On August 21, 2021 I ran the Cut Foot Sioux National Recreation Trail. I only found out about it studying maps last year despite living close to it for decades. The mosquitos and tics are starting to die out so it’s time to get back in the woods and explore new trails.
I started at 1:14pm from the Cut Foot Sioux Visitor Center and went in the clockwise direction. The first 15 or so miles are beautiful smooth singletrack and I was feeling good about the run. After crossing County Road 34 however the trail becomes less well maintained. It goes through a small area that has recently been logged which makes for slow going. Then I started coming across dozens of downed trees. These trees basically continued for the last 9 miles or so. I eventually remembered that a few weeks ago there had been very strong straight line winds somewhere in this area. This must have been the place. I ended up going over or around 100s of trees in these last 9 miles.
I had been looking for a place to fill up on water for a couple hours so when I got to County Road 35 I made a short side trip to fill up at the Bowstring River. I got back to my car at 7:03pm, exhausted from crawling through trees. I’m sure times will get much faster as the trees are cleaned up. I made a couple short Strava segments and couldn’t find anyone who had even completed the loop in one go. The gpx track on this route page is pretty accurate, though not perfect. It’s from the Trail Run Project site and doesn’t completely match what is on the ground. My track is probably closer but has small errors going around trees and the short side trip for water. It’s definitely easy to get sidetracked if you don’t have a map. I consumed 2 liters of water and 700 calories. I ran by myself, unsupported. I didn’t see anyone else on trail.