“This is arguably the most challenging trail in the Big M.”
— andy amstutz
This trail tends to be one that generates lung butter. It's a roller coaster of grinding uphill climbs and screaming descents with an optional trip out to Capper's Corner for the ultimate view.
Catamount starts out with a sweeper climb then levels out for a second only to bomb you downhill, which provides enough 'mo to keep you going for the next mile of gradual climbing. You can count on gravity to pull you down another fast descent and then ask you to grind up another curvy climb. When at the top of this section, you're at the top of Big M. You'll see the outer loop off to your right and can make a decision as to where your bliss wants to take you. There's a map up there too, so you'll have an opportunity to get your bearings.
If you continue left on Catamount proper, hold on tight....you'll be screaming downhill on old school trails and coast in to the next climb. This one hurts no matter the shape you're in. And just when you think you're at the top...nope. One more kick in the groin to get all the way there. Catch your breath as you're about to go slightly down again until you have that right hander called Capper's Corner.
This trail will take you out to the 180-degree view of the Manistee River Valley. Stay left on Catamount and roller coaster your way for another mile until the end of this journey. You did it. Take a right to go screaming down to the parking lot or turn left and do it all over again.