The Greatest of the Greats - Page 2
Race ... The Run for Youth (runforyouth.org), with 5K, 10K and 25K trail options, is held on the Noquemanon Trails in June, with a point-to-point course for the 10K and 25K on the Lower Noquemanon Trail. September's Lake Superior Shoreline Trail Half Marathon & 5K Race Against Tobacco (mqthealth.org/shorerun.htm) is sponsored by Marquette's premier outfitter, Downwind Sports.
"The great thing about the course is that it incorporates Marquette's varied trail styles," says Downwind Sports owner, Bill Thompson. "The race starts off on the shores of Lake Superior, on sandy trails through jack-pine forests. Then it climbs through hardwood forests, around a bog, over Hogback Mountain, then back on the Lakeshore Trail, which treads 100 feet up above Lake Superior."
July's Grand Island Trail Marathon and 10K (greatlakesendurance.com), held 40 miles west in Munising, is run on the ferry-accessible island's shady and breezy singletrack, narrow dirt roads and beaches. Enjoy lake views and the multi-colored sandstone cliffs of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on this wilderness island.
Best Trails ... "My favorite place is Harlow Lake State Park, which has over 25 miles of trails, some of which are right along Lake Superior," says Connor. "You can run along the shore to a wilderness beach then cross over a road into rolling hills."
The Noquemanon Trail Network, six miles southwest of the city, has a variety of largely singletrack trails. Run the Carp River Loop, with steep climbs that wind around Marquette Mountain Ski Area. Presque Isle Park, commonly called "the island," juts out into Lake Superior five miles north of Marquette. Loop around its two-mile shoreline along rocky red cliffs and pebble beaches, then head inland for five-plus miles amid white birches and hemlocks.
The North Country Trail (NCT) passes through Marquette, loosely taking Superior's coast north of the city. When completed, it will connect seven states and 4600 miles, from New York to North Dakota, making the longest hiking trail in the United States.