CannonTracks - Northern Highland, Michigan Railroad, Nicolet NF

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - Central, Texas & Gulf States' started by Cannonshot, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    22,649
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Ride report on Northern Highland here.

    BY FAR, the Northern Highland DS track is the most popular year after year at the Central ADV Rally with some people riding it up to five times in a week.

    This file contains three dual sport routes.
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    The Northern-Highland American Legion State Forest loop is 130 miles long. Longest gas is less than 60 miles. It is an entertaining ride intended to be ridden counter-clockwise.
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    The second loop runs through the National Forest. It is about 210 miles long.
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    The third loop runs along some railroad grades that have been converted to ORV trails. It is about 217 miles long, but has a cut-of option at Watersmeet to make it shorter.
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    Northern Highland
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    Northern Highland
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    Northern Highland
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    The National Forest loop starts and ends using some paved roads. Paved or not, they are fun to ride.
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    Some of the route skirts a wilderness area.
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    Over the two days of proofing these routes, I would sometimes catch myself smiling as I encountered entertaining sections.
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    The paved sections are nice.
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    Michigan Railroad Grade Loop

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    Trestles along the way.
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    Cool, clear streams. For a while the trail nestles up against the Brule River which is the Wisconsin - Michigan border.
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    When you get to Watersmeet, get gas (if you need it) as there may be none in Marenisco. Also, take some time to visit the Ottawa National Forest Visitor's Center. They have some great exhibits that include three wolves, a black bear, a fisher, a lynx, a couple of bobcats, and other local animals - stuffed of course.

    There is also the opportunity to take a short cut on the route to cut it down from 215 to 140 miles. One way to go is to take a railroad grade (dark red) south to the Wisconsin border at Land O' Lakes. This is nice, but the road that runs next to it (dark green) is a much more twisty, rolling, and entertaining ride.

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    Don't miss this rolling and twisting segment! What a great road!
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    File downloaded from this site 415 times : http://dco43054.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=29

    Attached Files:

    #1
    Hatley Rocket and Skidrowe like this.
  2. Hatley Rocket

    Hatley Rocket Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2002
    Oddometer:
    404
    Location:
    Hatley, WI
    Yesterday I got a wild hair and decided to check out the CNNF route. I dusted off the klr and packed cool weather and rain gear and set off from home around 9:30. The route I ran was from Three Lakes to Eagle River. I came from the south and wanted to get started so I picked up in Three Lakes. I thought I would finish there also, but by the time I reached Eagle River it started to rain and it was getting late, and my butt was getting sore. I was able to run the whole route through. The only area I was worried was around the Gen MacArthur pine, as there were road closed signs posted. I think they had replaced culverts and re-graded the road. So far as I saw the work was done. The road closed signs were off in the ditch, not barricaded across or anything. I think they either just finished repairs, or didn't care to take them down when they were done. I rode it alone, evidently because I have no friends. The only spot I was worried was in the area where it's marked "some sand". That area is the only spot on the route that I rode that was the typical two track with ruts and a large center hump. The KLR's t-63's sneered at the sand and threw stones like a Gatling gun. After the "some sand" section there was about 5-6 large puddles that I went around, being alone I wasn't going for any crazy stuff. After all that, by the time I got to the second set of gps tracks, it was mostly nicely graded gravel road through the national forest, or pavement. I didn't see anymore two-track, puddles, ruts or sand. I had a great time, but I did prefer the terrain on the NH-AL birds-head route. I think this route is better for big bikes, or for solo riding, as it's less challenging, but very scenic. I had quite a stop and smell the roses ride. I also ate the ripe raspberries across the road from the gen MacArthur pine. Thanks again to Cannonshot for all the efforts in scouting, logging gps coordinates and making these routes so close to home. It makes it worth keeping the KLR around for sure. No need to go on a three month epic leave the wife and kids at home ride. Just plan a couple nights in a tent with a few friends and enjoy the challenging terrain and scenic views in northern WI. With a little luck, you may just end up in the U.P. Here are a few shots I took along the route.

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    #2
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  3. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Thanks, I'm glad you had a great ride. You description reminds me of how much there is to enjoy on those tracks.
    #3
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  4. XtreemLEE

    XtreemLEE insignificant being...

    Joined:
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    I'm your friend, dumb@$$, anywho, buy my s10 and take 'Hatley Rockette' with you next time...
    #4
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  5. Hatley Rocket

    Hatley Rocket Been here awhile

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    Feb 24, 2002
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Hatley, WI
    I need not your moto, as I already have a tiger. I didn't take the big bike because I wasn't sure what i would encounter. The tiger would have probably gotten stuck in the "some sand" section, and napped like a narcoleptic in the mud puddles that followed. It needs more aggresive tires for that. The second and third set of gps tracks would have been fine for it.
    #5
  6. Jman189

    Jman189 n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    West allis/Long Lake WI
    Thanks Cannonshot for the great maps! I just picked up my first dual sport/ adv bike and I am excited to do some riding this summer! I have a cabin right in the heart of the Nicole national forest near Stevens lake, just outside of Long lake. I will also be attending the wabeno dual sport ride in June.
    #6
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  7. kimzx1000r

    kimzx1000r Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
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    550
    Nice, I have got to get back up there and this was just about the motivation I needed.
    #7
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