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Topic: Hilliest Trail in MI< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
WyattTrash Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 23 2012, 11:05 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Looking for some trails with a lot of elevation gain and decline for out west prep.  

Have done nct near manistee, jordan river, some sections of shore to shore, some cross country @ sleeping bear dunes, n manitou and some cross country near mio.

lower pennisula trails would be better just because they are closer.    i would be open to some UP trips but would require more drive time.

i also would like to do pictured rocks but scheduling can be difficult for me.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 23 2012, 11:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I live in southeast Michigan and hike out west a couple of times a year.  I love the big elevation hikes though I'm not a peak-bagger.  My favorite place to hike is the Grand Canyon.  At home, my hiking time is usually limited to weekends and I do the local hikes like you; MRT, Sleeping Bear, Nordhouse, etc.  I don't really expect to "train" on these hikes.  Even the hilliest Michigan trails don't compare (imo) to the 3+K days out west.

I usually get in the gym for the month before going out west and get on the stairmaster and supplemental leg-work.  If I'm in decent shape otherwise, once or twice a week gym supplement is enough for me to be prepared.  The descents are harder to train for than the ascents in the gym.

If you're near one of the ski areas, you could use the slopes to train.  Stadium stairs are also great.  Closest real elevation hikes would probably be the Adirondacks.


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Lbear Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 24 2012, 8:15 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Waterloo-pickney trail is one of the hilliest in all of southern MI, ,IMO.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 25 2012, 12:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The NCT, from M64 east to the Old Victoria Townsite or to US-45. Yeah, this is the UP, but your probably not going to find anything in the L.P. with a lot of elevation gain/loss. Or, you could spend a week in the Porkies and hike all the trails in the park. The NCT Trap Hills section that I mentioned above is probably the toughest hike I've done in the UP, or in Michigan for that matter.

http://www.northcountrytrail.org/pwf/map_links_west.htm
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Eric H Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 26 2012, 12:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What Tigerfan said. If training for Out West vertical is your motivation you're better off in the gym for one big reason -- even a half hour on a stairmaster/tilted treadmill is more of a steady effort than the hills available. i.e. Difficult to find a hill that takes you a half hour of steady effort to get up.

Hill repeats do make sense but in Michigan it is essentially an interval workout -- a few minutes to get up, few to get down and repeat. One caution that Rainier guides, other pros, have is that training hauling loads uphill is great -- but it is not worth the wear and tear on your knees to carry loads downhill -- so if you can, carry water uphill, dump and come down light, grab more water and repeat. Other good practice is to ascend stairs or steeps, descend a gradual slope.

I'm Milwaukee based, face similar landscape/vertical challenges. My experience is that 2-3 hours/week of intense vertical work before a Western trip allows me to do 4 thou vertical ascent days, full load.

And tho gym is "better" I tend towards hill workouts with a sweeping view of Lake Michigan -- stairs up, moderate slope down, full load for an hour or so, workout timed to catch the evening light. Intervals can be tough -- helps to be at the most scenic spot nearby.

Plus one on what NCThiker said. Trap Hills are very fine.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 26 2012, 12:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Triple your pack weight for training and here's a list of places to practice climbing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_buildings_in_Michigan


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 26 2012, 10:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd say to go Santa Barbara for a few weeks and hike the front range there.

Seriously, the best advice is sustained workouts on the stairmaster, stadium stairs or tall buildings. Mix it in with rowing workouts, sprint intervals, and swimming, if possible. Get in good aerobic shape and you will be well prepared.

I have been training here in Chicago for the Copper Triangle bike route in Summit County, CO. It's 80 miles with 6,000 ft of vertical--and pretty much all of it above 9,000 ft.

We don't have 3,000 ft passes here in Chicago, but I have been doing long rides and then going out on really windy days and riding 8-10 miles into the stiffest breeze I can find. This simulates a climb up a pass. When the wind hasn't blown I have ridden the loops in a local parking garage (words cannot describe how much fun that it is) until I accumulate 500-1,000 ft.

This ride is going to kick my @$$, but I think this training will help.


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 Post Number: 8
Bleve Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 27 2012, 9:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How about heading to Sleeping Bear Dunes and doing the Dune Climb all the way to the lakeshore, probably more effort than any trail in lower MI.  

Otherwise I'd agree with the gym suggestion.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 27 2012, 12:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Bleve @ Sep. 27 2012, 9:58 am)
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How about heading to Sleeping Bear Dunes and doing the Dune Climb all the way to the lakeshore, probably more effort than any trail in lower MI.

When I was a kid, I went to Interlochen (summer camp) every year and we always did a field trip to the Dune Climb.  They convinced us that going up and down 10 times made you a "Dune Goon" and, yeah, we were dumb enough to do it every summer.  We got a badly-photocopied slip of paper bestowing Dune Goon status for our effort.  I still have mine.  :D

So, when I took my son and his best friend up for the first time, as first-graders, I found these "Dune Dude" stickers at the visitor's center and convinced him that it was the title given to people who climbed the Dune Climb ten times.  He was pretty darn proud of that first sticker he earned.   :laugh:

Almost 10 years later, he and the same friend still do the 10x climb every single summer.  It takes them about an hour.  That loose sand makes it tough; I wouldn't want to do it with a pack.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 27 2012, 10:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

well, so far, the trap hills suggestion sounds the most intriguing.   working out on a trail is far more exciting than working out in a gym or climbing stairs.  i think i will plan a 3 day hike up there next august.

btw, i did climb the dunes near empire a couple of times with a day pack on this year.  although it was plenty of work, it did not emulate good hill climbs as i used my hands too much.

it took me more than 6 minutes to get up so if someone can make it down and up in 6 minutes, that is impressive.

thanks for all of the input.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 28 2012, 12:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Have you tried something like Pyramid Point instead of the actual Dune Climb?  It seems like the ascent to the Point is fairly steep and then you could go down the dune itself.

I've done some of the dayhikes in the Trap Hills and there's some effort for a view involved in those hikes.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 11 2013, 8:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

NCTHiker has it dead-on, the Trap Hills has the reputation of being the toughest section on the whole of the NCT  . . .
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 12 2013, 9:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Both Tom's and Eric's books on hiking in the UP list the Trap Hills as being very challenging.  The elevation charts I have seen tend to confirm that.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 14 2013, 11:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's been a fabulous place for many of us. Somewhat challenging? Yep, but well worth sampling, seeing how it works for you.

Some folks feel more comfortable there than others. A year or so back we had a guy post here who ran the whole 28 miles in 8 or 9 hours.

Edit: under 8 hours. See this URL

http://ericcharette.blogspot.com/2011....ls.html
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 18 2013, 8:17 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Would it be difficult from your location to get on I65 and follow it down to the Knobstone trail in southern Indiana? I heard it described as plenty of PUDs.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 18 2013, 11:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

that KY looks pretty intriguing.  it looks like it would be about 6-7 hour drive, trap hills is about 8.  KT might be a little closer but i will already have my access permits for MI and i can hit some other trails or campgounds on the way.

right now i am thinking about hiking from presque isle campground to victoria.  somewhere around 65 miles.  this would also run me through some of the porkies

thinking about sometime mid august.

i will also need to figure out how to get a ride from someone.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 19 2013, 1:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

NCT south of Petoskey from Brubaker to Taylor Rd and back.

Round Trip Stats:

12 miles
3000+ vertical

I have used this for years to train for hiking in other places.


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48 / 48 NH4K
52 / 67 NE4K
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