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High Country Pathway

Pigeon River Country State Forest, MI

An awesome ribbon of trail looping through the heart of elk country, the High Country Pathway (HCP) embodies the classic definition of an IMBA Epic Ride. The first IMBA Epic Ride in Michigan will take you far into the backcountry with beautiful lowlands and panoramas in the highlands.

Be sure to outfit for self-support, as you may not see another human on this 80-mile soul searcher. The trail passes through a variety of woodlands and wetlands containing massive groves of silver beech, tamarack swamp and leather leaf bogs. The area is home to beaver, black bear, bobcat, pine martin, snowshoe hare, wood ducks, bald eagles, deer, wild turkey and the largest elk herd east of the Mississippi River.

The Shingle Mill Pathway is a shorter loop of this trail.

Location: 9 miles east of Vanderbilt, MI, on Sturgeon Valley Rd.

Length: About 80 miles.

Climbing: Moderate elevations, with mildly technical ascents.

Terrain: Backcountry riding, with some route finding. Rugged trail tread.

Shop: Latitude 45 at 757 Wisconsin Av., Gaylord, Michigan (989-731-4540).

More information: Visit the Michigan Mountain Biking Association's web pages.