Course

83% of the Wild Duluth 100K and 50K course follows the Superior Hiking Trail through the city of Duluth.  The course follows the high points and ridges above the northern Minnesota city of Duluth.  Along the course you will find amazing views over the St. Louis River, harbor and city below, rocky outcroppings, numerous streams, huge White Pines and hidden places you never thought you'd find in a city of over 80,000 people.  With excellent access, the course will offer plentiful aid stations and excellent support.  The trail is EXTREMELY rugged, hilly and laced with rocks and roots throughout.  Many veteran ultrarunners believe this is the toughest 50K and 100K course in the Midwest.  We do too!  This course will surely challenge the veteran trail and ultrarunner and will provide inspiration to those new to the sport.  Come see it for yourself!

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Course Description

Wild Duluth 50K and 100K

Runner directions for 50K:


From the race start at Chambers Grove Park in the Fond du Lac neighborhood, loop around the parking lot and then immediately enter trail near the shelter.  You will be entering relatively narrow trail quickly so there will be potential to bottleneck.  If you plan to run fast, be sure to get towards the front of the pack on the parking lot loop.  Follow the trail up and across Highway 210 and onto the relatively wide Lower Cathedral mountain bike trail up switchbacks and through a lovely and spectacular grove of pines.  Continue climbing up the mountain bike trail.  Reach the top of the hill and continue on the Lower Cathedral trail to it's junction with the Upper Cathedral trail.  Take a right at the junction and continue gradually uphill on the wide mountain bike trail.  Stay on the wide mountain bike trail following it's twists and turns through this lovely area with some nice views overlooking Mission Creek valley.  Follow the PINK race markings staying on the wide mountain bike trail.  There are some trail junctions in this area, so pay close attention to markings.  Stay on the mountain bike trails following pink race markings and race arrow signs.  Eventually veer RIGHT onto the Valley West (Duluth Traverse) mountain bike trail.  Take a LEFT off the mountain bike trail, following the pink markings, and then traverse the hillside on an old, overgrown road bed for about 200 yards.  This area will be brushed out and marked with pink flagging.  Take a sharp LEFT off the old roadbed onto the singletrack trail that is part of the powerline section of the Voyageur 50 race.  Follow the singletrack down to the open powerlines.  Take a RIGHT, straight down the powerline hill and follow the powerlines to the GRAND PORTAGE AID STATION near the Jay Cooke State Park sign (same aid station location as Voyageur 50).

Continue out of the Grand Portage Aid Station and go RIGHT on  HWY 210 for a short bit and then RIGHT off the road and onto the Grand Portage Trail/Superior Hiking Trail and continue on the Superior Hiking Trail.

300 feet after leaving Hwy 210, SHT turns right at a junction, and goes along ridge with large pine trees. Trail crosses under power line and follows old road in predominantly maple forest.
After crossing state park boundary marked by sign, SHT continues over high ridge. Trail descends ridge and continues through forest crossing branch of Mission Creek. Trail continues through woods passing an overlook before descending steeply to Mission Creek and historic bridge.
SHT turns left on old Mission Creek Parkway, crosses historic bridge and after 150 feet, turns right into the woods and crosses Mission Creek Parkway again before climbing hill.  After descending ridge, SHT crosses two more branches of Mission Creek, then climbs to long bluff with nice pines.  Trail reaches overlook of Mission Creek valley and then descends to Duluth’s Mission Creek Trail.  CROSS the Mission Creek Trail and continue on the SHT.
After crossing the Mission Creek Trail, the SHT crosses a bridge and ascends steep hill.  SHT continues along pine ridge and then through maple-oak forest.  Trail comes to towering white pine grove and then continues along bluff before descending steeply to Sargent Creek on a narrow trail with switchbacks and some nice exposure (Andy’s Switchbacks).  Trail crosses Sargent Creek on 50-foot bridge.
After Sargent Creek Bridge, SHT continues along creek, climbs steep hill, crosses Beck's Road, and continues to trailhead sign. Follow a short spur trail to the right to trailhead parking lot and Aid Station #2.
Leave the aid station on the gravel road and turn right onto Munger Trail and follow it for 0.4 miles to just before rock cut.  SHT turns LEFT at SHT signs and climbs rocky ridge to Ely’s Peak with great views.
SHT reaches ridge top just past Ely’s Peak.  Follow the main trail to the right on rocky outcrops through mixed forest and overlooking faultline valley.  SHT enters maple-oak forest, crosses U.S. Steel Creek, passes two scenic overlooks, and then climbs gradually to Skyline Parkway.
SHT crosses Skyline Parkway and travels through forest in Bardon’s Peak area.  SHT enters Magney-Snively old growth forest crossing Magney-Snively ski trail twice.
SHT crosses Skyline Parkway for second time and travels through pine grove coming to nice overlook.  Trail continues through forest, crosses Snively Creek, and then comes to 350-foot spur trail to Magney-Snively parking lot and Aid Station #3.
Leave Aid Station #3 and take a right onto Skyline Parkway.   Continue on Skyline Parkway for 0.25 mile roadwalk crossing Stewart Creek on stone bridge.  325 feet past 99th Ave W, SHT turns RIGHT off road and enters maple-oak-pine forest.  Do not miss this righthand turn off of road.  It will be marked

