72.1 miles
4,772 ft
-4,772 ft
1,219 ft
High Point


  • Riding area
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Trail type
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Trail Usage
    Biking Primary
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Global Ranking

IMBA EPIC trail for 2015

From beautiful hill top vistas to dark, cool cedar swamps and pine plantations, the High Country Pathway (HCP) provides the full Michigan woods experience. Home to the largest free range elk herd this side of the Mississippi, the HCP crosses through three counties with very little sign of civilization. This 80-mile loop is perfect for an all day, or two-day adventure for those that enjoy rugged, unimproved trails. You'll have the opportunity to see elk, deer, bear, beaver and more along the way.

The official trailheads are in Vanderbilt on Sturgeon Valley Road and next to the forest headquarters. However, the trail crosses many roads and other campgrounds which can also serve as access points. Pump wells and artesian wells are located at campgrounds along the way, but there are no towns or food sources to access. Be sure to self-support for worst case scenarios with repair parts and food. This trail has humbled some very strong riders who walk back in or are running single speed upon return.

Local Trail Association
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Northern Michigan Mountain Biking Association (nmmba.net)
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More Stats for High Country Pathway (IMBA EPIC) mountain bike trail
  • Altitude change
    0 ft
  • Altitude min
    766 ft
  • Altitude start
    915 ft
  • Altitude end
    915 ft
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    33.5 miles
  • Distance down
    30.9 miles
  • Distance flat
    7.7 miles
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    • Submitted on Wed 2015-11-18 @ 6:34pm
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