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Course Info

Key Stats
Mileage: 26.1 miles (could be slightly inaccurate due to GPS limitations in twisty, forested trails)
Elevation Gain: 1,640 ft. Keep in mind that the graphic is scrunched up. There are no really steep hills except perhaps Bassett Lake Rd. For comparison, the Barry-Roubaix 22-mile course is 1,200 ft. and the 36-mile is 2,200 ft.
Aid Station: Mile 16. Gatorade and water. Whitmore at Chief Noonday (M-179) in the Yankee Bill’s lawn (formerly the Blarney Stone).

Course Markings
All race courses will be marked with directional arrows. The 26-mile course will have volunteers or sheriff monitors at most or all intersections in addition to arrows but racers are still responsible for crossing when safe to do so. We highly recommend that you print the Cue Sheet below in case signs fall down or are stolen. GPX/TXC tracks are not required but may be helpful if you have a navigation device.

GPX & TCX Tracks
Download GPX and TCX files from Ride with GPS map above. Click View Route above map. Then click Export (far right) to your navigation device. Garmin instructionsStrava instructions.
GPX file is a basic GPS track, compatible with most GPS devices.
TCX file is a GPS track with turn-by-turn directions, compatible with newer GPS devices.

Cue Sheet
Cue sheet (turn-by-turn instructions) for gravel road section. Follow cues starting with “Right onto Gun Lake Road.” Strava gets a little confused in the singletrack obviously. Use the Start-Finish map and any of our maps showing the Deep Lake Mountain Bike trails for the singletrack sections. Remember to follow the yellow arrows for race day flow (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday), reverse of traditional flow.

It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.

26 mile race printable “Middle Earth” hybrid map (PDF, 1.75 MB)
26 mile marker map
26 mile start-finish-thin out map (with 3/4 Mile thin-out loop)
6 mile beginner/youth race (2 mile loop x 3)



26-Mile Race Route Description

  • Start & First Singletrack Section: After a 0.75 mile “thin-out” loop in the Deep Lake Campground (watch roll-out loop video here to see how this will look) you will enter into the famous and revered Deep Lake mountain bike trail system. You’ll follow the normal Saturday flow which is clockwise (opposite from the traditional flow), taking the southern trail west toward Devil’s Soup Bowl.
  • Gravel & Two-Tracks: You’ll hang a left at the Graves Hill Overlook parking area and head south on two tracks and gravel roads. After surviving the infamous Sager Road (our version of Mordor perhaps?), you’ll hammer several miles of scenic and moderately hilly gravel roads throughout Middle East. First a little south, then east, then north, then west, and finally south, eventually onto the rugged Bassett Lake Road (“road” is a generous term) with a lung-busting climb.
  • Final Singletrack Section & Finish: You’ll finish the race with a final 5 miles of pure Deep Lake awesomeness, entering in at the Pines section. Look for the Section C medical sign for your turn-off to the right (and signs on race day of course). Take a quick left and follow the trail along the road before turning right and climbing into the ridge of pines. After some intermediate-level riding with a few moderately technical spots (watch rocky descent video here for one of these spots; nothing crazy relative to other trails in the lower peninsula), the most challenging of the day, you’ll have some windy but fast trail. As you approach the campground, keep some off-shoot trails to your left. Keep heading toward the main road. At the intersection just before the road, take a sharp left onto the temporary singletrack. Watch the finish video here. Head north into the campground, aka the Shire, where you will be welcomed home as a Lord of the Springs.
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