 After Stewart Knob overlook, SHT continues through forest, crosses old road and passes historic stone-walled section of north branch of Stewart Creek and old house foundation.
SHT crosses power line and enters Spirit Mountain Recreation Area.  SHT gradually descends through forest crossing Lenroot Street Creek and the south and north branches of Gogebic Street Creek.  Stay on main SHT. Close to base of Spirit Mountain ski hill, trail reaches old DWP railroad bed, crosses the DWP and descends through forest to base of ski hill.
SHT comes into opening at base of ski hill near lower Chalet.  Find water only aid station near chalet where SHT goes back into woods.
Leaving the aid station, the trail continues through the woods, comes out of woods and follows gravel maintenance roads to a sharp left turn back onto the SHT.  SHT turns left and climbs upstream along Knowlton Creek.  Watch carefully for signs and blazing in this area.  SHT continues uphill along Knowlton Creek for another 0.5 miles, then climbs away from creek, makes sharp right turn onto old roadbed and continues to Knowlton Creek Bridge. 
(Harder n' He!! Half Marathon runners will come down the hill from the Spirit Mtn. Parking lot and enter the course HERE)
Main SHT continues across Knowlton Creek Bridge.  Main SHT crosses bridge, turns right, and follows old road downhill for 0.1 miles.  SHT turns LEFT and ascends steep hill on 138 steps.  Do not miss this sharp left turn off of gravel road.  After passing through nice maple grove, SHT continues through forest mixed with open meadows and rock outcrops.

SHT comes to Kingsbury Creek and turns right following Duluth’s Kingsbury Creek Trail 0.2 miles downstream.  Trail reaches old road and turns left and crosses Kingsbury Creek on bridge.  Main trail continues straight across old road and enters woods again, going through mixed forest with rocky outcrops.
SHT crosses snowmobile bridge with metal guard rails at 68th Ave W Creek and then enters aspen-birch forest alternating with open fields. Trail crosses 62nd Ave W Creek and then the West Branch of Keene Creek.  Trail turns left onto short stretch of paved trail, crosses bridge and then turns LEFT off of paved trail and goes under elevated I-35 on old road (make sure to turn off of paved trail before going under I-35 bridge), turns left (don’t miss this left hand turn) and climbs hillside and travels through woods to Cody Street.  Trail crosses Cody Street (be careful crossing this street, cars are moving fast here!) and follows N 66th Ave W for one block, then turns left and follows Westgate Blvd for two blocks.  SHT turns right uphill following snowmobile trail for 200 feet, turns right, crosses powerline and heads into alder woods.

