Savannah Shelp, avid local mountain biker and leader of Biking Bettys group ride in the summer talks about mountain biking in Marquette County, MI.
“I bought my first mountain bike when I moved to Marquette in 2014. In the summer of 2020, I joined Biking Bettys as a member. In 2022, my husband and I took over after our beloved leaders moved away, but encouraged us to keep it going. We plan weekly rides for all skill levels during the summer months.”
This trail is exhilarating, rough and fast
RAMBA Malton Loop: 6.4 miles, elevation gain 485 ft., total descent 381 ft. This loop is a mostly easy route with flowing trails and about a mile-long section of narrow, wooded, rocky, and rooty terrain.
Grom Loop: 1.3 miles, elevation gain 123 ft., total descent 98 ft. This trail is the ultimate beginners’ loop, friendly for all ages and skill levels. The terrain is minimally technical singletrack and runs past the sights and sounds of the nearby campground.
Harlow Lake Jedi Trail: Two miles, elevation gain 294 ft., total descent 300 ft. Offering a beautiful view of the surrounding area and Lake Superior from Top of the World, this trail has a fun and fast, rooty descent through the forest.
RAMBA Flannel Shirt Trail: One mile, elevation gain 129 ft., total descent 243 ft. You’ve got to do a bit of climbing on the Luge to get to Flannel Shirt, but once you get up there the cheekily named trail offers a fun descent.
UP FOR A CHALLENGE
NTN South Trails: Doctors Trail: 0.9 miles, elevation gain 56 ft., total descent 322 ft. After climbing Gurly and crossing Marquette Mountain Road, this trail is exhilarating, rough, and fast downhill that ends with a small rock slab to roll down. Great for fast and technical-loving riders.
WHAT TO WEAR
• Invest in a good helmet
• Wear lightweight gear that moves with you
• Gloves to protect your hands
• Sturdy shoes that offer maximum contact with pedals
• Bibs or lined/padded shorts
• Water, or a drink with electrolytes • Granola bar or another snack for that extra little push to get you back to the trailhead
• Tire Patch Kit
• First Aid Kit
WORDS OF ADVICE
Always check trail conditions before heading out. In the summer, give the trails time to air out after a big rain storm. Riding through mud will create ruts in the trail. Be courteous of all trail users, follow trail etiquette, and share the trail!
If you’re just starting out, look to the community for a weekly group ride. Most bike shops in Marquette County have a weekly group ride or know of a group that meets regularly. You can also search Facebook for public groups that post their rides. There are a lot to choose from and they’re a great way to meet new people and learn new skills.