72 miles
7,794 ft
-7,789 ft
1,271 ft
High Point

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.

Route Supporters
Local Trail Association
Top of Michigan Mountain Bike Association (www.tommba.org)
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1 Review & Comments

  • + 0
flag XJBMX (Jun 18, 2018 at 17:36)
 This trail is super gnarly, and very humbling. Not as in technical, but remote, unridden and wild. There are few sections of raised board walk some are only about 8 inches wide, so some bike handleing skills are needed. It is slow going on a loaded bikepacking rig so plan for an extra day than you think if you are not able to stay in the saddle for 7 to 8 hours at a time. The flies and mosquitoes are nuts in early summer. If you are looking for an adventure this is it for sure.

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More Stats for High Country Pathway (IMBA EPIC) mountain bike route
  • Altitude change
    5 ft
  • Altitude min
    754 ft
  • Altitude start
    919 ft
  • Altitude end
    924 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    34 miles
  • Distance down
    34 miles
  • Distance flat
    4 miles
Avg: 5 (1 votes)
Layers winter
Trail Style
  • ?
Activity Type
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail transparency

Recent Trail Reports Along Route

no previous reports.

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