Fall Favorites!

For those of you who don’t know me…FALL IS MY FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR! Like if fall could be 9 months out of the year (with summer being the other 3 obviously,) I think I would be the happiest girl in the world!

I’m not sure I can chose my favorite thing about it: the cool temperatures (hello jeans+sweatshirts,) the beautiful colors of the leaves, football games, outdoor activities or pumpkin spice lattes. Either way, the vibes of Fall are just something I look forward to all year long.

This year was especially fun and special; being that it’s Fitz’s first Fall experience! Does anyone else feel like Northern Michigan really lucked out this year with some warm, sunny and colorful days! Kwin and I definitely took advantage of this with lots of hiking, biking and “fall-ish” activities. Let me know if you enjoyed any of these too; or if we need try some new things next year!

Hiking and Biking

  • Vasa Single Track– HIGHLY recommend going here for an epic bike during the fall! NMMBA has done an awesome job recently of creating more trails for you to explore all over the state land in Williamsburg, MI. You can also hike or RZR on designated trails.
  • Electric Bikes on the backroads– We invested in some Electric bikes a couple years ago, specifically for bike rides like these! We are able to cover so much ground, and still enjoy the ride. Plus adventuring on back dirt roads is always so much fun with Kwin. Shoutout to Oma Jo for hanging out with Fitz so we could have a little day date!
  • Home Sweet Home– We’ve spent so much time over the past five years working on trails around our property. I’m not lying when I say they are my favorite trails to hike! The dogs can be off leash, so many different trails to choose from, and the beauty of the landscape makes it great too!
  • Mt. Holiday– A local favorite for skiing in the Traverse City area is also a favorite for hiking year round! Climbing to the top of the main ski hill really gives you an epic view of both East and West Grand Traverse Bay!
  • Marquette Trip– Our annual UP fall trip took place in Marquette this year. It was a beautiful and sunny weekend; filled with lots of hiking! Some of our favorites are Hogsback, Sugarloaf, Deadriver Falls and catching sunrise on Lake Superior. Fun fact… FOUR years ago Kwin and I got engaged on top of Hogsback Mountain; and look at us now with our beautiful baby girl in the same spot! This hike will always have so much special meaning to me.

Fall Treats

  • Pumpkin Spice Lattes– I’m usually not for frilly drinks, I’m pretty lame and just prefer a good black coffee. BUT this time of year calls for all the frilly pumpkin drinks I can get my hands on. If you’re in the Traverse City area…. go to Espresso Bay and get their pumpkin spice latte (it’s made with REAL pumpkin, no fake sugary syrups) YOU WONT REGRET IT.
  • Third Coast Bakery– Donuts aren’t really my jam, and I usually only have one pumpkin donut a year. However, after trying one of there HIGHLY RECOMMENDED GF donuts… I was converted to a donut person. Lets just say we made it a Sunday tradition to get a few of these bad boys! If you’re in the Traverse City area and looking for a bakery that is Gluten Free and very allergen friendly (soy, dairy and some items even egg free) give this place a try! I haven’t had a bad bakery item yet!
  • Pumpkin Patch– Is it really fall if you don’t go to a pumpkin patch? Unfortunately with COVID, this wasn’t the “usual” pumpkin patch experience…but we still made the best of it!

Sports

  • Lions Games– Even though the lions let us down 75% of the time, we still spend our Sundays cheering them on!
  • Elk Rapids Sporting Events– I love fall because of all the sports! And with Kwin taking a break from coaching this year, we had more time to go support the other teams; like football, soccer and volleyball! Fitz is enjoying going to all these games too. I’ve got a feeling she’s going to be a little sports star!