SHT reaches main branch of Keene Creek and follows creek upstream. Trail climbs steeply to cross UNDER new bridge following creek and continues to parking lot and right down and into Aid Station #5 which is located on old historic bridge over Keene Creek.  
Trail crosses bridge, turns left onto singletrack and continues upstream past old pump house and scenic waterfalls.  Trail crosses Skyline Parkway again and enters forest.
SHT enters Brewer Park and travels through maple-oak forest.  Trail continues along Brewer Ridge for 1.4 miles with great views.  Trail descends from ridge, crosses under powerlines and turns right following snowmobile trail and reaches Merritt Creek.
After crossing Merritt Creek on two culverts,  SHT crosses UNDER Haines Road through a culvert, up hill, and turns LEFT off of wide gravel path and enters predominately maple forest crossing Piedmont Ski Trails twice and then climbs to Ski Trail Knob with great views.  Trail crosses North Branch of Merritt Creek and climbs to Fire Ring Knob.

After descent from knob SHT climbs to Grassy Knob and then continues to Piedmont Knob 1,300 feet in elevation with Lake Superior below at 602 feet.  Trail descends and crosses Skyline Parkway.
After crossing Skyline Parkway,  SHT descends through alder thicket passing Aspen Knob and continuing through alders.  Trail comes to clearing and turns left following old road by enclosed city water reservoir.  SHT crosses N 27th Ave W and continues straight on W 10th Street for one block until just past the street sign for Lincoln Parkway. SHT turns sharply LEFT into woods (don’t miss this turn!).  Trail crosses branch of Miller Creek,  crosses N 25th Ave W,  crosses Lincoln Park Drive,  and then crosses bridge over Miller Creek.  After bridge,  SHT turns left and follows Duluth’s Miller Creek Trail upstream to N 24th Ave W and crosses street at an angle to the left to parking lot and Aid Station #6.
SHT leaves aid station and follows Skyline Parkway on sidewalk crossing Piedmont Avenue on bridge.  Trail continues along road for 200 feet past bridge and then bears right through wooded field.  Trail continues through field and then enters woods coming to the “Forgotten Park.”  SHT descends hill and crosses Coffee Creek.  Trail continues through pine trees,  open meadows with great views, crosses Skyline Parkway,  goes a short distance through woods, and crosses Hank Jensen Drive.
After Hank Jensen Drive,  SHT follows left side of Enger Tower Road for 80 feet.  Trail goes along edge of flower bed and then turns sharply left and follows Duluth’s Enger Park Trail.  After passing spur trail SHT continues through pine woods, passes historic Peace bell (be sure to ring it!), and follows “Scenic View” trail down to Skyline Parkway.  Trail crosses Skyline Parkway.  Cross Skyline Parkway and an angle to the right.  Main SHT goes to right after Skyline Parkway and enters birch woods by yellow metal post through small boulders.  Trail meanders through woods,  crosses W. 5th St, and enters Duluth’s undeveloped Central Park.  Trail continues downhill through woods dotted with rock outcrops and nice stand of jack pine.
SHT crosses W 3rd Street, continues downhill through woods and turns left and then left again to follow along rock ledge above old quarry with views of harbor.  Trail comes to N. 14th Ave. W., turns right and follows avenue downhill for 325 feet crossing W. 1st St.  Trail enters woods again by three small boulders and goes though Duluth’s Point of Rocks Park.  Trail descends series of rock steps through woods, then descends from rocky ledge turning right onto old asphalt pad.  Trail heads diagonally to right across asphalt pad, enters woods again, turns left,  and follows with good views of harbor.
SHT crosses Glen Place and then crosses W. Michigan St. to bus stop bench.  Trail turns left and travels 0.1 miles to I-35 overpass. Trail turns right, crosses I-35 on pedestrian overpass, turns left and descends long concrete ramp, and then travels on asphalt path under elevated I-35 to Railroad Street.
SHT crosses Railroad St., turns left and follows sidewalk 0.1 miles along Railroad St.  Follow the sidewalk around the perimeter of the playground parking lot going right at S. 5th Avenue W and following the sidewalk to the end of the parking lot.  Turn right onto paved trail entering Bayfront Park towards large arch for Bayfront Park.  Pass under the arch and finish line of the Wild Duluth 50K.  You are now finished!
Please visit the Superior Hiking Trail website for complete descriptions and maps of the Superior Hiking Trail through Duluth from Grand Portage to Bayfront Park (Railroad Street).
http://www.shta.org/Trail/Duluth.php