FKT: Jason Schatz - Pictured Rocks Lakeshore Trail (MI) - 2013-07-27

Gender category
Route variation
one way
Finish date
Total time
5h 56m 57s

On Sat, July 27 I (Jason Schatz) ran self-supported from the Grand Sable visitor center to the Munising Falls visitor center (42.6 miles) in 5:56:57. Here's the link to the GPS track:

I didn't record my splits, but roughly (from memory):
-Au Sable Lighthouse (8 mi)-59:00
-12-Mile campground (12.1 mi)-1:30
-Little Beaver Lake area (20 mi)-2:30
-Miners Castle (36 mi)-4:53
-Munising Falls (42.6 mi): 5:56:57.

I refilled my bottles at 12-Mile campground and again at Miners Castle but otherwise carried everything I needed. Looking now at the GPS data, I see that I did go off route for a bit around Trappers Lake, but it looks like it only added maybe ~1/3 mile to the overall distance.

The weather was pretty much perfect. As for the trail, the first ~21 miles from Grand Sable were extremely open, flat, and fast. The second 21.5 were much wetter, muddier, sandier, and slower. There was a ton of standing water on the trail. The splits make it look like I crashed, but I really didn't--the western section of trail was just much gnarlier. Just FYI for anyone else attempting it this year, plan on the western half of the trail taking a fair bit longer than the eastern half.

I would love to try it again with a dry trail--or as dry as those sections ever get, anyway. The section from Miners Castle to Munising Falls in particular was a nasty piece of work--sloppy mud interspersed with slick boardwalks and treefalls. If I were to do it over again, I might actually have worn screw shoes so I could have run the slippery boardwalks.

All in all it was an absolute blast, and certainly one of the most scenic spots in the Midwest. If 42 miles of beautiful singletrack through deep forests along the cliffs and crashing surf of Lake Superior sounds good to you, I highly recommend it. Just awesome. Maybe this fall or next summer I'll take another crack at it, even if only to enjoy the scenery again.