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Course

99% of the Wild Duluth 100K and 50K course follows the Superior Hiking Trail through the city of Duluth.  About 75% of the Harder 'n Heck and Terribly Tough courses follow the Superior Hiking Trail.  The courses follow the high points and ridges above the northern Minnesota city of Duluth with the 100K offering almost 10,000 feet of elevation gain and the 50K, 5,000 feet.  Along the course you will find amazing views over the St. Louis River, harbor and city below, rocky outcroppings, numerous streams, huge White Pines and hidden places you never thought you'd find in a city of over 80,000 people.  With excellent access, the course will offer plentiful aid stations and excellent support.  The trail is EXTREMELY rugged, hilly and laced with rocks and roots throughout.  Many veteran ultrarunners believe this is the toughest 50K and 100K course in the Midwest.  We do too!  This course will surely challenge the veteran trail and ultrarunner and will provide inspiration to those new to the sport.  Come see it for yourself!

See the maps

See the Course Photo Tour
 

Course Description - Wild Duluth 50K and 100K

Course Description - Harder 'n Heck Half Marathon and Terribly Tough 10K


Runner directions for 50K (100K runners will follow this backward and then turn around and follow 50K course as described):

From the race start at Oldenburg Point Picnic Area in Jay Cooke State Park, leave the parking lot and cross directly across Hwy 210 onto a spur trail to the White Pine/Superior Hiking Trail.  You will be running on a relatively wide, grassy cross-country ski trail for the first mile, so you should be able to pass and spread out in this early section.  Take a RIGHT onto the White Pine/Superior Hiking Trail.  You will now be following the Superior Hiking Trail and its blue blazes and markers for the entire route to the finish line at Bayfront Park.  Stay RIGHT on the White Pine Trail/SHT going up a grassy slope on the wide trail until you come to Forbay Dam.  Go RIGHT at the top of the hill toward the dam.  Cross the dam, go around the gate and CROSS Jay Cooke Road.  Enter the Greely Creek Trail on the other side of the road, going around the gate.  Follow the Greely Creek Trail to the paved Willard Munger Trail, passing some nice views of Hemlock Ravine, and turn RIGHT onto the paved Willard Munger Trail.  Veer RIGHT off the paved Willard Munger Trail, staying on the Greely Creek Trail.  Follow the Greely Creek Trail to where it comes back out to the paved Willard Munger Trail and immediately veer back RIGHT staying on the grassy Greely Creek Trail.  Follow the Greely Creek trail through the woods for a bit until it comes out to the Willard Munger Trail again, take a RIGHT on Willard Munnger.  After a short bit on the Willard Munger Trail, turn RIGHT onto the Triangle Trail.  Follow the Triangle Trail to a fork and take the LEFT fork.  Turn LEFT on the Gill Creek Trail.  Follow the Gill Creek Trail down to Gill Creek and back up after crossing the creek.  Take a RIGHT onto the Oak Trail where Gill Creek Trail ends.  Follow the Oak Trail for a bit and take the next RIGHT onto the Grand Portage Trail.  Follow the Grand Portage Trail steeply down to cross Hwy 210.  CROSS Hwy 210 at an angle and go around the gate staying on the Grand Portage Trail.  Stay on the Grand Portage Trail passing beneath some nice white pines and alongside a lovely reservoir of the St. Louis River.  Parallel the reservoir until you come out on Hwy 210.  Take a RIGHT on Hwy 210 staying on the far right shoulder into the Grand Portage parking lot and to the GRAND PORTAGE AID STATION located within the parking lot.

Continue out of the Grand Portage Aid Station and parking lot on the trail, taking a LEFT to stay on the SHT and eventually CROSSING HWY 210 and onto the Grand Portage Trail/Superior Hiking Trail and continue on the Superior Hiking Trail.

300 feet after leaving Hwy 210, SHT turns right at a junction, and goes along ridge with large pine trees. Trail crosses under power line and follows old road in predominantly maple forest.

After crossing state park boundary marked by sign, SHT continues over high ridge. Trail descends ridge and continues through forest crossing branch of Mission Creek. Trail continues through woods passing an overlook before descending steeply to Mission Creek and historic bridge.

SHT turns left on old Mission Creek Parkway, crosses historic bridge and after 150 feet, turns right into the woods and crosses Mission Creek Parkway again before climbing hill.  After descending ridge, SHT crosses two more branches of Mission Creek, then climbs to long bluff with nice pines.  Trail reaches overlook of Mission Creek valley and then descends to Duluth’s Mission Creek Trail.  CROSS the Mission Creek Trail and continue on the SHT.