Family Fun

  • Sauna Season – I missed out on sauna season last year, due to being pregnant. But let me tell ya, I’m so excited the weather is cooling off and the sauna is being lit again!
  • Hot Tubs– Kwin and Fitz have some fun bonding time in the hot tub before “tubby time” almost daily! My heart melts watching her splashing around in there and interacting with daddy. She really is a water lover already.
  • HalloweenEEEEKKK, I was looking forward to Halloween so much! In fact, Fitz rocked three outfits and looked absolutely adorable in all of them. Dottie from a ‘League Of Their Own,’ A Polar Bear, and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle!

Writing this on our first wintery day -hello white stuff&40mph winds– and getting a little sad that fall has come to an end. We are lucky in Michigan to experience all four seasons, as it really makes you appreciate whatever season you are currently in.
So I’ll sign off hear and say: Until next year Fall!

Baby Must Have’s

It must just be the “season of life” that I’m currently in, but holy cow, so many of my friends are either: expecting, trying to conceive or currently have a baby in their life!

As a new mama, I was very overwhelmed by all of the products and options available! It’s crazy the amount of “things” that you will need when your little bundle of joy enters the world. Recently, I have had multiple friends reach out to me regarding products I liked and disliked, so i figured why not create a little blog for you all! So here ya go!
-The first thing I did when building my baby registry (I built mine on Babylist!) was go to family and friends and get lists of MUST HAVE and NOT NECESSARY items.
-Second I did research for specific items that met criteria and all the”safety guidelines” important to me: Green Guard Certified and ECO-Friendly. Oh i was also trying to be a ‘minimalist!’

Daily Necessities

  • Babybjorn Bouncer-Fitz LOVES this thing! Whether I’m trying to take a quick shower (just put her in it outside the shower stall,) fold laundry, or cook dinner, this is such a great thing to have around! Of note, it doesn’t bounce on it’s own!
  • 4 Moms MamaRoo Swing– Fitz likes this (for short periods of time) and I’ll usually put her in it if she is sleeping, or almost asleep and I need both hands free! Our original one broke almost immediately (not sure why…) but the company has great customer service and sent us a new one right away!
  • Boppy– The greatest nursing invention ever! I use it everyday and can’t imagine nursing without it. We also use this pillow to sit Fitz up in and sometimes to lean on during tummy time!
  • Diaper Bag– Love the amount of storage this bag has, and its very simple looking too!
  • UppaBaby Messa Carseat– Both Kwin and I love this carseat because it’s super light, easy to instal in the car, and has the Green Guard Certification I was looking for!
  • UppaBaby Vista Stroller– UppaBaby has multiple different stroller types and we went with the Vista style because of the ability to add more seats to it! We are hoping to have our kids close in age and being able to add seats to our stroller would be great…instead of having multiple strollers!
  • Boba Wrap– LITERALLY A LIFESAVER, especially when Fitz doesn’t want to nap unless she is being held! I love this wrap, probably the most of our wraps we own because it just seems the most stable when I’m holding her.
  • Ergobaby Aura Wrap– I love this wrap too. It has a little bit thinner material and folds up into a small carrier bag. I keep this one in my diaper bag, that way I have some type of wrap with me at all times.
  • Ergobaby Omni 360 Carrier– You’ve probably seen a bunch of pictures and video’s of Kwin and I hiking with Fitz, and this carrier has made it all possible. I HIGHLY recommend getting this if you plan to be out and about with baby! Oh and make sure that you also get the ‘Infant Insert.’ It allows smaller babies to enjoy the carrier (for 8-12lbs.)
  • Halo Sleepsack Swaddle– I didn’t think I would like this, just another “thing” to have…but let me tell ya, I love it! It’s so easy to wrap her up while she is sleeping or if we’re trying to get her to sleep. Babies loved being swaddled and it is definitely easier than trying to swaddle a blanket.
  • Haakaa Manual Breast Pump– Ever heard the expression “Don’t cry over spilt milk,” well when you are a breastfeeding mama, this is so incredibly true! The haakaa is attached to your non-breastfeeding boob and collects your letdown! You’d be surprised how much milk you leak. I’ve only used my breast pump twice since giving birth, but already have a bunch of milk stocked up in our freezer, just from catching my let down!
  • Blooming Bath– This simple thing makes bath time so much easier! Especially with Fitz being so small still, we are able to bathe her in the sink and not have to worry about her flopping around or getting hurt in the slippery sink.
  • Baby Bum Bath Essentials– A lot of baby shampoo’s and lotions are filled with chemicals that I wouldn’t want to put on my own body, let alone my daughters. This brand however, has great ratings by the EWG; PLUS it smells really good too!
  • Earth Mama Diaper Balm– It’s inevitably, baby’s get red butts occasionally. I really like this balm though because of the clean ingredients and the eucalyptus smell!
  • Peanut Diaper Changing Pad– This simple changing pad is the bomb. What I like most about it is the fact that it’s rubber and doesn’t have a pad cover on it (you can buy one if you want.) In my opinion just having it the rubber material makes it so much easier to keep clean and 1 less thing to have to wash!
  • Guava Family Bassinet– This was a minimalist purchase for me! It’s a 2-in-1 Bassinet and Pack-N-Play all in one. Just make sure to get the Bassinet conversion kit when you purchase it. I love this because it’s very easy to travel with (fold down into a backpack) which allows Fitz to sleep in her bassinet whether we’re at home or on the road.
  • Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Camera– After much research, I felt that having a ‘non wi-fi’ based monitor was the best idea. So far we really like this one; You can move the lense with the monitor, can hear clearly and has a good picture too.
  • Hatch Rest Baby Sound Machine– There is so much research that babies sleep better with white noise going on. And this sound machine is perfect! It not only acts as a sound machine, but also a nightlight too! There are so many sound to chose from and it’s all controlled by your phone app.
  • FridaBaby NoseFrida– This little gadget makes keeping the babies nose clear of boogers so easy! It looks intimidating at first, the idea that you’re “sucking the boogers out” but honestly it’s so nice and easy! Fitz doesn’t budge at all when we’re doing it.
  • SnuggleMe Organic Pillow– Fitz also loved being in this pillow for the longest time! It’s nice because it helps to make the baby feel nice and wrapped up, while also being supportive and not able to move around too much. The only downfall to this pillow is that she has almost outgrown the length of it…so if you have a tall baby you might be more interested in the Dock-A-Tot Pillow!
  • Milk Snob– This works as a car seat cover and cover for me while breastfeeding out in public! I would definitely recommend getting a couple of these.

