Course Description

2010 Wild Duluth 50K and 100K

Runner directions for 50K:

From the start at Oldenburg Point Picnic Area in Jay Cooke State Park follow the gravel drive out of the picnic area and cross Highway 210.  Follow a wide cross-country ski trail approximately 2/10 of a mile to an intersection with the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) also called the White Pine Trail (you will now be following the Voyageur 50 course until you turn right onto the Oak Trail).  Take a right at this intersection and follow the Superior Hiking Trail which is marked with blue blazes on trees and rocks and signs to the finish at Bayfront Park.  After going right, proceed approximately 450 feet to another trail junction where you will take another right staying on the SHT.  Follow this trail up a hill below some powerlines and take a sharp right when you see Forbay Lake.  Follow the trail along the lake to the dam.  Go left across the dam and through the fence, cross Jay Cooke Road at an angle to the left and re-enter the woods on the Greely Creek Trail.

Follow this trail through some pine trees and take a sharp right onto the paved Willard Munger Trail about 1/2 mile after crossing Jay Cooke Road (you are still following the Voyageur 50 course).  Run on the paved Willard Munger Trail for approximately 1/2 mile.  This is the only location on the entire 50K and 100K course you will deviate off of the Superior Hiking Trail (except for the short spur right at the 50K start coming out of Oldenburg Point).  Instead of following the Greely Creek Trail here where it turns right off of the trail back into the woods, you will stay on the paved Willard Munger Trail (same as the Voyageur 50 course) for about 1/2 mile.  After about 1/2 mile on the paved Willard Munger Trail you will finally take a sharp right off of the paved trail staying on the SHT (there is an orange right turn arrow on the pavement here as well).

Follow this wide trail straight through an intersection marked with SHT sign and arrow.  Follow this wide cross-country ski trail until the junction with the Gill Creek Trail.  Don’t miss this sharp left hand turn off of the ski trail onto the Gill Creek Trail. Follow the narrower singletrack Gill Creek Trail , with its scenic switchbacks and views down to cross Gill Creek and back up the other side.  Once at the top of the hill again, take a sharp right staying on the SHT also called the Oak Trail (here you will leave the Voyageur 50 course).

Follow the wide Oak Trail to its junction with the Grand Portage Trail.  Take a right on the Grand Portage Trail staying on the SHT (note SHT signs and arrows at junction).  Follow the Grand Portage Trail downhill enjoying some nice views until you cross Highway 210.  Cross Highway 210 at an angle to the left and re-enter the woods by a gate staying on the SHT and Grand Portage Trail.

Follow the Grand Portage Trail down and along the St. Louis River which looks like a lake at this point.  Continue following the nice singletrack trail along the river/lake until arriving at Highway 210 once again.  Take a right onto Highway 210 and follow the shoulder for about 300 feet (there will be orange cones here) before entering the Grand Portage Trail parking lot and Aid Station #1.

You will check in at the aid station and then continue out of the aid station on the SHT, turn left and then go directly across HWY 210 for the final time and continue on the Superior Hiking Trail.

300 feet after crossing Hwy 210, SHT turns right at a junction, and goes along ridge with large pine trees. Trail crosses under power line and follows old road in predominantly maple forest.

After crossing state park boundary marked by sign, SHT continues over high ridge. Trail descends ridge and continues through forest crossing branch of Mission Creek. Trail continues through woods passing an overlook before descending steeply to Mission Creek and historic bridge.

SHT turns left on old Mission Creek Parkway, crosses historic bridge and after 150 feet, turns right into the woods and crosses Mission Creek Parkway again before climbing hill.  After descending ridge, SHT crosses two more branches of Mission Creek, then climbs to long bluff with nice pines.  Trail reaches overlook of Mission Creek valley and then descends to Duluth’s Mission Creek Trail.  Cross the Mission Creek Trail and continue on the SHT.

After crossing the Mission Creek Trail, the SHT crosses a new bridge and ascends steep hill.  SHT continues along pine ridge and then through maple-oak forest.  Trail comes to towering white pine grove and then continues along bluff before descending steeply to Sargent Creek on a narrow trail with switchbacks and some nice exposure (Andy’s Switchbacks).  Trail crosses Sargent Creek on 50-foot bridge.

