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Stage 579 – Innisfail to Rainbow Hutterite

East is east: with a tiny bit of south thrown in right at the start. There’s not a lot to say about this stage other than the fact that it’s straight from four miles, and it’s lumpy for the entire stage. There are tiny pockets of flat road but they’re short and far between so enjoy them while you can. Although it’s listed as a climbing stage, there are only a few feet between climbing feet and descending feet so it’s probably as well to just call it a draw: the first half is generally up while the second half is generally down.

The rollout is south and straight for a mile past Innisfail Golf Club on the left hand side of the road. However once Highway 54 meets Township Road 354 and Lakewood Drive at the south eastern corner of the golf club, the route turns left (east) onto Lakewood Drive, leaving Highway 54 to carry on south.

The road remains lumpy flat to four miles, passing the Anthony Henday Campground at Dodds Lake along the way as it snakes right then left, then starts climbing as it crosses Highway 2 close to the junction of Range Road 283. Out of Innisfail, the route becomes Highway 590 on Township Road 354 (work that one out if you can).

As the road heads east, it continues to climb in lumpy fashion before peaking at Innisfail Nature Area, which is also the highest elevation of the stage at ten miles. The Range Roads come thick and fast throughout the journey east, beginning with Range Road 283 on leaving Innisfail and Range Road 253 on arrival at the finish: but in keeping with previous stages, there are gaps in the numbers, for example there’s only one Range Road, 255, between 260 and 254, and it’s midway between the two. It’s a strange numbering system.

The descent from ten miles is as lumpy as the ascent was to halfway: it bottoms out at the lowest elevation of the stage where Highway 590 crosses Threehills Creek at sixteen miles. The elevation at that point is just under three thousand feet.

Immediately after the creek, the road kicks uphill and it climbs almost two hundred feet in two miles to twenty miles, but once over the top of that, the run in to the finish is downhill/lumpy flat for the final mile.

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 748 feet / 228 metres

RGT Magic Road: keowNo7yMCP3

Total distance: 21.46 mi
Max elevation: 3305 ft
Min elevation: 2996 ft
Total climbing: 747 ft
Total descent: -738 ft

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