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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like the title sayd this is about the John Muir Trail in Kettle Moraine South. Has anyone ever been there? Lemme know whatcha think. I'm a beginner and want to get into the sport more.

July 15th
10:30 Start
??? End
I'll be heading up to the trail around 9:30-9:45 from Milwaukee, WI if anyone would like to meet me at the trail or hop in my car and carpool there.

Post up here is any one wants to check it out with me.

Elijah
AIM: smartpartsfreak5
MSN & Email: [email protected]
 

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Its a great place to ride. Lots of options, from very simple to difficult singletrack. The trails are fairly clear of obstacles, so its more of a fast place to ride. Some sections are rocky, some are sandy (northern section of the blue loop), but all in all its a LOT of fun.

Don't know if I'll be able to make it up there on the 15th, but have fun anyways!
 

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Here's a map of the trails:

http://my.execpc.com/~jwamser/SouthernKettles/JohnMuir_2001.pdf

The only change is that they recently redid the connector trail up to the Emma Carlin trail. I haven't been on that yet. All the trails are one-way IIRC, so that makes things a little easier. I'd say ride the blue loop, but take it at your own pace. The sandy section up north wears you out if you're not ready for it, but the trail's a blast anyway. If you're not up for a 10 mile loop, try either the orange or green loops, just beware of the hill you have to climb where they split off from the blue loop.

Another thing you may not be aware of: you need a trail pass to ride. They're availabe at the trailhead, either daily or season. More info about the place is available HERE

HTH!
Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cool, Thanks

I just came back from camping up there, and I did a quick 6 min 1.75 mile ride around the ottowa dog trials park. (had the dog and the lady friend with and they didn't want to sweat.

Got my seasonal pass, and I'm raring to go. So if you're from around the area let me know if you want to ride or let me know when you ride.
 

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The connector trail redo is still breaking in. They rerouted a lot of the trail over fresh ground and some of it is very "bumpy" for lack of a better term. Not rocks or roots, but just ridges in the ground that are spaced just enough to make you seasick on you bike from all the up and down (imagine some wavy concrete on the freeway that can get your car bouncing and you have the right idea). Hopefully these will get worn down as more people ride this.

Anyway, that is the toughest part of the trail system and you need to be pretty fit to make it back up and down (or vice-versa) with the required loops on top of it. I would suggest starting out with the white loop at J.M. and the do the green, orange, or blue next depending on how the white goes and how much time you want to be out there. If you like those loops and can handle everything, do the blue loop to start the next time and go from there. I would meet up with you but I am out of town that weekend. Good luck and have fun.
 

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I would start with the orange loop at the Muir Trailhead. It has good variety, but don't get discouraged with some of the climbing sections - remember whatever you climb, you get rewarded with descending. The cool thing about the Kettles is the ability to do rides varying in distance from literally 1 mile to 25 miles without riding the same section of trail twice.

Also - as stated above be aware the 'connector' trail is now (2) seperate trails to and from the Emma Carlin loops - so you can't do a out and back, it would be more of a loop (5 miles to Emma + 5 miles back = 10 miles. I definitely recommend trying it sometime once you feel comfortable with the mileage. It's a great ride! (just rode it yesterday).
 

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I was there last week with my brothers last week, and we rode most of the blue loop. After my bro's mud bath we skipped the lower boot section of the blue loop, so I guess it was closer to the green loop.

It was a pretty fun ride, but...(there always is isn't it). Pricey to get in. Cost us $22 for three of us - $10 car, $4 per rider. (For comparison - Michigan is $8, and Indiana is $7 for car and all passengers.) I will say that they did have good signage, kiosks, and facilities at the trailhead.

The trails themselves reminded me of a combination of several other midwestern trails. Except that it was remarkably free of log piles. There were only two logs across the entire trail that I rode. One that was a fist sized, and a second that looked like it had fallen very recently (A pine tree with a several nubs ready to impale the unwary rider. Not a slam in the least, it's probably already had the nubs shaved or the log entirely removed.)

I'd give it a 3 out of 5, with Ft Custer MI somewhere around a 4 out of 5, and Brown Co IN, about a 4 1/4 or 4 1/2 out of 5. My personal opinions only. But John Muir had one HUGE advantage last week that the others couldn't have. Geography. The trails up there were much drier than the other ones further south, since a bunch of the rain that went through the mid-west went south of the Wisconsin line, or close enough.

I'd like got go and check out some of the other trails in the area. It was great terrain.

If anyone heads east to Ft Custer MI, or to Winona Lake / Rum Village, IN. Drop me a line and I'll try and head on out*. (*Normal life commitments may still apply. :O )

Later,

JmZ

smartpartsfreak5 said:
Like the title sayd this is about the John Muir Trail in Kettle Moraine South. Has anyone ever been there? Lemme know whatcha think. I'm a beginner and want to get into the sport more.

