Peter Hubbard posted the route:
Using the Manistee River Trail (MRT) from the Seaton Creek Campground and connecting it with the North Country Trail (NCT) makes a 23 mile loop. Below is a link to a trail map and my splits. It's a very scenic trail, I haven't found anyone who has run it, but it's a popular backpacking loop. I highly recommend it as a moderately challenging trail run to anyone in the area or passing through.
Seaton Creek Campground to Suspension Bridge (1.4 miles)
Suspension Bridge to Red Bridge via MRT (9.6 miles)
Red Bridge to Suspension Bridge via NCT (10.6 miles)
Suspension Bridge to Seaton Creek Campground (1.4 miles)
*** Voted August 2019 as a "Michigan Triple Crown of FKTs" route ***
Thanks for posting this Peter! I'm looking to run the loop next weekend (6/29/18 and 6/30/18), starting from the Red Bridge trailhead and ending at the Red Bridge on the opposite side (East side), since the bridge is out for construction currently. Just checking Strava, I see there is a segment established for the loop using the same starting and ending points that I'm planning to run. It looks like it differs slightly from your original route, as it cuts out the little out and back to and from Seaton Creek Campground. Is this the proper way to run it, cutting out the campground out and back section? It seems like it would make it more accessible to start the FKT from any point, so long as you complete the loop and finish where you started. Just a thought! You could cut out your splits for that little section, and I think you would still have the FKT. It looks like the Strava segment leader (as of 6/24/18) currently has the course record at 3:19:53.
I am going to be heading to run the Manistee River Trail Loop for the female FKT November 3, 2018. I will be starting at the Seaton Creek Campground as the 1.4 mile out/back is the history of the loop, so I will stick to that instead of just doing the loop that is on Strava.
Visiting Michigan, so going to take shot at finding this loop tomorrow and doing an unsupported attempt.
This is such an awesome run! I'm surprised no one has submitted a double loop as a route. I'd love to one day, but not sure when I'd fit it in this next year.
I completed a double loop in March of 2016 in 7:58. Start and finish at Red Bridge so no spur to Seaton Creek CG. Unfortunately, my watch battery died in the last mile so my proof is incomplete. I did make note of my start and finish times by the clock in the car so while not official, it's a good benchmark for anyone else attempting.
Another exciting option is to run the loop at night. Just watch out for porcupines. I had to jump over a dead one in the middle of the trail on a sharp corner!
Cool, thanks a ton @Kevanharn !! That sounds like a nice target for people! If I was going to propose the double route, I think I'd have it start at the Red Bridge too to avoid the double out and back, but I'd be open to what others had to say. I'm going to ask around a bit more about a current double FKT that isn't listed here because I'm guessing a number of people have done it.