The EHLCO trail starts along South Boundary Road at the intersection with Summit Peak Road in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Parking is available at this location. The trail heads northeast for about 1.1 miles along the South Boundary Road where it then turns east along a closed gravel logging road (FR 39 on topo map). Within half a mile you will encounter the first of many beaver ponds next to the trail. Continue riding another 1.5 miles on this rutted open route. At the junction, continue east on a closed dirt logging road.
Riding east, and eventually heading south, you will encounter several stream crossings and beaver ponds, until you reach a spectacular undeveloped picnic area in a clearing next to yet another beaver pond. At this point you will have gone about 4.7 miles. Continue 3 miles east along a logging road, expect to carry your bike along this section at times.
At 8.5 miles into the ride you will have to cross the West Branch of the Big Iron River. There is no bridge, fording can be cold, dangerous or impossible. Call the ranger station and check for conditions prior to your trip!
Traveling another mile along cleared logging roads brings you to the main branch of the Big Iron River where you can cross on a bridge constructed for the North Country National Scenic Trail. It is smooth sailing along the access road used during the bridge installation, then on to another rough section of trial before reaching Highway M-64. Ride the paved shoulder of M-64 for 3.4 miles to the southwest until reaching the junction of FR 360. This 8.3 mile segment should be clean sailing or biking!
You will have to cross the Big Iron River for the second time near the end of this segment. This ford is smaller and can be crossed virtually any time. Turning north on FR 368 you will encounter beaver ponds during the 1.7 mile ride to South Boundary Road. As you reach the South Boundary Road you have only 1.2 miles of blacktop remaining to finish your ride back at the Summit Peak Road. Please stop in at either the State Park or National Forest Offices to report any adverse trail conditions or just to let us know how you enjoyed the ride.
How to get there:
The trailheads are located off of Summit Peak Road in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. The park is located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. From Hwy 28 take Hwy 64 north to Silver City. Take Rt. 107 into the park and to parking off of Summit Peak Road, South Boundary Road, and Forest Road (FR)360.
Ottowa Forest Headquarters
E6248 US Highway 2
Ironwood, MI 49938