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Stage 667 – Newberry to Hulbert

There are three stages left in the United States, ahead of the Canadian border, and this is the first of them. It heads east on Highway 28, splitting the strip of land between Lake Superior to the north and Lake Michigan to the south. The goal is to reach Sault Sainte Marie which sits on both sides of the border about seventy five miles away. Most of the climbing on the stage is done by halfway, but sadly what’s left to be done happens in the final three miles: it’s a tough finish.

The rollout is steep and uphill to the junction of Highway 405 after a mile: it heads north to Dollarville at Dollarville Flooding. The road then takes a gentle left around the northern side of Twin Lakes before swinging back right on a steep descent around the southern perimeter of Newberry Country Club before climbing steeply into Roberts Corner where Highway 403 crosses the highway north and south. The junction is the highest elevation of the stage at just below nine hundred feet.

It takes a couple of miles to get over the top, such is the lumpy nature of the flattening terrain, but by the time Highway 28 reaches Luce County Hale Airport at five miles, the descent is underway. The gradient gets steeper as the road heads east but the descent bottoms out at eight miles where the road crosses First Creek and the West Branch Sage River in quick succession.

There’s a gentle up/down at ten miles where Highway 393 heads off south at McLeods Corner (where the east/west road happens to be straight). There’s another water crossing, this time the East Branch Sage River, at twelve miles, before another, slightly larger up/down either side of fourteen miles where the road curves left and starts heading north east. There’s one final river crossing to negotiate, the Hendrie River at eighteen miles, and it’s there that the final climb of the stage kicks in.

It’s three miles from the Hendrie River to the end of the stage north of Hulbert Lake and it’s a climb the whole way apart from a small down/up at the junction of South Hulbert Road and West Basnau Road at twenty one miles. There, as the road curves right, it descends briefly before climbing again to the finishing line just north of the lake.

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 522 feet / 159 metres

RGT Magic Road: ExRqBVy5EkNO

Total distance: 21.48 mi
Max elevation: 884 ft
Min elevation: 723 ft
Total climbing: 522 ft
Total descent: -423 ft

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