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Last fall eleven of us spent over 200 miles in the wood of the U.P. without even seeing the same trail twice. Check out the Hiawatha National Forest. It's located in the central U.P. and there are many maps available. The best part is that you will be 100% legal and welcomed. (You must purchase an ORV Sticker for $16.25) I used a forest service map http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5155621.pdf and just plotted a course with a highlighter. A word of warning...don't just wing it. There are so many trails that it is almost overwhelming. You can go from Rapid River to Munising using nothing but trails. Google some more maps as I am 100% certain you will be able to go from Rapid River right to Newberry with very little roads. Surfaces range from sand, gravel, fire roads and two tracks. If you have any questions after plotting a course let me know as I am somewhat familiar with the area as well as some cool places to see.
 

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I took this route. It looks like you are going to Big Springs on Indian Lake to ride the open bottom raft. If not you absolutely need to. I can give you more details if you are not. I will try to get a chance to scan and send you my route. It is highlighted all the way there and then on North to Munising. #2231 goes almost all the way to Indian Lake (this is mainly gravel but a nice ride in the national forest) but you will eventually have to pick another road/trail. We went a little north and then back south just to try out a trail. It was worth it. These roads (at least in most areas) are all marked with forest service numbered signs. Damn, now you are making me want to do it again. In fact if you want, P.M. me the date you are coming through and if I am open I might be able to show you the way, at least to Munising. We also took an awesome trail from Munising back to Rapid River. This was the coolest section we took. Partially because it was a fall run and it was like being in a tunnel of leaves. (See Pic) If this fits into your plans for the ride back I can try to get you that highlighted route also. Fun times ahead my fellow Jeeper. :highfive:

 

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Keep in mind this is not the only map for the area. There is another map to get you from Indian Lake area to Munising and a map to get you between Sault Ste Marie and St. Ignace. I haven't seen the last one yet. You can also call them for hard copies. It's more like a small booklet with many pages. They sent them to me free of charge. Again, they welcome you.

Another link.
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/hiawatha/maps-pubs/?cid=FSEM_033530

:thumbsup:
 

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I talked to the people at the Rapid River Ranger District at (906)474-6442. It was actully the Escanaba Ranger District but I couldn't find the number. Either will help you. Ask them for any available maps for the U.P. I believe they are by county. You could also explain the areas you are interested in. These maps would only be for portions of the Hiawatha National Forest not the entire forest or U.P. They may know who to contact for the other areas I'm not sure. Once you get into private land things will really change.
 

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I tried to find the links where I found them in the past but didn't have any luck.

You should start by contacting the Rapid River Forest Service Ranger Station. (906) 474-6442. Likely voicemail
Ask them how you can get the motor vehicle maps for the Hiawatha National Forest. Both the Munising Ranger Districts and the Rapid River / Manistique Ranger District. I'm not sure if you have to pay but they were free at one time. These are great maps.

If you end up getting them contact me and I can give you some ideas on where to go. If the timing is right maybe I can just show you the way.
 

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I'd love to join up with you guys too once my Jeep is together! You're talking about my back yard here! In fact, you are welcome to camp in my woods too.

With some luck maybe we can go on a fall run?
I live in Freedom (Between Green Bay and Appleton) which isn't' to far from you. If you ever get over this way let me know. It would be cool to get a chance to talk Jeeps maybe over lunch or something.

I run this fall ride every October so if you are interested in joining let me know. Hell, if you want to pound it out some weekday I can get the time off and you and I can run it. As long as we leave early enough we could run this in one day if we want.
 

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Good luck with the Jeep. I hope it stays on schedule and goes together smoothly. Keep us posted.
 

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We would love to get together for a ride! Our plans changed a bit and we won't be bringing camping gear, but we are going to be in Wausau, Wisconsin on Thursday, July 5 and then planned to go over to Mackinaw in Michigan Friday, July 6. If anyone knows of good rides in those spots or in between and wants to join we would love to meet up! We don't have recovery gear and are fairly new, so I am nervous to ride alone. But we haven't seen much of Michigan and would love to ride and meet people! Let me know if you guys want to put something together!
Sounds like fun but it's the holiday week/weekend so I'm out.
 

