Ishpeming, Michigan hosts a network of trails that offer winter snow biking and some rustic off-road experiences. Despite its IMBA bronze center status, which some riders find misleading, the Ishpeming trails present a mixed bag of surprises and challenges.
Commence your ride at the Jasper Ridge Brewery—ideal for a post-trail debrief. Don't expect luxury amenities or guided signposts, but rather prepare for a rugged encounter with nature.
One loop that's caught the eye of the trail community is the Malton Loop. If you're keen on a rustic feel that mostly goes untouched by trail maintenance, then this might just be your haven. However, make sure you're well-acquainted with the map before setting off, as the signage is spotty at best.What dampens the mood is a long stretch that goes alongside a barbed-wire fence—large and rusty enough to make one wonder if they've accidentally cycled into a restricted zone. This section is a deal-breaker for many, diminishing the loop's appeal considerably.
One common grievance pertains to the lack of directional markers. On various parts of the network, especially at critical intersections, riders find themselves at a loss. Signage is not just sporadic but entirely missing at some points. While some trails are adequately marked, the inconsistency leads to frustrating dead-ends or unplanned detours.
On a brighter note, the Connector Trail linking Malton to Epic is a refreshing detour. It feels new, has some flow, and proves to be an enjoyable ride, even if it lasts only half a mile. If you're up for a brief yet exhilarating stretch, this trail can be a pleasant palate cleanser.
The jury is still out on this one. Despite being named "Epic," this trail has raised questions about its directionality and even its very nature—whether it's a one-way trail or not remains an enigma due to the absence of signs.
While the Ishpeming trails do offer a rugged, unfiltered experience, there's