After crossing the Mission Creek Trail, the SHT crosses a bridge and ascends steep hill.  SHT continues along pine ridge and then through maple-oak forest.  Trail comes to towering white pine grove and then continues along bluff before descending steeply to Sargent Creek on a narrow trail with switchbacks and some nice exposure (Andy’s Switchbacks).  Trail crosses Sargent Creek on 50-foot bridge.

After Sargent Creek Bridge, SHT continues along creek, climbs steep hill, crosses Beck's Road, and continues to trailhead sign. Follow a short spur trail to the right to trailhead parking lot and Aid Station #2.

Leave the aid station on the gravel road and turn right onto Munger Trail and follow it for 0.4 miles to just before rock cut.  SHT turns LEFT at SHT signs and climbs rocky ridge to Ely’s Peak with great views.

SHT reaches ridge top just past Ely’s Peak.  Follow the main trail to the right on rocky outcrops through mixed forest and overlooking faultline valley.  SHT enters maple-oak forest, crosses U.S. Steel Creek, passes two scenic overlooks, and then climbs gradually to Skyline Parkway.

SHT crosses Skyline Parkway and travels through forest in Bardon’s Peak area.  SHT enters Magney-Snively old growth forest crossing Magney-Snively ski trail twice.

SHT crosses Skyline Parkway for second time and travels through pine grove coming to nice overlook.  Trail continues through forest, crosses Snively Creek, and then comes to 350-foot spur trail to Magney-Snively parking lot and Aid Station #3.

Leave Aid Station #3 and take a right onto Skyline Parkway.   Continue on Skyline Parkway for 0.25 mile roadwalk crossing Stewart Creek on stone bridge.  325 feet past 99th Ave W, SHT turns RIGHT off road and enters maple-oak-pine forest.  Do not miss this righthand turn off of road.  It will be marked. 

 After Stewart Knob overlook, SHT continues through forest, crosses old road and passes historic stone-walled section of north branch of Stewart Creek and old house foundation.

SHT crosses power line and enters Spirit Mountain Recreation Area.  SHT gradually descends through forest crossing Lenroot Street Creek and the south and north branches of Gogebic Street Creek.  Stay on main SHT. Close to base of Spirit Mountain ski hill, trail reaches old DWP railroad bed, crosses the DWP and descends through forest to base of ski hill.

SHT comes into opening at base of ski hill near lower Chalet.  Find water only aid station near chalet where SHT goes back into woods.

Leaving the aid station, the trail continues through the woods, comes out of woods and follows gravel maintenance roads to a sharp left turn back onto the SHT.  SHT turns left and climbs upstream along Knowlton Creek.  Watch carefully for signs and blazing in this area.  SHT continues uphill along Knowlton Creek for another 0.5 miles, then climbs away from creek, makes sharp right turn onto old roadbed and continues to Knowlton Creek Bridge.

Main SHT continues across Knowlton Creek Bridge.  Main SHT crosses bridge, turns right, and follows old road downhill for 0.1 miles.  SHT turns LEFT and ascends steep hill on 138 steps.  Do not miss this sharp left turn off of gravel road.  After passing through nice maple grove, SHT continues through forest mixed with open meadows and rock outcrops.

 

SHT comes to Kingsbury Creek and turns right following Duluth’s Kingsbury Creek Trail 0.2 miles downstream.  Trail reaches old road and turns left and crosses Kingsbury Creek on bridge.  Main trail continues straight across old road and enters woods again, going through mixed forest with rocky outcrops.

SHT crosses snowmobile bridge with metal guard rails at 68th Ave W Creek and then enters aspen-birch forest alternating with open fields. Trail crosses 62nd Ave W Creek and then the West Branch of Keene Creek.  Trail turns left onto short stretch of paved trail, crosses bridge and then turns LEFT off of paved trail and goes under elevated I-35 on old road (make sure to turn off of paved trail before going under I-35 bridge), turns left (don’t miss this left hand turn) and climbs hillside and travels through woods to Cody Street.  Trail crosses Cody Street (be careful crossing this street, cars are moving fast here!) and follows N 66th Ave W for one block, then turns left and follows Westgate Blvd for two blocks.  SHT turns right uphill following snowmobile trail for 200 feet, turns right, crosses powerline and heads into alder woods.

 

SHT reaches main branch of Keene Creek and follows creek upstream. Trail climbs steeply to cross UNDER new bridge following creek and continues to parking lot and right down and into Aid Station #5 which is located on old historic bridge over Keene Creek.  

Trail crosses bridge, turns left onto singletrack and continues upstream past old pump house and scenic waterfalls.  Trail crosses Skyline Parkway again and enters forest.

SHT enters Brewer Park and travels through maple-oak forest.  Trail continues along Brewer Ridge for 1.4 miles with great views.  Trail descends from ridge, crosses under powerlines and turns right following snowmobile trail and reaches Merritt Creek.

After crossing Merritt Creek on two culverts,  SHT crosses UNDER Haines Road through a culvert, up hill, and turns LEFT off of wide gravel path and enters predominately maple forest crossing Piedmont Ski Trails twice and then climbs to Ski Trail Knob with great views.  Trail crosses North Branch of Merritt Creek and climbs to Fire Ring Knob.

 

After descent from knob SHT climbs to Grassy Knob and then continues to Piedmont Knob 1,300 feet in elevation with Lake Superior below at 602 feet.  Trail descends and crosses Skyline Parkway.

After crossing Skyline Parkway,  SHT descends through alder thicket passing Aspen Knob and continuing through alders.  Trail comes to clearing and turns left following old road by enclosed city water reservoir.  SHT crosses N 27th Ave W and continues straight on W 10th Street for one block until just past the street sign for Lincoln Parkway. SHT turns sharply LEFT into woods (don’t miss this turn!).  Trail crosses branch of Miller Creek,  crosses N 25th Ave W,  crosses Lincoln Park Drive,  and then crosses bridge over Miller Creek.  After bridge,  SHT turns left and follows Duluth’s Miller Creek Trail upstream to N 24th Ave W and crosses street at an angle to the left to parking lot and Aid Station #6.

SHT leaves aid station and follows Skyline Parkway on sidewalk crossing Piedmont Avenue on bridge.  Trail continues along road for 200 feet past bridge and then bears right through wooded field.  Trail continues through field and then enters woods coming to the “Forgotten Park.”  SHT descends hill and crosses Coffee Creek.  Trail continues through pine trees,  open meadows with great views, crosses Skyline Parkway,  goes a short distance through woods, and crosses Hank Jensen Drive.

After Hank Jensen Drive,  SHT follows left side of Enger Tower Road for 80 feet.  Trail goes along edge of flower bed and then turns sharply left and follows Duluth’s Enger Park Trail.  After passing spur trail SHT continues through pine woods, passes historic Peace bell (be sure to ring it!), and follows “Scenic View” trail down to Skyline Parkway.  Trail crosses Skyline Parkway.  Cross Skyline Parkway and an angle to the right.  Main SHT goes to right after Skyline Parkway and enters birch woods by yellow metal post through small boulders.  Trail meanders through woods,  crosses W. 5th St, and enters Duluth’s undeveloped Central Park.  Trail continues downhill through woods dotted with rock outcrops and nice stand of jack pine.

SHT crosses W 3rd Street, continues downhill through woods and turns left and then left again to follow along rock ledge above old quarry with views of harbor.  Trail comes to N. 14th Ave. W., turns right and follows avenue downhill for 325 feet crossing W. 1st St.  Trail enters woods again by three small boulders and goes though Duluth’s Point of Rocks Park.  Trail descends series of rock steps through woods, then descends from rocky ledge turning right onto old asphalt pad.  Trail heads diagonally to right across asphalt pad, enters woods again, turns left,  and follows with good views of harbor.

SHT crosses Glen Place and then crosses W. Michigan St. to bus stop bench.  Trail turns left and travels 0.1 miles to I-35 overpass. Trail turns right, crosses I-35 on pedestrian overpass, turns left and descends long concrete ramp, and then travels on asphalt path under elevated I-35 to Railroad Street.

SHT crosses Railroad St., turns left and follows sidewalk 0.1 miles along Railroad St.  Follow the sidewalk around the perimeter of the playground parking lot going right at S. 5th Avenue W and following the sidewalk to the end of the parking lot.  Turn right onto paved trail entering Bayfront Park towards large arch for Bayfront Park.  Pass under the arch and finish line of the Wild Duluth 50K.  You are now finished!

Please visit the Superior Hiking Trail website for complete descriptions and maps of the Superior Hiking Trail through Duluth from Grand Portage to Bayfront Park (Railroad Street).

http://www.shta.org/Trail/Duluth.php

Course Description - Harder 'n Heck Half Marathon and Terribly Tough 10K

The Harder 'n Heck Half Marathon will start in Chambers Grove Park.  From the start line, head straight toward the river and around the gazebo.  Follow sign and flags onto a gravel path paralleling the river.  Continue on this gravel path on a loop through the woods and back around to the park.  Take a LEFT through the grass up to the gravel mountain bike trail, turn left again onto the trail.  Follow this trail up and across Hwy 210.  Continue onto the beautiful Lower Cathedral mountain bike trail.  Follow this trail uphill through switchbacks and lovely white pines to the top of the hill.  Follow Lower Cathedral to Upper Cathedral and go right onto Upper Cathedral Trail.  Where Upper Cathedral Trail intersects with the old Mission Creek Trail (part of the Voyageur 50 course), turn sharp left onto the old Mission Creek Trail.  Follow the singletrack of Mission Creek to the old 7 Bridges Road (Voyageur course).  Turn sharp right onto 7 Bridges Road and go downhill.  Stay on this trail dowhill until you intersect with the Superior Hiking Trail.  Turn RIGHT onto the Superior Hiking Trail and follow the Superior Hiking Trail all the way to the finish line at Spirit Mountain Grand Avenue Chalet.

