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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I'm planning a route around Lake Michigan that includes a run along Lake Superior. Specifically, I'd like to ride some of the twisties from Gladstone to Marquette, through the area near the Gwinn State Forest. I'm wondering if I'll find paved roads or gravel?

If I'll find a lot of gravel I will probably change my plans and head from Gladstone to Munising, via Rt-2 and Rt- 94. Any other suggestions?

From Munising, I'll ride up to Grand Marais, Deer Park, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Paradise and spend the night in Brimley.

All suggestions and especially gravel road avoidance tips will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Jer
 

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Hey Jerry,

I was just up through there the end of April on my way to Dollar Bay in the Keweenaw.

If you want fun curvey roads ride US 41, MI 26, and the county roads in the Keweenaw Pennisula. Fantastic scenery, great roads, and some excellent places to eat and drink. I realize that would take you a bit out of your way but would be VERY much worth it. Much more scenic than the Paradise area. IMHO.

Either way, enjoy the ride. It will be fun no matter where you go.
 

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jers99lt said:
Hi All,

I'm planning a route around Lake Michigan that includes a run along Lake Superior. Specifically, I'd like to ride some of the twisties from Gladstone to Marquette, through the area near the Gwinn State Forest. I'm wondering if I'll find paved roads or gravel?

If I'll find a lot of gravel I will probably change my plans and head from Gladstone to Munising, via Rt-2 and Rt- 94. Any other suggestions?

From Munising, I'll ride up to Grand Marais, Deer Park, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Paradise and spend the night in Brimley.

All suggestions and especially gravel road avoidance tips will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Jer
OK, I will try to get you around the good stuff of the central UP area. :)
Starting in Gladstone, go north on M-35. It is straight for a bit up to McFarland, then beyond that is one of the better state highways around for motorcycles. M-35 all the way up to Negaunee. East on M-28 thru Marquette and along Lake Superior shoreline to Munising. Now for the GREAT stuff. Starting at Munising is Alger County road H-58 which traverses its way through Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to Grand Marais. H-58 is NEW pavement...opened October 2010....and is one of the most spectacular rides around here. From Grand Marais, you can continue on H-58 (and whatever the Luce County road number is) to Deer Park. NOTE!!!! This segment has nearly 15 miles of gravel. :( If you choose not to continue to Deer Park, you can double back on H-58 or go south on M-77, which in itself is a nice drive to Seney and M-28 again. If you go to Deer Park with the intent of getting to Tahquamenon Falls, be aware that there is a bridge out on M123 north of Newberry closing the highway at Murphy Creek. Not sure of exact date of planned bridge re-opening, but was previously announced to be 3rd week of June.
There are a couple of other resources to help in your planning. http://mdotnetpublic.state.mi.us/drive/ and www.upcruising.com You can also stop at any of the MDOT welcome centers in the UP to pick up UPcruising's ride guide which has maps of rides all over the UP. Most convenient for you to pick up a guide might be the the MDOT welcome center at Menominee, MI immediately after crossing the river on US-41 into Michigan. I know they have guides...delivered them myself :) The guides are also available directly from UPcruising...small shipping charge.
I hope this offers some helpful suggestions for you in planning your UP trip. Glad to help :wave
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Matt, Scott,

Awesome input! I was originally thinking of getting up and around the Houghton area, but it really did put a lot of time on that day's ride, so I thought I'd get in the twisties in the Gwinn State Forest area. I'd still like to do that from Gladstone to Marquette, just don't know if those nice twisties are paved or gravel. If those are gravel roads, I'll certainly go the M-35 to M-28 route to Marquette.
The route from Marquette to the East is exactly the info I needed! I will stay off the gravel and head South on M-77. The bridge that's out, could I bypass Newberry on CO RD 407 to 123 and get through to Tahquamenon Falls?

Very appreciative,
Jer
 

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jers99lt said:
Matt, Scott,

Awesome input! I was originally thinking of getting up and around the Houghton area, but it really did put a lot of time on that day's ride, so I thought I'd get in the twisties in the Gwinn State Forest area. I'd still like to do that from Gladstone to Marquette, just don't know if those nice twisties are paved or gravel. If those are gravel roads, I'll certainly go the M-35 to M-28 route to Marquette.
The route from Marquette to the East is exactly the info I needed! I will stay off the gravel and head South on M-77. The bridge that's out, could I bypass Newberry on CO RD 407 to 123 and get through to Tahquamenon Falls?

Very appreciative,
Jer
Not sure which maps or roads you are seeing the twisties in nor which of them are paved. What I do know, is that County Road 426 from Escanaba due northwest to CR 557 north to Gwinn ARE paved. Pick up M35 at Gwinn then north to Negaunee. Some of the sections of these two roads (426 and 557) are a bit on the rough side but very rideable and scenic.
As for the the Newberry area and Tahquamenon Falls...the 'bridge out' is at Murphy Creek which is about 8 miles north of where CR407 comes into M123 north of Newberry. The official detour...and most realistic, is to follow M28 about 20 miles east of Newberry where M123 again crosses M28, then go north to Paradise and Tahquamenon Falls State Park. I know this is a bit confusing. M123 starts at Newberry, goes due north to Paradise, then south across M28 all the way to near St. Ignace and Big Mac Bridge area.
We are really wishing that this 'bridge out' situation would be repaired quickly. All of M123 is beautiful road and has been a favorite Saturday afternoon ride over the years. A left turn at Paradise takes you to Whitefish Point, a neccessary out and back run.
Happy to help. Enjoy!
 

