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Outdoor Family Life Monthly Report – June 2015

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Welcome to my June 2015 Outdoor Family Life Monthly Report!

We had a very busy month of mountain biking and traveling.  I was training for the Lutsen 99er, so mountain biking was a big focus.  We road some new trail systems and camped at 2 new campgrounds.  I hope you enjoy the updates.  If there is something specific you would like to see or do not want to see in these monthly updates, please leave a comment or send me an e-mail through my Contact Me page.  Also, I am thinking about removing these updates again from the blog and releasing them in the form of a Newsletter through e-mail.  I would like to hear your feedback on that thought.

Camping

We headed out on 2 camping trips this month.  We had an additional trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but we stayed with relatives on that trip.

Nights Spent in the Camper:  5

Campgrounds Visited:  2

States Camped In:  1

Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area – Crosby, Minnesota

We spent 3 nights here to do some fishing and mountain biking.  We had a great time and put lots of miles on the bikes and caught a bunch of fish.  We will probably make this a repeated trip each year.  There are miles of mountain bike trails and many lakes to enjoy.

Link to my Cuyuna Trip Report

Link to my full Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area – Portsmouth Campground Review

Grand Marais Campground – Grand Marais, Minnesota

We camped here for the Lutsen 99er Mountain Bike Race.  The location is very convenient to Grand Marais.  The North Shore is beautiful and is becoming one of our more favorite places to visit.

Link to my full Grand Marais Campground Review

Biking

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We did a lot of mountain biking during the month of June in preparation for the Lutsen 99er.  I was fortunate to be able to ride a variety of trail systems as well.  A couple of them new to me that I look forward to riding again.  The kids are getting better every ride.  They have a bit of competitive spirit with each other and it has been a lot of fun having them join me out on the trail.

Trail Systems Ridden:  5

States Ridden In:  2

Cuyuna Country – Crosby, Minnesota

We camped here for 3 nights and had 4 days of riding.  This is a great trail system to ride with a little bit of everything for all riding abilities.  My kids covered 22 miles each of riding.  There is a paved path that connects both ends of the single track and parking at various trail heads.  There is a really nice parking trail head designed specifically for mountain bikers at the main trail head with picnic tables and bike racks, along with a tool and bike wash post.  Definitely a place worth spending a few days at for some riding.

Maasto Hiihto / Churning Rapids – Hancock, Michigan

This is a bit of a hidden gem.  I believe this is mainly a cross country ski area, but over time, folks have put in single track trail systems throughout.  You can cover quite a few miles of riding here from rugged single track with some short steep climbs to easy flat rolling single track through the ski trails.  It’s a great place to ride and there are some nice wide ski trails to ride on for the whole family to enjoy.  If you are on your way to Copper Harbor and staying in Houghton or Hancock for a night, this is a nice place to come ride.

Swedetown Trails – Calumet, Michigan

This was the first time riding the Swedetown Trails and I feel like I have been missing out.  There are quite a few different trail loops, but when you connect them all together you can ride a nice 20 mile continuous loop.  It’s really a great set of single track that has both beginner and experienced rider trails.  There is some challenging little climbs and some nice flowing sections.  This will probably go on a must ride list for me whenever I am in the Keweenaw.  Again, if you are on your way to Copper Harbor; Swedetown is also worth stopping off at for a ride.

Copper Harbor Trails – Copper Harbor, Michigan

Copper Harbor is an interesting character.  I am a bit more endurance and cross country focused myself and Copper Harbor is a big fun factor trail system.  I would not say that there is a whole lot of riding here for kids, as you are either going up, down, along a ridge or riding some really rugged terrain.  It was a great workout for me and there is a nice park at the trail head that Lynn and the boys hung out at with a picnic while I was riding.  Copper Harbor is a great place to take the family to for the day regardless.

Marquette Noquemanon South – Marquette, Michigan

Well done, Marquette.  There is a kids specific trail loop all the way to some crazy downhill riding, which I did not ride.  That being said, I rode 37 miles of trails here and look forward to going back.  There are 2 really nice loops across the road from the parking lot with some great scenery and fantastic berms.  I also rode the East side trails that drop you down to the bottom of the hill over some fairly rugged terrain and then make you climb back out of it.  It’s a really great trail system.  There was another trail that I rode that dumps you out on the ski hill, but I believe is eventually going to get connected all the way back around to the single track.  It has some pretty spectacular riding along a ridge overlooking a river.  These trails are worth making a trip to spend some time riding.

Hiking

We did not do any hiking this month as we spent quite a bit of time around bike trails.

Fishing

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States fished:  2

Michigan

Minnesota

Cuyuna Lakes

This place is hard to beat.  We went from mountain biking to fishing.  We camped at the campground right near the lake and had the opportunity to throw the canoe in the water a couple of times, plus do some bank fishing.  My kids had a riot.  They both caught a rainbow trout along with all kinds of pan fish and rock bass.  A good time was had by all.  We kept some fish and also did some catch and release fishing.  You will catch fish if you fish here.

Keweenaw Peninsula

We lucked out on our weekend visit to the Keweenaw Peninsula as Michigan was having their free fishing weekend.  My kids spent most of the weekend fishing off of Grandma’s dock on the canal catching bull heads and rock bass.  We did go one of the days over to Red Ridge Damn and try some fishing with no luck.  I thought for sure we would catch something there.  We had a good time getting out and about regardless.

Cooking

We continued getting use out of the smoker.  It is hard to beat a good Pork Shoulder.  It actually seems to be cheaper than making hamburgers these days.  We shred it up for pulled pork sandwiches and then crock pot it the next day for round 2.

I am looking to try my hand at some smoked jerky this month.  We’ll see what happens.

Photography

I helped take a few photos at a wedding this month.  I have some work to do to get the kind of quality photos that I would want to present, but I did really enjoy it.  Here are a few random photos of flowers that I took during the month.

I post some on My Instagram Account if you are interested in following.

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Summary

We had a lot going on during the month of June, but a good time was had by all.  We plan to spend most of the month of July at home and will put a bit more focus on future plans for the website.

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2 thoughts on “Outdoor Family Life Monthly Report – June 2015

  1. Good content. I need to try some U.P. mt biking.

    1. There is some pretty awesome riding up there. Really liked Marquette and there is a new Keweenaw Point trail going in at Copper Harbor that I believe will be more of a XC trail, that I want to ride next time I am up there.

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