New Trail Races in Upper Michigan

December 30, 2019

Grand Island

Le Demi Grand Half Marathon & 10K

Another event on beautiful Grand Island in Lake Superior near Munising and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Le Demi Grand is hosted by Great Lakes Endurance.

“Runners arrive on Grand Island in the Fall after the tourists have left.  The deep blue and aqua green of Lake Superior frames the brilliant red and yellow of the island’s abundant maple and beach forests.  Half marathoners take the classic tour up past Murray Bay and into the dense Hemlock forest near Duck Lake.  The course then heads into the Tombolo and then out onto Trout Bay to a 1 mile wide beach, framed by amber sandstone cliffs, facing north to an infinite horizon.  A steady climb up into the heavily forested island interior is then rewarded with a 2 mile gradual descent on dirt roads to Mather Beach on the island’s west coast.  The last four miles hug the cliffs and shoreline of Lake Superior, before heading east to the finish at Williams Landing.  The 10K follows a new route, similar to the half, but without the Tombolo and Trout Bay Beach loop.  The 10K course splits from the half marathon traverse of the islands highlands and follows a dirt road down the spine of the island past the fabled wildflower fields and on to the finish at Williams Landing.”

If you’ve never seen fall colors in the U.P. they are a sight to behold!

The inaugural event takes place on September 20, 2020.

Rock River Canyon 50K & 27K

Located just south of Munising, Rock River Canyon is adding a 27K race this year and is also hosted by Great Lakes Endurance.

“The course begins at the Valley Spur Lodge south of Munising and follows a rarely followed section of the North Country Trail to AuTrain and then on to the Rock River Canyon Wilderness. Runners then turn back for an eastward retrace back to Valley Spur. Single track comprises 26 miles of the route while dirt forest road makes up the remaining 5. Runners who want to immerse themselves in the wild backcountry of the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on Zen quality single track have now found their experience. With 4390 ft of elevation change over 31 miles runners will enjoy frequent but not overwhelming ascents and descents. I would describe it as highly runable and even a fast course for the experienced ultra runner. It’s moderate, non-technical terrain make it an ideal step up for the marathoner wishing to try their first ultra.”

This event takes place on May 24, 2020.

Great Lakes Endurance puts on high quality events and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is God’s Country, so be sure to get in on the fun!