A technical test piece hidden in the wilds of the UP.


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The Harlow Lake Recreational Area is "a hub for some of the most unforgettable views in Marquette," according to [TravelMarquetteMichigan.com](https://www.travelmarquettemichigan.com/harlow-lake-recreational-area/).

"From this central location, hiking and biking trails sprawl around inland lakes and bogs, over rolling hills and vistas, and out to the shores of Lake Superior," they continue.

In total, there are 39 miles of multi-use trails in this gorgeous trail system. The route mapped here forms a loop with the Bareback Trail, a technical test piece that traverses extended slabs of rippled, technical bedrock that cover the hillsides.

While it takes complete attention and total control to clean this challenging trail, if you pause on top of the mountain to take in the scenery, you'll be treated to stunning vistas of untrammeled forest in every direction, the vibrant blue of Harlow Lake, and the massive expanse of Lake Superior. Half of Bareback, the focal point of this ride, receives a double black diamond rating from local mountain bikers, with the other half only rated as a single black diamond.

The lower connector trails that complete the loop are only rated as mere intermediate trails.

If you're not up for the challenge of Bareback, you can skip the higher, exposed slickrock and stick to the lower trails for an easier loop. Sources: https://www.travelmarquettemichigan.com/harlow-lake-recreational-area/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8j0ymWLXVI