After Sargent Creek Bridge, SHT continues along creek, climbs steep hill, crosses Beck’s Road, and continues to trailhead sign.  Follow a short spur trail to the right to trailhead parking lot and Aid Station #2.

Leave the aid station on the gravel road and turn right onto Munger Trail and follow it for 0.4 miles to just before rock cut.  SHT turns left at SHT signs and climbs rocky ridge to Ely’s Peak with great views.

SHT reaches ridge top just past Ely’s Peak.  Follow the main trail to the right on rocky outcrops through mixed forest and overlooking faultline valley.  SHT enters maple-oak forest, crosses U.S. Steel Creek, passes two scenic overlooks, and then climbs gradually to Skyline Parkway.

SHT crosses Skyline Parkway and travels through forest in Bardon’s Peak area.  SHT enters Magney-Snively old growth forest crossing Magney-Snively ski trail twice.

SHT crosses Skyline Parkway for second time and travels through pine grove coming to nice overlook.  Trail continues through forest, crosses Snively Creek, and then comes to 350-foot spur trail to Magney-Snively parking lot and Aid Station #3.

Leave Aid Station #3 and take a right onto Skyline Parkway.   Continue on Skyline Parkway for 0.25 mile roadwalk crossing Stewart Creek on stone bridge.  325 feet past 99th Ave W, SHT turns right off road and enters maple-oak-pine forest.  Do not miss this righthand turn off of road.  It will be marked.  After Stewart Knob overlook, SHT continues through forest, crosses old road and passes historic stone-walled section of north branch of Stewart Creek and old house foundation.

SHT crosses power line and enters Spirit Mountain Recreation Area.  SHT gradually descends through forest crossing Lenroot Street Creek and the south and north branches of Gogebic Street Creek.  Stay on main SHT. Close to base of Spirit Mountain ski hill, trail reaches old DWP railroad bed, follows DWP toward ski hill for 150 feet, and then turns right and descends through forest to base of ski hill.

SHT comes into opening at base of ski hill.  Enter parking lot and Aid Station #4.

Leaving the aid station, the trail continues between parking lot and ski hill through woods for 350 feet to Knowlton Creek.  SHT turns left and climbs upstream along Knowlton Creek.  Trail climbs to DWP, turns right to follow DWP for 225 feet, turns left onto trail on ridge, turns left to follow Spirit Mountain maintenance road for 200 feet, then turns right to ascend along Knowlton Creek once again.  Watch carefully for signs and blazing in this area.  SHT continues uphill along Knowlton Creek for another 0.5 miles, then climbs away from creek, makes sharp right turn onto old roadbed and continues to Knowlton Creek Bridge.

Main SHT continues across Knowlton Creek Bridge.  Main SHT crosses bridge, turns right, and follows old road downhill for 0.1 miles.  SHT turns left and ascends steep hill on 138 steps.  Do not miss this sharp left turn off of gravel road.  After passing through nice maple grove, SHT continues through forest mixed with open meadows and rock outcrops.

SHT comes to Kingsbury Creek and turns right following Duluth’s Kingsbury Creek Trail 0.2 miles downstream.  Trail reaches old road and turns left and crosses Kingsbury Creek on bridge.  Main trail continues straight across old road and enters woods again, going through mixed forest with rocky outcrops.

SHT crosses snowmobile bridge with metal guard rails at 68th Ave W Creek and then enters aspen-birch forest alternating with open fields. Trail crosses 62nd Ave W Creek and then the West Branch of Keene Creek.  After crossing creek SHT goes under elevated I-35 on old road, turns left (don’t miss this left hand turn) and climbs hillside and travels through woods to Cody Street.  Trail crosses Cody Street (be careful crossing this street) and follows N 66th Ave W for one block, then turns left and follows Westgate Blvd for two blocks.  SHT turns right uphill following snowmobile trail for 200 feet, turns right, crosses powerline and heads into alder woods.

SHT reaches main branch of Keene Creek and follows creek upstream. Trail climbs steeply to cross Highland Street and Skyline Parkway over a guard railing and continues to parking lot and Aid Station #5.

SHT leaves parking lot on east end, crosses Skyline Parkway and comes to old historic bridge over Keene Creek.  Trail crosses bridge, turns left onto singletrack and continues upstream past old pump house and scenic waterfalls.  Trail crosses Skyline Parkway again and enters forest.

