661 is a rehash of stage 660. It follows the same north easterly tack up the western side of Lake Michigan, it doesn’t have much climbing overall, at less than two hundred feet, yet the elevation profile suggests that it’s as lumpy as hell. It isn’t. This one’s another powerfest. Whereas stage 660 started out level with the northern tip of the peninsular that runs north from Green Bay, 661 finishes at a latitude halfway up the peninsular that heads south from the top end of the lake, and in that regard, it’s a sign of progress.
The rollout down past the Fuller County Park descends in lumpy fashion for ten miles to Ford River. The road crosses the Bark River immediately after the park at two miles and passes the Henderson Lakes at four miles en route to Island View at seven miles where Highway 35 crosses over No See-um Creek. There are frequent streams running down from the hillside into the lake, and another one is Sunny Brook at nine miles on the approach to Ford River.
Ford River is the lowest elevation of the stage and you won’t be surprised to learn that the highway crosses the river of the same name on arrival in the town. The river’s a wide one and it splits three ways after the crossing to enter Lake Michigan through different channels.
Although the shoreline takes the road east after Ford River, it hangs a left and starts heading north again at thirteen miles at the start of what is essentially a lumpy eight mile climb to the finish. That comes about because the road takes a short cut inland to Escanaba, passing by Delta County Airport at fifteen miles before heading into town where Highway 35 meets, and becomes Highway 2-41 at North Lincoln Road. As the road continues to climb after Escanaba, it passes through Wells at nineteen miles before crossing the Escanaba River a mile later. On the northern side of the river, Highway 35 passes by Pioneer Trail Park Campground and the finish is half a mile further on at the top of a punchy little climb approaching Lake Bluff.
Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres
Ascent: 217 feet / 66 metres
RGT Magic Road: cu3Zzl16eV6t
Max elevation: 659 ft
Min elevation: 614 ft
Total climbing: 218 ft
Total descent: -212 ft