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Hijack alert!
Jerry, you mention Paradise and Brimley. Have any of you guys read an author by the name of Steve Hamilton? He's from Ann Arbor but has written a series of detective novels set in the Paradise/eastern UP area. He's pretty entertaining and the books are fairly quick reads. Look him up the next time you're in a bookstore. It's fun to read of locations you've been to and enjoy.
 

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Like Dave said, those friggin' skeeters will carry you off.

We are paying at the Taq. Falls and if it weren't for the modular helmets and full geat, we would have been attacked before the guy got paid....sheeesh :eek:

You gotta go to the Shipwreck Museum and Taq. Falls while around Paradise. While at the Fallls, drink some of their homemade root beer, its' good! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Munmi said:
Not sure which maps or roads you are seeing the twisties in nor which of them are paved. What I do know, is that County Road 426 from Escanaba due northwest to CR 557 north to Gwinn ARE paved. Pick up M35 at Gwinn then north to Negaunee. Some of the sections of these two roads (426 and 557) are a bit on the rough side but very rideable and scenic.
As for the the Newberry area and Tahquamenon Falls...the 'bridge out' is at Murphy Creek which is about 8 miles north of where CR407 comes into M123 north of Newberry. The official detour...and most realistic, is to follow M28 about 20 miles east of Newberry where M123 again crosses M28, then go north to Paradise and Tahquamenon Falls State Park. I know this is a bit confusing. M123 starts at Newberry, goes due north to Paradise, then south across M28 all the way to near St. Ignace and Big Mac Bridge area.
We are really wishing that this 'bridge out' situation would be repaired quickly. All of M123 is beautiful road and has been a favorite Saturday afternoon ride over the years. A left turn at Paradise takes you to Whitefish Point, a neccessary out and back run.
Happy to help. Enjoy!
Perfect! I now have my UP route set. Depending on how I feel, near the end of this day's ride, there seems to be many options around Paradise and Whitefish Point. Ride? Brew pub? Museum? I know I can't do it all, but I do like the options. :D

Thanks everyone!
Jer
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Matt said:
Hijack alert!
Jerry, you mention Paradise and Brimley. Have any of you guys read an author by the name of Steve Hamilton? He's from Ann Arbor but has written a series of detective novels set in the Paradise/eastern UP area. He's pretty entertaining and the books are fairly quick reads. Look him up the next time you're in a bookstore. It's fun to read of locations you've been to and enjoy.
Thanks Matt. I keep this in mind for my winter reading material.

Jer
 

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This is all very timely! I was thinking about exploring Arkansas but with it being around 100 drgrees these days, the U.P. of Michigan is sounding a little better.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Riding the new pavement of H-58 from Munising to Grand Marais is definately in my plan, but between Google maps and my Garmin RoadTrip routing tools, I can't seem to get either to map it entirely.
It looks like Goole won't because it has portions closed in the winter.
The Garmin won't because it still looks like it's either gravel or trails. :(

I'm hoping it's noticable enough new pavement to make it from Munising to Grand Marais without much doubling back.

Jer
 

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jers99lt said:
Riding the new pavement of H-58 from Munising to Grand Marais is definately in my plan, but between Google maps and my Garmin RoadTrip routing tools, I can't seem to get either to map it entirely.
It looks like Goole won't because it has portions closed in the winter.
The Garmin won't because it still looks like it's either gravel or trails. :(

I'm hoping it's noticable enough new pavement to make it from Munising to Grand Marais without much doubling back.

Jer

It is ALL new pavement from just east of Munising (2 miles maybe) all the way to Grand Marais. The reason the map programs may not be seeing all of the road is that there a drastic changes in the road vs the past. If your mapping search is for pavement, that would answer the problem. It is true that portions are closed in winter from an area we call the Kingston Plains to the national park's east entrance near Grand Marais....a distance of about 20 miles. Consider going south on M77 from Grand Marais and continue your adventure. I am confident that you will be offering five stars here on the board after you experience H58. :dance:
When is this trip planned?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'll just wing-it from Munising until Grand Marais and onto M-77. It's great to have the confidence you've supplied for this ride, that the roads will go through.

I leave July 12th for Gladstone, the 13th for Brimley, the 14th for Manistee and then to our cottage, near Hagar Shores, MI on the 15th to hang out for the weekend (then back to Warrenville, IL). If anything needs attention, on the 15th, I can stop at Grand Rapids BMW.

Took the LT on a 400 mile run last weekend and all seems fine. Great seat that KonTour!

Thanks for all the valuable input,
Jer
 

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I was over to Newberry earlier this afternoon. All of the locals there are hearing June 24 as the opening date for the current road closure at Murphy Creek on M123 north of Newberry. MDOT is currently working 24 hour days trying to get the road open before the July 4th tourism rush.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That would be great news, Scott. I was really looking forward to riding through the Tahquamenon Falls state park. If I had to take 123 North, from the East, I wouldn't have taken 123 to go in and then out the same way. That part of that day's route is near the end, so I'll be playing it by how I feel as to whether or not to make the in/out to Whitefish Point. Having the bridge open should help. Please keep me updated.
I have received all materials and t-shirt/pin from UPCruising!

Thanks,
Jer
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm still not quite home yet (still in Coloma, MI) from the ride around Lake Michigan, but I can now say I've ridden the best road ever! H-58, between Munising and Grand Marais, MI, IS the most incredible ride I've ever had. Not a crack or bump on this constantly curving, twisting, sweeper run of a more than 30 miles. I just knew that the day I was riding the underbelly of Lake Superior would be the highlight of the trip, and the weather was perfect being in the mid-60's to mid-70's.

Scott: please pass my thanks on to Brad and Kathy. They truly made this trip memorable with the UP Crusing assistance. And your help with route selection in previous posts was right on! I couldn't / wouldn't have had such an exciting ride without your help.

Have fun,
Jer
 
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