Clothing

  • Zutano Fleece Booties– Living in Michigan, we can have some pretty chilly weather. These booties are fricken amazing and so cute too! I wish they had these in adult sizes.
  • Cotton Sleeping Gowns– LOVE LOVE LOVE these! It makes for midnight diaper changes to be so easy.
  • Magnetic Onesies– Wow, I was gifted these by a friend and they are pretty awesome! No more messing with buttons or zippers.
  • Two-Way Zipper Onesies– These are super nice too! Instead of unzipping the clothes all the way from their head and making them super chilled, just unzip from the foot up.
  • Full Throttle Infant Life Jacket– If you are planning to take your baby on a boat this is a must have! Fitz doesn’t seem to be bothered by it at all, plus it’s pretty cute too. It’s good for up to 30lbs.

Feeding

  • Medela Pump– Insurance covered my breast pump and this is what I got. I’m happy with it so far (only use it twice) but gets the job done.
  • Elvie Pump– I personally don’t have these, but wish I would have gotten them! They’re cordless, so you don’t have to be tied down to a wall when you are pumping.
  • Medela Storage Pump Bags– Easy to store your milk in to freeze for future use.
  • Philips Advent Glass Bottles– Fitz isn’t too fond of taking a bottle yet (we’re working on it!) But I prefer glass over plastic for health reasons. These bottles aren’t heavy or too bulky. Something to keep in mind new mama’s is that there are different nipple “Flow-Rates.” Make sure to look this up!
  • Breast Pump Bag Backpack– This is going to be super useful for when I’m back at work or traveling and need to bring my pump. It’s got a couple pockets for holding all the gear and an insulated bottom part to make sure the pumped milk is kept nice and cold.
  • Boon Lawn Countertop Dryer– Love this for making sure the bottles and pumping pieces are clean&dry and kept away from Kwin and I’d stuff.
  • Bottle Cleaning Brush– Always gotta have one of these on hand!