SHT enters Brewer Park and travels through maple-oak forest.  Trail continues along Brewer Ridge for 1.4 miles with great views.  Trail descends from ridge, crosses under powerlines and turns right following snowmobile trail and reaches Merritt Creek.

After crossing Merritt Creek on two culverts,  SHT crosses Haines Road (Be very careful crossing Haines Road – traffic goes fast here!) and enters predominately maple forest crossing Piedmont Ski Trails twice and then climbs to Ski Trail Knob with great views.  Trail crosses North Branch of Merritt Creek and climbs to Fire Ring Knob.

After descent from knob SHT climbs to Grassy Knob and then continues to Piedmont Knob 1,300 feet in elevation with Lake Superior below at 602 feet.  Trail descends and crosses Skyline Parkway.

After crossing Skyline Parkway,  SHT descends through alder thicket passing Aspen Knob and continuing through alders.  Trail comes to clearing and turns left following old road by enclosed city water reservoir.  SHT crosses N 27th Ave W and continues straight on W 10th Street for one block until just past the street sign for Lincoln Parkway. SHT turns sharply left into woods (don’t miss this turn!).  Trail crosses branch of Miller Creek,  crosses N 25th Ave W,  crosses Lincoln Park Drive,  and then crosses bridge over Miller Creek.  After bridge,  SHT turns left and follows Duluth’s Miller Creek Trail upstream to N 24th Ave W and crosses street at an angle to the left to parking lot and Aid Station #6.

SHT leaves aid station and follows Skyline Parkway on sidewalk crossing Piedmont Avenue on bridge.  Trail continues along road for 200 feet past bridge and then bears right through wooded field.  Trail continues through field and then enters woods coming to the “Forgotten Park.”  SHT descends hill and crosses Coffee Creek.  Trail continues through pine trees,  open meadows with great views, crosses Skyline Parkway,  goes a short distance through woods, and crosses Hank Jensen Drive.

After Hank Jensen Drive,  SHT follows left side of Enger Tower Road for 80 feet.  Trail goes along edge of flower bed and then turns sharply left and follows Duluth’s Enger Park Trail.  After passing spur trail SHT continues through pine woods, passes historic Peace bell (be sure to ring it!), and follows “Scenic View” trail down to Skyline Parkway.  Trail crosses Skyline Parkway.  Cross Skyline Parkway and an angle to the right.  Main SHT goes to right after Skyline Parkway and enters birch woods by yellow metal post through small boulders.  Trail meanders through woods,  crosses W. 5th St, and enters Duluth’s undeveloped Central Park.  Trail continues downhill through woods dotted with rock outcrops and nice stand of jack pine.

SHT crosses W 3rd Street, continues downhill through woods and turns left and then left again to follow along rock ledge above old quarry with views of harbor.  Trail comes to N. 14th Ave. W., turns right and follows avenue downhill for 325 feet crossing W. 1st St.  Trail enters woods again by three small boulders and goes though Duluth’s Point of Rocks Park.  Trail descends series of rock steps through woods, then descends from rocky ledge turning right onto old asphalt pad.  Trail heads diagonally to right across asphalt pad, enters woods again, turns left,  and follows with good views of harbor.

SHT crosses Glen Place and then crosses W. Michigan St. to bus stop bench.  Trail turns left and travels 0.1 miles to I-35 overpass. Trail turns right, crosses I-35 on pedestrian overpass, turns left and descends long concrete ramp, and then travels on asphalt path under elevated I-35 to Railroad Street.

SHT crosses Railroad St., turns left and follows sidewalk 0.1 miles along Railroad St.  Follow the sidewalk around the perimeter of the playground parking lot going right at S. 5th Avenue W and following the sidewalk to the end of the parking lot.  Turn right onto paved trail entering Bayfront Park towards large arch for Bayfront Park.  Pass under the arch and finish line of the Wild Duluth 50K.  You are now finished!

Please visit the Superior Hiking Trail website for complete descriptions and maps of the Superior Hiking Trail through Duluth from Grand Portage to Bayfront Park (Railroad Street).

http://www.shta.org/Trail/Duluth.php

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Course Description Updated « Wild Duluth Races – 100K and 50K
    Sep 29, 2010 @ 16:27:54

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