“A full on tour of the 20+ miles of hand built singletrack at the Swedetown Recreation Area.
— jeff parker
Swedetown Trails singletrack is 20+ miles of sweet, flowing singletrack just outside the historic copper mining town of Calumet. Coursing through northern hardwoods, pine plantations, abandoned farm fields, along Muggun's Creek, past a giant beaver pond, and through mining ruins, it's never flat, never boring, and never too technical.
Criss-crossing the nordic ski park here, it's a great trail to go fast on, take a group of diverse ability on, see wildlife on. No long grinds, but lots of short, punchy climbs on the harder segments. It's the best singlespeed terrain in the area, and great too for getting newbies comfortable on singletrack. A blast.
Wear your orange in the fall - the property allows hunting.
Need to Know
Gotta stop in at the Michigan House Cafe and Brewery in Calumet for a burger and beer, or Carmalita's mexican - also in Calumet. 5th and Elm for coffee for sure.
Start out at the main trailhead off Osceola Road, at the ski chalet. Start in on Back Country Trail
to the right of the trail map. This intermediate trail will wind down a small valley until you turn right onto Bunker trail. You'll cross a 4' wide bridge over the old shooting range bunker, then begin a series of twisting climbs and descents along Ed's You Are Here hill. Keep your momentum!
Bunker will spit you out onto Two Hoots Trail
. Follow this through the swamp over two long 2' wide boardwalks, where you follow parts of an abandoned two track. Just before the warming shack, jump on 7-11 trail for a rollicking roller coaster ride of short, steep drops and climbs as you play along a series of small draws, then across the two track to Ten Times Trail
, for more of the same, then back on Two Hoots Trail
, then right on the Back Country Trail
When you intersect the Valley ski trail, turn right for a short distance and then right again onto Two Hoots Too Trail
, for more singletrack to the top of the water tower hill. There, turn right on the ski trail a short distance to Applesauce Trail
for some of the finest flowing downhill trail around. This will segue into South Side Trail
, another fine flow, this time through a red pine plantation.
After crossing the ski trail, you'll begin Farmer's Well Trail
- a tighter, twistier bit of fun. Watch for the old stone well along the left of the trail. This will eventually dump you at a ski trail intersection. Take a sharp left onto Lakeview Loop
and swing your way down to the beaver pond view, up to the beaver mansion overlook, and along the gentle hill towards Lake Superior. Turn left onto Porcupine Loop
for more broad turns, then again left after the field overlook onto Uf Dah Loop
. Uf Da is the most advanced loop at Swedetown, with many very short, steep descents and climbs, some narrow benches and roots to slide.
Head back on Porcupine Loop
after Uff Da, then back onto Lakeview, through the Cathedral Pines, then faster down the hill again. Eventually you'll pop out into a broad abandoned field, then turn left onto Bridges Loop
. Here you'll find some distant views of Lake Superior, and a series of seriously fun descents and climbs across short boardwalks at the bottom of the small ravine. You've reached the very bottom.
Ride back up Bridges to a left on Lakeview, then a left onto Muggun's Loop. This more challenging loop takes you down a sweeping descent, through a field, then down a steep section to Muggun's Creek. Stop in at the small waterfall at the bottom. Then follow the creek up to the top (it's pretty rooty and rocky here) and back to Lakeview.
Lakeview will continue the climb back to the trailhead in stages through fields and woods over sandy soils, down past Muggun's Creek for short time to the abandoned dam, through the old stone foundation, and back up to turn left onto Cable Connector Trail
. Watch for the old mining cables laying across the trail. Then onto Burly Trail
, for another twisty, tight, narrow party on a small hillside. Ride out through the pine plantation, then a moderate segment up a dirt road. When you cross Applesauce Trail
again, turn left and get ready for the super fun flow often called Happy Endings down to the parking lot again. Phew!
History & Background
All the terrain in this area was owned by the Calumet and Hecla copper mining company into the middle of the 20th century.