” over the North Country Trail (NCT). This makes it perfect for an approximately 34 mile loop with about 20 miles of ORV trail and 14 miles of NCT singletrack. The ORV trails are really bermed out with lots of whoops and other fun stuff to play on. The only Michigan trail I can compare it to is the Flow trail up in Copper Harbor and it is similar to some of the stuff I have ridden out west and in British Columbia. The section of NCT is also some amazingly good riding but a totally different character than the ORV trails. The ORV trails are VERY lightly used by motorized vehicles (on the 6 weekend rides we have done half the time we see no other users and the other half we have only seen 1 group of motorcyclists) and all of the motorcyclists we have run into have been really excited and stoked to see us riding (the same reaction everyone seems to have to fat bikes). These trails are so much fun that Scott and I have been riding them instead of our traditional MTB trails (which we have a ton of and they are some of the best in the state). I think this could be a hot destination for fat bikers in the future.
On the slower side of things, there are some amazing bike packing loops that open up when combining ORV trails and NCT. In Michigan there is a long distance motorcycle trail called the “Michigan Cross Country Cycle Trail” and is billed as the “The Longest Continuous Marked Motorcycle Trail on Earth.” The interesting part about it is that a good chunk of it, goes through the same corridor of the Huron-Manistee National Forest as NCT making big loops possible. Scott Quiring and I are working on teaming up with Jason Snell of Barking Bear Bagworks to do a multi-day 200ish mile loop of the ORV trails and NCT. We are shooting for the fall when the bugs die down a bit. I’m super excited about this possible adventure!
As always, the fat bike continues to redefine how I look at the world around me and opens my eyes to all sorts of new and awesome bike rides!!”