There’s still a long way to go to, ten stages in fact, to Sault Ste Marie and the Canadian border, and most of that time will be spent tracking around the northern shore of Lake Michigan. But first the ATW route has to reach the northern shore and stage 660 is the latest to follow the western side of the lake before the shoreline finally turns east. It’s a lumpy stage with long flat bits in between challenging short climbs. At less than two hundred feet of ascent in total, it’s likely to be a bit of a powerfest, but be warned that the last seven miles are uphill and lumpy.
The rollout on the approach to Beach Grove is initially downhill before the road climbs through Beach Grove to Arthur Bay at two miles. Then it’s flat past Kleinke Park Campground before the first of two short, steep climbs where the road remains straight while the shoreline features a couple of headlands that stretch out into the lake.
Highway 35 cuts through J.W. Wells State Park between eight miles and ten miles before descending into Cedar River and crossing the river of the same name near the harbour. The road then swings left and right, briefly following the line of the river inland, before climbing up then descending down to reconnect with the lakeside at fourteen miles.
It’s flat to Fox at sixteen miles where Deer Creek flows into Lake Michigan, then from that point on, it’s a lumpy, almost seven miles climb all the way to the finish. The steepest part of the climb kicks in after eighteen miles where the road deviates inland from the water’s edge, and it remains on the hillside for the remainder of the stage. The finish of the stage is at the junction with Blue Fox Lane approaching the crossing of Olson Creek.
Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres
Ascent: 220 feet / 67 metres
RGT Magic Road: DDpMss31UeDA
Max elevation: 644 ft
Min elevation: 597 ft
Total climbing: 213 ft
Total descent: -175 ft
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