After turning right into the woods, cross a branch of Mission Creek Parkway again before climbing hill.  After descending ridge, SHT crosses two more branches of Mission Creek, then climbs to long bluff with nice pines.  Trail reaches overlook of Mission Creek valley and then descends to Duluth’s Mission Creek Trail.  CROSS the Mission Creek Trail and continue on the SHT.

After crossing the Mission Creek Trail, the SHT crosses a bridge and ascends steep hill.  SHT continues along pine ridge and then through maple-oak forest.  Trail comes to towering white pine grove and then continues along bluff before descending steeply to Sargent Creek on a narrow trail with switchbacks and some nice exposure (Andy’s Switchbacks).  Trail crosses Sargent Creek on 50-foot bridge.

 

After Sargent Creek Bridge, SHT continues along creek, climbs steep hill, crosses Beck's Road, and continues to trailhead sign. Follow a short spur trail to the right to trailhead parking lot and Aid Station #1.

THE TERRIBLY TOUGH 10K STARTS HERE

Leave the aid station on the gravel road and turn right onto Munger Trail and follow it for 0.4 miles to just before rock cut.  SHT turns LEFT at SHT signs and climbs rocky ridge to Ely’s Peak with great views.

SHT reaches ridge top just past Ely’s Peak.  Follow the main trail to the right on rocky outcrops through mixed forest and overlooking faultline valley.  SHT enters maple-oak forest, crosses U.S. Steel Creek, passes two scenic overlooks, and then climbs gradually to Skyline Parkway.

SHT crosses Skyline Parkway and travels through forest in Bardon’s Peak area.  SHT enters Magney-Snively old growth forest crossing Magney-Snively ski trail twice.

SHT crosses Skyline Parkway for second time and travels through pine grove coming to nice overlook.  Trail continues through forest, crosses Snively Creek, and then comes to 350-foot spur trail to Magney-Snively parking lot and unmanned Aid Station #2.

Leave Aid Station #2 and take a right onto Skyline Parkway.   Continue on Skyline Parkway for 0.25 mile roadwalk crossing Stewart Creek on stone bridge.  325 feet past 99th Ave W, SHT turns RIGHT off road and enters maple-oak-pine forest.  Do not miss this righthand turn off of road.  It will be marked. 

After Stewart Knob overlook, SHT continues through forest, crosses old road and passes historic stone-walled section of north branch of Stewart Creek and old house foundation.

SHT crosses power line and enters Spirit Mountain Recreation Area.  SHT gradually descends through forest crossing Lenroot Street Creek and the south and north branches of Gogebic Street Creek.  Stay on main SHT. Close to base of Spirit Mountain ski hill, trail reaches old DWP railroad bed.  Take a left onto the DWP.  Follow the DWP until you see sign and course marshal. 

 

HERE THE HALF MARATHON COURSE DIVERGES FROM 10K COURSE.  FOLLOW DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY HERE!

 

HALF MARATHONERS TURN LEFT STRAIGHT UP THE SKI HILL.  10KERS CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON DWP. 

 

10K runners shortly turn RIGHT down the ski hill to the finish line.  10K runners you are finished!!!

 

Half Marathon runners turn left up the ski hill after a short bit on the gravel DWP trail.  Continue straight up the ski hill following ATV tracks and pink pin flags.  After a good climb up the ski hill turn RIGHT onto the relatively level gravel old Bardon Peak Blvd (part of the Voyageur course).  Continue following the old road across the ski runs enjoying tremendous views of Duluth and the St. Louis River.  Veer right off the gravel road through grass ski run.  Follow flags across a small bridge, some wet stuff and eventually onto a snowmobile trail.  Follow the snowmobile trail until you again come to the Superior Hiking Trail.  Take a sharp RIGHT onto the SHT.  Continue following the SHT downhill along the creek and eventually down to a gravel Spirit Mountain access road.  Take a RIGHT onto the access road.  Follow this road up and then veering left down into the lower chalet and the finish line!  You are now done with the Harder 'n Heck Half!  Finish line will be right in front of the lower chalet.  Congratulations!