Skip to content

Stage 636 – Greenwald to Paynesville

Mark Beaumont chose to journey south of Minneapolis and St Paul en route to the Great Lakes in order to navigate his way around fierce headwinds in northern Minnesota, and stage 636 is part of that detour.. As far back as stage 630, the opportunity existed to turn left and start heading directly east towards the southern shore of Lake Superior at Duluth. Highway 34 from Detroit Lakes to Walker followed by Highway 371, then Highway 200 and finally Highway 2 would have shaved a couple of hundred miles off the route but instead the route continues on south and it will be another five stages before the road finally turns left (and east).

The rollout carries on from where stage 635 left off by heading south and gently downhill. The road swings left then right within a mile and by the time it passes through Elrosa after two miles, has attained the highest elevation of the stage. There’s then a straight gentle descent to a right hander at six miles where the road descends much more steeply to cross the North Fork Crow River at eight miles.

It’s then lumpy flat to the Gravel Pit Wildlife Management Area near Belgrade at eleven miles where Highway 71 gives way to Highway 55 at a T junction. H71 turns right (and west) to Belgrade while ATW heads left and south east towards Paynesville.

After the junction, the descent continues. It’s never steep but it’s sufficiently persistent to guarantee a good pace. Wildlife Management Areas are commonplace, with Crow River WMA, Follies WMA, Tribute WMA and Stearns Prairie WMA all with a short distance of the highway between twelve and sixteen miles. The road crosses the North Fork Crow River a second time at seventeen miles before loosely following the route of the meandering river for the remainder of the stage.

The road climbs away from the river briefly at twenty miles but descends again thereafter, past Regal Flats WMA to the finish, and indeed the lowest elevation of the stage, at the junction with County Highway 6.

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 164 feet / 50 metres

RGT Magic Road: 6Mt7BvvfyoMa

Total distance: 21.97 mi
Max elevation: 1310 ft
Min elevation: 1185 ft
Total climbing: 165 ft
Total descent: -283 ft

Help kids fighting neuroblastoma. Visit: