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Rapid River Pathway



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Rapid River Ski Trail Sign

RAPID RIVER National Cross Country Ski Trail

Cross Country Ski Rapid River TrailHike Rapid River TrailSki Skate Rapid River Trail

The Rapid River National Cross Country Ski Trail offers skiers five loops of Nordic ski trail opportunities as well as two skating loops. The trail is widely recognized as one of the most beautiful in the Upper Peninsula as it winds through pine covered dune ridges and drops into lowland swamps. The topography offer beginner through expert skiers a wide range of challenges, from gentle, flat terrain to long, steep hills.

The trail is located six miles of north of Rapid River on US Highway 41. The access road and parking lot are on the west side of the highway. A bulletin board, rest benches and toilet can be found at the trailhead. All loops are groomed, but trail conditions will vary based on weather and time of the week. The trail is well marked and location maps are posted at the trail intersections.

Trail Loops

  • Tot Loop (1.2 miles) - The Tot Loop bisects Loop A, offering skiers the shortest and easiest segment of the trail system.
  • Loop A (2.7 miles) - This segment covers relatively flat terrain for the beginner, or may serve as a warm-up for the advanced skier planning to travel on to the more difficult loops.
  • Loop B (6.8 miles) - Designed for intermediate skiers, this distance includes both Loops A and B. By taking the "shortcut trail" from the parking lot, skiers can reduce the loop distance to 5.7 miles.
  • Loop C (6.4 miles) - Loop C is actually a shortcut across Loop B. Although shorter than Loop B, it is designed for more advanced skiers. By taking the "shortcut trail" from the parking lot, skiers can reduce this loop distance to 5.3 miles.
  • Loop D (10.0 miles) - Recommended for only the most advanced skiers, this loop should be approached with caution. It's distance, coupled with it's steep slopes makes this loop a real challenge to even the most experienced skiers. On the "home stretch" skiers have the option of taking either the intermediate Loop B or the more difficult Loop C By taking the "shortcut trail" from the parking lot, skiers can reduce this loop distance to 8.9 miles.
  • S1 Skating Loop (4.7 miles) - Built in 1992 in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, this loop is designed for the intermediate skier who prefers the skating style of skiing over the traditional Nordic style. Skiers should take the "shortcut" trail from the parking lot to S1. This skating trail intersects Loop B in two places so skiers can switch from one trail to another to practice both techniques.
  • S2 Skating Loop (7.4 miles) - Built in 1993, this loop is designed for the more advanced skater. This distance includes both S1 and S2. There are numerous intersections with Loop D which will enable skiers to practice both techniques.

Trail Distance:

20+ miles containing 7 loops ranging from 1.2 miles to 10 miles long.

  • Tot Loop - 1.2 Miles - Easy
  • Loop A - 2.7 Miles - Easy
  • Loop B - 6.8 Miles - More Difficult
  • Loop C - 6.4 Miles - Most Difficult
  • Loop D - 10 Miles - Most Difficult
  • Loop S1 - 4.7 Miles - More Difficult
  • Loop S2 - 7.4 Miles - Most Difficult

Rapid River Pathway Michigan Trails Photo Gallery

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Rapid River Pathway Michigan Trails Scenery Downhill slope of Michigan trail found on Rapid River PathwayDifficulty sign from Michigan trail Rapid River PathwayStride and Glide found on Rapid River Pathway Michigan TrailSlow poke hill from Rapid River Pathway Michigan TrailChoice of ski skating or cross country skiing at Rapid River Pathway Michigan TrailsHerrringbone hill at Rapid River Pathway Michigan TrailThe Roller Coaster Run at Rapid River Pathway Michigan Trails

Information courtesy of USDA Forest Service.

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