Great write up and photos...YOu never know about some of those old time Finlanders drilling holes trying to get back to homeland!!! Adele lake campsite is really nice...I am bummed about rope swing...they do a fun point to point (N-S) x-c ski "event" on the Hills in the winter...bonfires and ample ways to enjoy oneself...
I finally got back there on the bike. Here's a (probably poorly edited) bit of a write up on it.
Will, the rope swing on Adele Lake is kind of small now. Possibly the lake has a hole in the bottom and some of the water drained out?
Suomi is a good remote area. It is all designated primitive, I believe. Hit the campsite with the rope swing (I can't remember which lake, but it is in north loop(s).)
It is a great place to go after the first frost...when I used to race I would train on the Northern Loop...it made most of Chequamagon feel pretty easy.
The riding is always a good workout and the number of lakes for 21 miles is pretty compelling.
It is also common to have some pretty great nature sightings...beavers, eagles, hawks, fox, coyote and wolf (I haven't seen a wolf here, personally) and bear (again, I have only seen the bear scat).
I did some backpacking up there this weekend with a couple friends. My thoughts are-
1. The hills part of the name is right. There are some hills. Its not for people who don't like climbing hills. Then again for every climb there is a downhill ride.
2. This would be a great area to bring a canoe/kayak and a bike and do some fishing, mountain biking and paddling around. I saw people catching bass on Dr. Lake. The campsite on Dr. Lake was sweet.
There are actually 5 campsites in that area and one is on an island. From one side of the lake I know I could actually swim to it if I wanted to without a great effort.
The south part seemed to have some double track in the beginning. We didn't get to the area until midnight and started hiking through there by mistake. There are two area that on a map have features that are so similar that we actually mistook one area for the other. We hiked in until we hit the first trail crossing and realized we need to go back to the car and drive north another 4 - 5 miles to get to where we needed to be.
We hiked the entire north loop and it was all very hilly. Most of the trail is grassy double track but its mowed and the ground is pretty hard and beaten down unlike Elm Creek so it seems like a mountain bike with 1.5 - 2.0 tires would move along pretty good. I would even bring a cyclocross with 35's up there.
I'm going to go back up there in about a month and check it out for biking. I'll post up how it was.
I haven't done a lot of camping in that area specifically but it looks like there are some hidden jewels up there.
The US Forest Service is suggesting that riders check out the Suomi Hills area for new rides in the Chippewa National Forest. Located on the west side of MN Hwy. 38, 15 miles north of Grand Rapids, the system is made up of 21 miles of ski trails and fire lanes in a 6,000 acre, non-motorized primitive area. The Forest Service rates the trails as "difficult." The "North Country Guide to Mountain Biking" rates it as "Moderate to Advanced." There is two bike/hike accessible backcountry campsites on Doctor and Orange Lakes in the interior.
I have not ridden Suomi, yet, but have heard good things about the trails and look forward to riding there this season.
"Explore on Two Wheels" Adventure Cycling, 2003
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