Michigan Resorts Start To Offer Fat Tire (Snow) Biking

Posted by Mike Terrell
Mike Terrell
Mike Terrell, based in Traverse City, Michigan, has spent the last 25 years trav
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on Monday, 17 February 2014 in Cross Country News & Information
Fat tire snow biking

Fat tire biking, snow biking, or whatever you want to call it has been gaining popularity at eastern and western ski resorts the last couple of seasons. The Midwest is just starting to catch on, and so far just in Michigan.


This season Crystal MountainBoyne Highlands and Timber Ridge Nordic Center in Traverse City, Mich., are offering fat tire bike rentals and groomed trails to ride on. Two of northern Michigan’s premier cross country trails, the Noquemanon, near Marquette, and VASA Pathway, near Traverse City, are also accommodating fat tire bikes on certain days of the week and specified trails.


“We found them to be very popular last year at Crystal Mountain, our first winter,” said Chris Remy, who oversees the program.  “We often had a waiting list and have added more bikes for this winter and more sizes.”


Crystal has about 10 groomed miles of both cross-country and single-track trails for fat tire bikes. They rent for about $10 an hour, and you can ride them on portions of the cross-country trail until 10 p.m. nightly since it is lit for night skiing. At Timber Ridge, there’s about 10 kilometers of groomed trail available, and rental rates start around $25 that includes a Timber Ridge trail pass. The Highlands offers a five-mile groomed loop.  A daily trail pass is $5, and bike rentals start at $30 for two hours.   


The Noquemanon Trail Network plans to groom over 20 miles of single track this winter, and ask riders to support the project by purchasing a “Support the Groom” card.


TART Trails, which spearheads VASA Pathway grooming, is also asking riders to purchase a $25 grooming badge this winter.  Fridays are being set aside as “Fat Tire Friday” when cyclists and skiers will mix on the 25 kilometer trail and bikes are allowed on TART’s Leelanau, from Traverse City up to Suttons Bay, anytime.  


Other places you can ride in the UP: In the Keweenaw Peninsula,  Michigan Tech has 15 kilometers of groomed ski trail and ungroomed single-track where bikes will be permitted, and Swedetown Trails will permit them after 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.  Ishpeming’s  Al Qual Recreation Area ski trails will also permit them anytime.  A day pass is required for all three locations. 


Photo: Fat tire (snow) biking at Crystal Mountain Resort (Crystal Mt.) 



Mike Terrell, based in Traverse City, Michigan, has spent the last 25 years travelling across the Midwest writing about skiing, snowboarding and cross country skiing. He is currently Midwest Editor for SnoCountry.com. Mike has written for SKI, Skiing, Ski Press, Cross Country Skier and several Midwest newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, Booth Newspapers of Michigan and Detroit Free Press among others. He was an outdoor columnist for the Traverse City Record Eagle for 23 years, and for the past 14 years has been Midwest/Ontario editor for OnTheSnow.com and also contributed western travel articles. He’s authored two books on cross country skiing and mountain biking in northern Michigan and is a member of the North American Snowsports Journalist Association (NASJA), Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), and Michigan Outdoor Writers Association (MOWA).


Pando Ski Patrol Thursday, 20 February 2014

You Missed the Fat tire Tuesdays at Pando Winter Sports Park.
Several dealers provide demo's
and there is also a race series

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