Mama Goodies

  • Hands Free Pumping Bra– The first time I pumped I didn’t wear this, and it was so frustrating! Having to hold the bottles while pumpkins really tied me down. This bra holds the bottles in place, making it so your hands are at least free.
  • Earth Mama Nipple Butter– Oh man those first couple weeks were pretty rough for my nipples. Not use to something sucking on them 24/7 made them quite sore. That has sense resolved, but I still apply the nipple butter to keep them from drying out and cracking!
  • Nursing Bra– A staple in my wardrobe. I honestly don’t wear any other bras….so convenient and easy to feed with these on.
  • Nursing Tank Top– I love these as much as the bra. Personally I sleep in them most nights, and also will wear them under things!
  • Disposable Nursing Pads– originally I thought I was going to go the ECO-friendly route and get the reusable pads, but friends…that’s just another thing to have to launder. And let me tell ya, Ain’t Nobody Got Time for more laundry🤷🏽‍♀️.

Toys or Play Things

So Fitz hasn’t quite gotten to playing with things much… but these items are pretty popular to have and I can’t wait until she starts enjoying them!

  • Jolly Jumper– I can already tell that she is going to spend a lot of time using this! She loves to be standing (held up obviously) and moving around….we may be in trouble!
  • Joovy Walker– One thing I liked about this vs. other walkers was that it doesn’t have over toys/distractions on it. This allows her to pick what she wants to play with and get creative.
  • Wooden Play Gym– She has just recently started showing interest in this toy and loves it already! I love that it’s small&compact (taking up little space) and isn’t made from a bunch of plastic!

Here is the direct link to my Babylist registry! I didn’t mention everything in this blog because either I haven’t used it yet personally (so don’t feel confident speaking on it,) or just forgot to mention it!
Mamahood is the absolute best, so feel free to reach out to me with any questions(:

Adventures With Our One Month Old!

It is no surprise that Kwin and I have welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world a month ago…man how time is already flying by! Miss Fitz has been a perfect addition to our family, and has already proven to be an amazing travel partner too! Here is a little look into the adventures we’ve been on as a family of three!

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes

At just a whopping WEEK OLD, we threw Fitz into our Ergo baby carrier and made our way to the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes and Glen Arbor, MI. Thanks to our friends J and Lauren for letting us set up camp in their yard at their cabins (have to be COVID cautious!) Since I was still in “recovery mode” we played more of the tourist role; doing short and simple hikes…but still having great views!

Marquette

Every August Kwin and I spend a week traveling around the Upper Peninsula of Michigan(the bugs are usually less crazy then…not this year though!) Our first destination on this road trip was Marquette, MI. A favorite of ours! Marquette has awesome hikes for both sunrise and sunset, great food and overall is just a fun place to be!
Hiking- Sugarloaf Mountain and Presque Isle Park
Camping- Tourist Park
Food- Sol Azteca for dinner, Java Bay for breakfast and Contrast Coffee!

Porcupine Mountains

A definite MUST when going to the upper peninsula! We had two friends join us for this portion of the trip: Corey and Stephanie Adkins! It was so fun showing them, along with Fitz, the beauty of the Porkies!

Copper Harbor

Another favorite of Kwin and I’s. We love the primitive nature of this town…no cell phone service and full of so much Michigan history! We’ve never camped in Copper Harbor, but decided this time to stay the night at a cute campground just at the base of some awesome biking trails (so jealous that I wasn’t able to bike with Kwin!)
Hiking- Brockway Mountain and Estivant Pines
Camping- Lake Fanny Hooe Campground
Food- a local food truck and Jamsens for breakfast.

