My wife, Viktoria Koskenoja, and I, Sam Holcomb, set an FKT for the Coastal Trail—Chalfant Cove to Agawa Bay Campground—in 14:39:17 on September 5, 2015. Ours was a supported attempt in which we carried water and food, but took additional nutrition, as well as trekking poles, from our family at several points along the trail.
The Coastal Trail in Ontario’s Lake Superior Provincial Park runs 62.9 km (39.1 miles) from Chalfant Cove to the Agawa Bay Visitors Center. It is an incredibly technical trail, generally following the coast of Lake Superior, but venturing over many small mountains and difficult rock formations. It is generally completed as a 5-7 day backpacking route.
The original FKT, 27:47, was set in 2011 and was posted as a YouTube video, which can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwZ9DyLQjDs. The original single-push FKT was completed as a 68-km endeavor, which included the out-and-back trail to Devil’s chair.
For our attempt, we streamlined the route, making it a direct shot from Chalfant Cove to the Agawa Bay Visitors Center. We believe this is a more aesthetic route and will make future attempts at our route less confusing.
We camped overnight at Chalfant on September 4, and woke up on September 5 at 4 a.m. and were on the trail at approximately 4:30 a.m. Our family moved our camping gear from Chalfant back to the car at the Gargantua trailhead. We took lemonade and snacks from our support crew at Sand River, Coldwater River, Barrett River, and Sinclair Cove. We arrived at the Agawa Bay Visitors Center at approximately 7 p.m.
A photo documentary, compiled by Vik’s uncle, Marko Koskenoja, can be viewed at goo.gl/photos/htHaY7a9J73eY8Wf9.
A blog post about the trip can be viewed at thenorthjunction.com/2015/09/07/coastal-trail-in-14-hours/
Located only 90 minutes from Sault Ste. Marie, ON, 4 hours from Marquette, MI, and 2 ½ hours from Mackinaw City, MI, we feel that this trail is begging for additional FKT attempts. It is a very fun, wilderness trail with lots of access points and great scenery.