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Stage 725 – Nackawic to Mactaquac

Who said that hanging by the river was the safe, flat way to go? Oh, that might have been me. Well stage 725 disproves that theory, and in some style. It hogs the St John River the whole way but somehow manages to throw almost a thousand feet of climbing into the mix with three big climbs and two smaller ones. However the good news is that the vast majority of the climbing is in the first half so by the time you hit the kite at halfway, the worst will be in the rear view mirror. The stage runs south east for sixteen miles before hanging a left and tacking north east for the remainder of the stage. In terms of latitude, the route is on course for Moncton at the top end of the Bay of Fundy, by unfortunately Grand Lake sits between where the route is now and Moncton, so the route’s either going to have to go north or south because the lake’s thirty miles long from top to bottom.

The rollout’s uphill so that ensures a leg burner for the first two miles to the junction with Highway 610. Then the road descends to where Coac Stream flows into the St John River but that just precedes another climb to an even higher elevation at four miles. But still the lumps are not done yet because after crossing an unnamed stream and descending to Mill Brook at eight miles, the big daddy of the climbs kicks off as the highway cuts inland slightly from the river: that third climb puts on almost three hundred feet in a mile and a half to Scottsfield Airpark which is the highest point on the stage at seven miles.

The descent off the top is equally spectacular, losing all of the elevation gained by Great Bear Camping at nine miles. The road then trundles on lumpy flat to thirteen miles where it once again cuts inland and puts on a hundred feet before descending to cross Pinder Creek at fourteen miles. By now most of the big climbs are done and what’s left is just lumpy and annoying by comparison.

A gentle rise starts at Lower Queensbury at fifteen miles then after passing by Heritage Country Camping a mile later, Highway 105 sweeps left as the river does the same: without a bridge, even with the community of Kingsclear on the opposite bank, there’s basically no alternative. The road actually crosses the river at McNally’s Cove at seventeen miles, but remains on the northern riverbank: the cove is where Mazerall Creek flows into the river from the north and the cove is a particularly wide at that part of the river.

The rest of the stage tacks north/north east and has to negotiate one more lump at twenty miles as the road deviates left for the last time. Off the top of that short up and down, Highway 105 descends into the finish approaching the left hander at Mataquac, just past the community cemetery.

Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres

Ascent: 1047 feet / 319 metres

RGT Magic Road: pzZ5JTikawd3

Total distance: 21.59 mi
Max elevation: 389 ft
Min elevation: 83 ft
Total climbing: 1038 ft
Total descent: -1048 ft

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