Boat Days

What a spoiled girl, spending so much time on the lakes!
This little girl has been in Elk Lake, Torch Lake and had her toes dipped into both Lake Michigan and Lake Superior!

Fun fact!
While hiking with our friends-Corey and Stephanie- Corey made a joke that I’ve breastfed Fitz is some crazy spots! So I thought it would be fun to list them out here!
-Pierce Stocking Overlook
-Lake Of The Clouds
-Miners Trail (Porcupine Mountains)
-Cascade Falls
-Lake Superior Shoreline
-Face In The Rock
-Elk Lake and Torch Lake

People call us crazy taking a newborn to all the places we have.
We call it living life to the fullest(:

Inflatable Paddle Boards…Winter Edition!

Stand Up Paddle Boarding is a growing hobby all around the world! If you are around a body of water (especially during the warmer months) you are highly likely to see at least one person paddle boarding!

Living in Michigan during the winter months brings about some pretty harsh winter conditions, like frozen over lakes, blistering wind and below freezing temps. So how do you continue to use your boards? We get asked this questions A LOT…and the answer is  WE GET CREATIVE!

Here are a few pictures from last weekend, where we went sledding and paddled around in the icebergs!

The master behind the photos is Mark Goethel– a good friend of Kwin and I’s who is an awesome action photographer/videographer.

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Group Toboggan is all fun and games…until you notice you’re going right for a tree!

 

 

It has always been a Dream of Kwin’s to paddle on an Ice Chunk! He also brought his Paddle Boards with him for Safety (just in case!) Notice he is also wearing a Wetsuit!

 

Kwin and I love waking up early and paddling first thing in the morning! It’s always to peaceful and a great way to start the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t get outside and enjoy the water! Get creative, get out of your comfort zone and JUST DO IT!

If you’re looking for a very durable paddle boards check out the ones at Tahoe SUP!

Mine: 11’6″ Bliss

Kwin: 14′ Tallac

Inflatables: 11′ and 12′ Alpine Explorer.

 

Fall Colors Trip 2017… “This is AMAZING…HOLY COW!”

With the horizon being painted oranges, reds, yellows, and greens…how can one not be tempted to take a beautiful picture? YOU CANT! 

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year; I love the cold mornings and nights, the smells, the sound of crinkling leaves, the colors of the trees, and all the other fall festivities. Kwin and I, over the years, have created many fall traditions: like paddle boarding Elk Lake and Smith Lake, evening runs and bikes, weekend hiking adventures, etc. A special one that started three years ago was heading up to Michigans’ Upper Peninsula, to catch “peak” fall colors!

This year Kwin, myself, and ten other friends set out to continue this tradition on a weekend adventure. We first stopped in Marquette spending the morning biking around the awesome trails and downtown. We then ventured the rest of the way to our cabin just outside the Porcupine Mountain State Park.

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We always find cool pit stops on the way to break up the trip. This time we found some cool water falls, and the guys were able to do some cliff jumping too!

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 I really don’t think we could have hit the leaves at any better of a time! 

Our weekend was full of lots of hiking both at the cabin and the Porcupine Mountains; Swimming in Lake Superior, saunas, campfires, and enjoying time with good friends!

PS. If you’re looking for the best BBQ in the Upper Peninsula, hit up JW’s in Bergland…amazing food, especially after a day of hiking!

 

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Now, if anyone knows Kwin and I, you know that we had to get some paddle boarding in on this trip too. We have always wanted to paddle at Lake of the Clouds, and figured that doing it for the first time in the fall would be amazing…and let me tell you, it did not disappoint!

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Tahoe SUP inflatable paddle boards are awesome for traveling, especially when you have to hike to your destination!

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Michigans’ Upper Peninsula “Peak” fall colors is usually a week or two before here at home. WHICH MEANS MORE FALL COLOR FUN FOR US! Stay tuned for more of our fall adventures, because like I said earlier it’s both Kwin and I’s favorite time of year!

Check out Kwin’s video here!

Happy Fall everyone, not get out and enjoy it while it lasts!

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Top 12 Mountain Biking Trails in Northern Michigan!

Northern Michigan is home to a lot of avid bikers; Mountain biking being only one of the many different types. Here in Michigan we are lucky to have so many different trails, each with different things to offer like: terrain, distance, difficulty, etc. I myself, am not an expert mountain biker by any means..however, I love getting out there, trying new trails and enjoying the beauty of Northern Michigan in a different way!

I’ve created a list of my top 12 favorite mountain biking trails in Northern Michigan.(This includes the northern lower peninsula, and upper peninsula.)

1. Woopidy Woo East/West Trail-Copper Harbor, MI 

Difficulty: Intermediate/Difficult

 Copper Harbor is home to some of the most beautiful biking trails in Michigan. With its granite rocky terrain, and beautiful scenic overlooks, it is really hard to beat. Woopidy Woo East starts with a long hike up the side of Brockway Mountain-it’s exhausting and nerve-wracking (as you are riding the mountain side the whole time), but extremely rewarding when you get the the top! The trail then turns into Woopidy Woo West, where you start your decent down the mountain! Yes, it’s a little easier because you’re going downhill, but the rocks and roots make for an exciting and technical ride! I would highly recommend this trail, especially if you want an amazing view of Lake Superior!

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Our Friends John Fahey, Kelly Kin and a few others taking in the beautiful views before their decent down the mountain!

2. Green Loop (South NoquemanonTrails)-Marquette,MI 

Difficulty: Beginners/Intermediate

The South Noquemanon Trail system in Marquette is full of so many different trails, all with different expertise levels (makes it easy for a group of riders to choose based on their comfort level.) My all time favorite trail though is the Green Loop. Yes, green does signify ‘easy’ in the mountain biking world, but I love it more because of the views you get, along with the distance (being about 9 miles), and the overall enjoyness of it. Like any UP bike trail it has quite a few rocks and roots, but overall is not too technical of a ride. While on this loop, you get to ride along the Carp River and pass by the Morgan Falls waterfall.

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After you can easily jump on the paved sidewalk bike trail that goes everywhere throughout Marquette and hit up the ‘Marquette Co-Op’ or Sol Azteca for some good grub!

3. Bullwinkle-Copper Harbor,MI 

Difficulty: Intermediate

Copper Harbor again! Bullwinkle trail connects to the trail system that I mentioned above. Woopidy Woo West ends at the bottom of the mountain and branches off into three different routes, one of which is Bullwinkle. This trail is full of a bunch of small ups-and-downs, quick turns, and a couple bridges crossing little rivers throughout. It doesn’t have the scenic overlook of Lake Superior like the other trails, however, it flows so beautifully through a thick Pine forest, which is beautiful itself.

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4. Glacial Hills– Bellaire,MI 

Difficulty: Intermediate

Most people know Bellaire, Michigan for the famous ‘Shorts Brewery,’ and lets be honest you definitely have to hit that place up if your in the area! But first, take a fun trip to the mountain bike trails of Glacial Hills! It is a spider web of trails weaving  amongst the hills and forest covering 30+ miles of land. This trail is more groomed than other trails with few roots and rocks! The trail is very well marked, but can get confusing if you don’t stop and read the signs at all the intersections. It is beautiful all year around, but definitely makes for one of my most beautiful Fall mountain bike rides in Northern Lower Peninsula!IMG_3504.JPG.jpeg

5. Vasa Pathway-Traverse City,MI

Difficulty: Intermediate/ Advanced

Traverse City also is a hotspot for a lot of different biking trails, with the most popular being the Vasa Pathway. The pathway has two different “main trails” being the 10K and 25K loops-both which are super fun! There are also a ton of different unmarked trails branching off, creating a web of different biking opportunities! The trail system is definitely one of the harder ones due to the rocks, roots, and sand but it extremely fun!

