Hancock is proud of its Finnish roots—from the only Finnish-American college in the United States, Suomi College, to its world-class cross-country skiing area, Maasto Hiihto, meaning “cross-country” in Finnish. Not only are the trails expertly groomed in winter, but local fat-tire enthusiasts continue trail maintenance in the summer. Located on the hilly sides of Portage Canal, opposite Hancock’s city sister of Houghton, the trails wind through a small gorge.
About halfway through the Maasto Hiihto Trails, the ride crosses onto Churning Rapids, a private nature preserve of about 900 acres and open to non-motorized users. Churning Rapids begins on a clearcut that is beginning to grow back, and within a few miles you are twisting along a tight singletrack past oaks and aspens and through four challenging gorges. Tread: 2 miles of singletrack, 1.3 miles of gravel road, 10.9 miles of doubletrack.
© Erin Fanning and Keith Radwanski/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.