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Copper Harbor (MI) Silver-level

Photo by Hansi Johnson.

Designated a bronze-level Ride Center in 2011, Copper Harbor wasted little time in adding additional trails and attaining the silver-level ranking in 2012.

Copper Harbor is a true destination area — it's even more "upper" than Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Unexpectedly, this remote tourism-based town has become home base for an energetic freeride community. The result is a fantastic area that defies stereotypes about Midwest biking.

You might think you'd have to travel to the Rockies or the Alps to find a high-bermed, jump-laden descent that takes 15 minutes for an expert downhiller to descend, but check out "The Flow" and you'll see things differently. "There's so much potential for gravity-based riding," says IMBA Regional Director Hansi Johnson. "Fortunately, outstanding builders like Aaron Rogers have taken on the challenge of sculpting trails not just for themselves but for beginner and intermediate skill sets too."

Not sure if gravity-assisted riding is your thing? Take a run on Woopidy Woo and try to peel the smile off your face. Shuttles are available during the peak season but if you prefer to earn your turns you can link trails together and pedal back to the top until your legs turn to jelly. Plus, you'll find a small but welcoming downtown with more than enough bars, eateries and lodging options.

Visit the Copper Harbor Trails Club for more info.

Once a year, IMBA recognizes outstanding mountain bike trails and locations with the IMBA Model Trail awards. The goal of this program — which encompasses Epics, Flow Trails, Gateway Trails and Ride Centers — is to inspire and inform, so that we can all have more great places to ride.

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