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Fall Color Ride – October 6th & 7th. Upper Michigan


Here is an invite for those following this thread. I am heading up a small group for a fall color ride and I have had a few spots open up for this. If you think you can make it please let me know as soon as you can as this will be limited.


We will be leaving from Appleton on October 6th and heading to the U.P. where we will spend two days in the woods. Saturday we will spend the night in a motel located in Christmas, MI which is just outside of Munising. Casino next door and a nice bar/restaurant across the street which we will be eating at when we arrive. The next day we head back to Rapid River and home. This is the coolest stretch for fall colors and for the driver. In the past we have had from 6 Jeeps to as high as 25 Jeeps. We will travel approximately 200 miles (mostly in the woods) and never hit the same trail twice. These trails are not difficult and just meant to be a laid back ride in the woods. They range from gravel (especially day one), sand, two track, very little blacktop, hard pack to very tight and technical. We do have to negotiate an occasional mud hole (depending on the weather) so please have solid tow points both front and rear.

You can also expect to receive some tree branch scratches as some sections can get pretty narrow especially for a JK.


If you can make this happen please let me know.
 

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That's a bummer. I was hoping you could make it. I want to see your Jeep. I do this every year so you're in. I would do a mid summer run next year on these trails as well.
 

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sub's for the updates.

Can't make the fall run, but plan on Jeep the mac and your summer run.
Sorry you can't make it for the fall run but the summer run sounds like a plan. :thumbsup:
 

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It's looking good. Thanks buddy!
 

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Just wondering how the trip was! We have only gone off-roading in Utah- do you think conditions will be okay for driving your UP MI route in late October? Also, will the colors be gone? Thanks!!!
This trip was a blast. Trails were excellent and the colors varied from just changing, gold, some amazing reds and some leaves had already fallen. Overall the timing was perfect. 10 Jeeps with some great people.

Trial wise the conditions will be great the end of October but most likely the colors will be done and most leaves will be down by the end of the month.
 

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Yup, cant wait to see the turn out and pics!
I actually didn't take many myself. Here are a few I took as well as stole. We hit it almost prime for most areas. Some spots had some amazing reds mixed in but of course I don't have any pictures. We had a total of 10 Jeeps and had an awesome time.
 

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I have done this every October for around 10 years now. You are welcome to join us next year if you wish. Contact me ahead of time incase I forget about this thread. Oh, yes, that is the Thunderbowl. Great place to unleash the LS.
 

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Heads up for all following this...….

I will be doing another U.P. Fall Color Ride this year. It will be the first weekend of October. (October 5th and 6th) I know it's a bit early but no sense waiting until the last minute. If you are interested in this please post up and I will get more info to you when the time gets closer. This is limited due to the logistics of this ride so please let me know when you can.
 

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Unless I can't keep the new Jeep running and/or finish up the other, my wife and I are in (1 Jeep).
It would be great if you can make it this year. Plus that would mean that awesome Jeep of yours is done. Well, I'm hoping for that anyway. It still makes me want to take the day off to come and see it. You as well of course.
 

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It looks like I'll be down your way later this month getting the tires balanced in Greenbay.
Let me know in advance. If I'm available that day I will buy you lunch while you wait.
 

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We will be leaving Appleton on October 5th and heading to the U.P. We enter the woods at Cedar River, MI (you can also meet us here if more convenient) take the woods over toward Manistique and then up to Munising for the night. We will exit day two in Rapid River. We will have somewhere between 8 and 20 Jeeps. It is too soon to tell at this point but 25 is the most we can handle.

If you are on Facebook and want to P.M. me your name I will try to send you the event page which has more details. If not just ask here.
 
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