Explorer Trip - Manistee National Forest - Oct 17-20



We’ll leave Fort Wayne Thursday Oct 17th late afternoon/early evening and arrive at night about 5 hours north in Wellston, MI, spend a few days riding, and then head home Sunday afternoon.

Accommodations: We’ll be renting an Air BNB that can comfortable sleep 4-6 people and a few more if they don’t mind sharing a queen bed or sleeping on an air mattress. Other Air BNB or cabins could be rented near by if a large number of folks want to come.

Travel: TNL will be taking our Transit van and can accommodate 3-4 athletes who can commit to the entire time. Otherwise, we will help each other carpool as needed or it’s on your own.

Ride Plan/Goals:

  • Gravel & Dirt Road Riding - 60-100 miles in total. We want to spend at least one day riding around on the brilliant gravel and dirt roads and possibly even some snowmobile trails in the area. MTB or Gravel bike should work just fine.

  • MTB - 30 - 60mi - Big M is home to the LumberJack 100 MTB race and have a 30mi loop that is fantastic. We’ll plan on doing at least a lap or two that day depending on everyone’s goals. If we do a lap in the morning and are up for some exploring later in the day, the North Country Trail is right in this area and a full on exploration trip could take place on this.

  • Sunday - Rider’s choice of more MTB, gravel, or head for home.

Ride Expectations: The desire is to ride together as a group for the time as this is more about the collective experience rather than a training effort. We’ll have routes planned and if multiple groups form because of pace or distance, we’ll all be confident that we can get back home. We want to ride together, explore new roads, and for once take the right turn on an interesting road/trail to see where it goes rather than riding past wondering. That’s where the “explorer” title of these trips really comes in. Let’s explore roads without an agenda of just getting the ride done as fast as we can.

Ability: You should feel confident with our equipment and physical fitness that you can ride 50-100 miles and handle a couple thousand feet of climbing over the course of the day as HNF is pretty hilly.

Food: The goal for this would be for TNL to make sure all meals, snacks, and food for lunches would be provided as part of the trip package, including beverages. We’ll have the food purchased, prepped, and we’ll invite whoever is there and interested in hopping in and helping out with preparation. This way, no one has to worry about bringing anything other than themselves and their own specific stuff. We’ll be happy to accommodate dietary needs if we know those in advance. We know that some TNLers are vegan/vegetarian and appreciate having equal access to food. We’ll buy drinks, ride snacks like Clif Bars, have sodas, and have lunch kind of stuff to be able to pack lunches before the ride to have in coolers in the van that will be supporting rides.

Support: We’ll have the TNL van that will be roaming the route with water, snacks, and basic tool needs. It’ll be available to rescue anyone that needs it and be respite if the day is getting too long or if conditions change while we’re out there.

Cost: $200 - $250 - Covers everything for the weekend except your own travel expenses. This includes all food, drinks, support, lodging, etc. We have 5 spots available at that price. If you want to bring your own air mattress and/or camp outdoors as a way to save a bit of cash, then we can discuss a different price.

Alternative Planning: We get that some of you might not be able to commit to the whole trip, but want want to participate at least a day or so. Or, you’d rather secure your own accommodations and/or food needs. We can be flexible and we welcome you to join us for what you can. If you can just join us on Saturday, then come and join us and if you stick around for dinner, offer up some cash to help with costs. If you just want to come ride, come ride. The more, the merrier!!!

This is new for us and this is the first trip. So, if you have questions/comments, let us know and we’ll try to adjust. Otherwise click the link below to secure your spot by paying for the trip.

Andrew Hoffman - andrew@nlfw.org

TNL Director & Explorer Trip Leader

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