July 15th
10:30 Start
??? End
I'll be heading up to the trail around 9:30-9:45 from Milwaukee, WI if anyone would like to meet me at the trail or hop in my car and carpool there.

Post up here is any one wants to check it out with me.

Elijah
AIM: smartpartsfreak5
MSN & Email: [email protected]
 

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Like previously stated, the Connector trail going north to Carlin is really bumpy in places and can really do a number on your back. Don't let the bumpiness discourage you because the Connector trail heading south is in really good condition and is worth the pain heading north. I was wondering if anybody has updated mileage on the Connector since it has been rerouted. It seems to me that the new Connector has added some mileage. Can anyone confirm this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was looking at the reviews of this trail, and there doesn't seem to be any pictures... I'll take as many as I can... If no one beats me up there, I'll ask them if the connector added milage.
 

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RedMosquito said:
Like previously stated, the Connector trail going north to Carlin is really bumpy in places and can really do a number on your back. Don't let the bumpiness discourage you because the Connector trail heading south is in really good condition and is worth the pain heading north. I was wondering if anybody has updated mileage on the Connector since it has been rerouted. It seems to me that the new Connector has added some mileage. Can anyone confirm this?
I can confirm that is my impression too. This is nothing official, but espcially heading south it seemed to have stretched past the 5.6 mile mark.
 

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I did the kettles endurance there a few weeks ago and it took me through some new sections that were loose and rocky descent, nothing too technical. Im not sure what that section is part of but it's alot of fun as well as the rest of kettles.
 

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Here's some of my pics from Kettle:





This is from the pine forest on the northern end of the blue loop, one of the most scenic sections at Kettle IMO. It was cloudy that day, thus the drab pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I won't be going any more, 2nd and 3rd degree burns from my knee to my ankle on my right leg from a sweet action new stunt on the dirtbike I tried this weekend call the fall on my a** and hurt myself as much as I can. So JMZ I'll plan on headin out there as soon as my leg heels. Give you a little more heads up, and everyone else who wants to come maybe in another 2-3 weeks I'm going to head up there.
 

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Kettles back in the day?

Zak Smith said:
I used to ride these trails all the time back in the '92 - 94 timeframe. :thumbsup:

-z
Please expand O' Grandfather of MTB'g. I can only imagine what these trails were like way back in the day of cool flourescent colors, steel hardtails, waterbottles, no helmets, toe clips, 18 speeds, and dial type shifters.

I'm guessing the trails were nice and tight - like true singletrack. Were the non-user friendly slip and slide drainage mats in yet? How about the loose pea gravel straight up-hill climbs? In all seriousness they were probably pretty cool - new trails, not a lot of traffic, etc.

I started riding this network in Y2K, and they have steadily improved. New trails, reroutes - both built better - bench cut into the slopes, armoring, etc.

For real - what were they back in the founding days of MTB'g?
 

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wi1trackrider said:
Please expand O' Grandfather of MTB'g. I can only imagine what these trails were like way back in the day of cool flourescent colors, steel hardtails, waterbottles, no helmets, toe clips, 18 speeds, and dial type shifters.

I'm guessing the trails were nice and tight - like true singletrack. Were the non-user friendly slip and slide drainage mats in yet? How about the loose pea gravel straight up-hill climbs? In all seriousness they were probably pretty cool - new trails, not a lot of traffic, etc.

I started riding this network in Y2K, and they have steadily improved. New trails, reroutes - both built better - bench cut into the slopes, armoring, etc.

For real - what were they back in the founding days of MTB'g?
The pictures Tarekith posted look much like my memory of that part of the trail. I used to ride those in high-school and early college, yes, with my steel (totally) rigid MTB. Good for the technique.

There was actually quite a bit of traffic on the trails even back then. I don't have any pictures, but it wasn't uncommon for the parking lots to be more or less full on weekends, and you'd sometimes notice guys in expensive cars with "IL" license plates leaving the A/C on while out biking so they could come back to a cool interior. It was common to see rigid bikes in the $700 - 2000 range (seemed like more then), and the trick guys had Marzocchis or Manitous.

I remember guy losing waterbottles from frail "holders" during some of the descents. I don't remember any slip-and-slide drainage mats, and definitely no additional loose pea gravel.

One of my favorite rides there was on a Sunday morning in April, right when it had snowed the night before.

Anyway, I'm coming back from a MTB hiatus, and will probably get a good F.S. for the trails out here in the CO front range. They seem a lot more technical than what I remember from the KM trails.

best regards
Zak
 
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