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*If you are in the area and need to get a bike tune up, want a new bike, or just want to look around check out our friends at Einstein Cycles and ask for our friend Dan Curnayn!

**Also, grab a before ride breakfast/after ride lunch at their neighbor store Breakaway Cafe! They’ve got the best breakfast burritos in town, along with some amazing coffee, and other delicious treats. Make sure to say hi to Breanne Fortuna for us!

6. Gorgeous Trail  (South Noquemanon Trails)-Marquette,MI

Difficulty: Advanced

Another breathtaking trail in Michigans’ northern peninsula is the Gorgeous Trail in Marquette. Unlike the green one mentioned above, it is considered a black diamond (biker scale=difficult.) This trail is yet again along a cliffside overlooking the Carp River. It has pretty difficult terrain, covered in rocks and roots, but is definitely do-able (especially if I can do it!) The pretty cool thing about this tail though is that it ends right along M28-which has a paved trail leading to downtown Marquette. This trail is used for biking, walking, running, etc.

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7. Stairway to Heaven-Copper Harbor,MI 

Difficulty: Intermediate/Advanced

Stairway to Heaven, is that suppose to be a metaphor for how one would feel going down it? When you first approach it…thats exactly how it made me feel! This is the end of the Copper Harbor Trail system-the final decent of the mountain! Catch is you have to ride wooden bridges down the entire thing…and they don’t have a side rail. All that set aside, it’s a super fun end to an awesome trail! Flying dow the wooden planks with a scenic view of Lake Superior, you really can’t beat that at the end of a ride!

8. Sandlakes-Williamsburg,MI

Difficulty: Beginners/Intermediate

Home sweet home! This bike system is right around the corner from where I live, so it makes for an easy trail to ride in a time crunch. This trial is around a system of about five small lakes: great for camping, fishing, or just hanging out for the day. Here, there is also an awesome spider web of different trails to take, but my favorite is the big loop around it all; about an 8 mile round trip.  This is more on the beginners difficulty, but a fun and beautiful ride still!

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9. Arcadia Dune Mountain Bike Trail– Arcadia,MI 

Difficulty: Intermediate

Arcadia trails, another beautiful northern lower peninsula trail!It has a lot of fun uphill climbing and fast downhill sections. The terrain is generally smooth and hard packed with a few sand traps mixed in. There is a mix of fun winding back and forth and passing through some farm fields along the way! Just down the road is the Arcadia Bluff’s dune climb and hiking trails. This place could easily have a day trip out if it!

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10. Harlow Lake Trails-Marquette,MI 

Difficulty: Intermediate/Advanced

My husband and I tried this trail system out for the first time this past summer and really enjoyed it! Snuggled in by Sugarloaf and Hogback mountain in Marquette, this bike system is definitely unique! It reminded me of those out in Colorado..you start riding in fields of grass, and then end up on a mountain side! Like most of the other bike trails, this also has a spider web of trails that you can really go as far and long as you want too!

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11. Vasa Single Track– Traverse City,MI 

Difficulty: Beginners/Intermediate

Similar to the Vasa pathway that I mentioned earlier, but different in the fact that it is only single track and definitely less difficult than the pathway (most of the time.) This is 12 miles of marked trail weaving through more flat, but wooded forest terrain. Extremely beautiful, fast and fun bike ride!

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12. Kalkaska Trails-Kalkaska,MI 

Difficulty: Beginners/Intermediate

This mountain bike trail is unnamed and unmarked along the trail. Found just off M72 and W Kalkaska Rd. For anyone who rides the Traverse City Iceman, this is part of the course at the very beginning! Kwin and I really enjoy riding this trail during the fall colors time!

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