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Reader's Route: Mark Kransz and The Kransz Route

Today's Reader's Route comes from Mark Kransz and is in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Mark put together a Marquette route that has it all from gravel and mud to abandoned bridges and double track.

Submission from Mark Kransz

Experience the logging roads and rolling fields of Western Alger County and Eastern Marquette County.

This route has it all from rolling fast gravel to one-lane forest service roads, followed by chunky two-track. Recommended at minimum 38c tires for this route as there are sections that can be sandy when it's been dry. Leaving Marquette you will follow the old SOO railroad line east of town on a paved and eventual hardpack bike path. Eventually, you will turn onto a gravel road and head towards Onota a once-booming logging town. This begins the first test as the fast gravel of Onota Hill Ln transitions into a USFS road past a gate, Mud holes Rocks, and a fast downhill are what will greet you on this road as you push on toward Chattam.

You will continue on USFS roads from here however these transition back to fast-rolling gravel. You will eventually find your way towards the Michigan State University South Farm (You may have to hop a wire gate, Beware of cattle) This is an area where they let local start-up farmers use the land to begin there business, these roads are a treat before the food stop in Chattam. After Chatham you are in the Eben Junction countryside you will cross one abandoned bridge (recommend you walk the plank) and then begin your ride on the beautiful country line-covered road as you pass old farms. County Line Rd eventually transitions after a long straight into Haavisto Rd which almost looks as if it ends however if you push on you will be greeted with a slice of double track that cuts between two farms (this can be muddy at times).

From here it's a straight line to the longest section of pavement until you reach the Experimental forest near Selma. From here it's back to fast-rolling gravel as you pass through both young and old-growth forests. The next test and final test before your back on the roads you rode a few hours before is Camp 4 Rd This is the final cherry on top, fast gravel gives way to chunky rocky two tracks as it takes you back to Mangum Rd. Beware of Beavor and water crossing as they tend to build dams that cover the road at times. From here you are back on roads you know and only a little ways outside of Marquette once again.

Expect to be on this route for 5+ hours bring food and water as the only stop is the Chattam Coop (slightly off route mile 40), and Kassel's Store in Rumley (mile 49). This route can be shortened if you park at the Michigan Welcome Center or if you wish to park at the Park and ride on the 94-67 junction in Chattam.

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