The penultimate full stage in the United States before the Canadian border at Sault Sainte Marie, stage 668 is billed as a descender. But that doesn’t tell half the story because the vast majority of what climbing there is, is in the first half before the kite. Indeed, the last three miles are a mirror image of the final three miles of the previous stage. The road heads east, with a tad of north east thrown in, towards the south eastern shore of Lake Superior near to Bay Mills.
The rollout is downhill from Hulbert Lake to a left hand bend at two miles where a stream runs under the road: it flows north to join with the East Branch Tahquamenon River north of Hulbert. The road climbs after the bend but flattens out again by the time it curves back right (and east) at Eckerman Corner at five miles. At Eckerman Corner, Highway 123 crosses north and south, linking Eckerman to the north with Trout Lake to the south.
As the highway heads east, it passes through Strongs Corner (on a straight bit of road) at eight miles, before descending to cross the aforementioned East Branch Tahquamenon River shortly after. That’s followed by a five mile climb to the highest elevation of the stage by Monument Lake at thirteen miles: to the north, there are two larger lakes, Stump Lake and High Banks Lake.
As the route heads ever more north by sneaking a series of north easterly sections into what is essentially an easterly run, it starts to descend in earnest from fourteen miles, but much more markedly so from Sullivan Creek Trail at seventeen miles. Highway 28 passes through Raco at twenty miles then there’s one more curve right after leaving the town and that sets up a one mile straight descent to the finish approaching Hillcrest Cemetery.
Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres
Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres
Ascent: 292 feet / 89 metres
RGT Magic Road: FxuJTY0BYQ1x
Max elevation: 937 ft
Min elevation: 785 ft
Total climbing: 292 ft
Total descent: -350 ft