I (Jason Schatz) am going to give the FKT a shot on Saturday, July 27. I will start at Grand Sable VC at 11:30am-ish and will hopefully arrive at the Munising Falls TH sometime late in the afternoon; this seems to be the route Pete and Dan did last summer. If anyone reading this happens to be out on the trail Saturday afternoon, I'll be wearing a sleeveless blue shirt, black shorts, and an Ultimate Direction race vest. Should be fun!
On Sat, July 27 I (Jason Schatz) ran self-supported from the Grand Sable visitor center to the Munising Falls visitor center (42.6 miles) in 5:56:57. Here's the link to the GPS track: connect.garmin.com/activity/349911503
I didn't record my splits, but roughly (from memory): -Au Sable Lighthouse (8 mi)-59:00 -12-Mile campground (12.1 mi)-1:30 -Little Beaver Lake area (20 mi)-2:30 -Miners Castle (36 mi)-4:53 -Munising Falls (42.6 mi): 5:56:57.
I refilled my bottles at 12-Mile campground and again at Miners Castle but otherwise carried everything I needed. Looking now at the GPS data, I see that I did go off route for a bit around Trappers Lake, but it looks like it only added maybe ~1/3 mile to the overall distance.
The weather was pretty much perfect. As for the trail, the first ~21 miles from Grand Sable were extremely open, flat, and fast. The second 21.5 were much wetter, muddier, sandier, and slower. There was a ton of standing water on the trail. The splits make it look like I crashed, but I really didn't--the western section of trail was just much gnarlier. Just FYI for anyone else attempting it this year, plan on the western half of the trail taking a fair bit longer than the eastern half.
I would love to try it again with a dry trail--or as dry as those sections ever get, anyway. The section from Miners Castle to Munising Falls in particular was a nasty piece of work--sloppy mud interspersed with slick boardwalks and treefalls. If I were to do it over again, I might actually have worn screw shoes so I could have run the slippery boardwalks.
All in all it was an absolute blast, and certainly one of the most scenic spots in the Midwest. If 42 miles of beautiful singletrack through deep forests along the cliffs and crashing surf of Lake Superior sounds good to you, I highly recommend it. Just awesome. Maybe this fall or next summer I'll take another crack at it, even if only to enjoy the scenery again.
Last Edit: Jul 28, 2013 19:35:19 GMT -5 by jschatz
I ran the Pictured Rocks Lakeshorse End to End starting at the Parking Lot near Munising Falls going to Grand Sable visitor center in November 2012. I did this supported (my wife met me at 4 different locations) in 9hrs 8 min. I chose to start near the Munising side and go to Grand Marais because I felt the trail conditions near Munising were much more difficult i.e. mud, roots, board walk. The run was beautiful and real gem for a point to point run in our state.
On August 29, 2015, I (Claire Luby) will attempt to set the FKT for women on the Pictured Rocks Lakeshore Trail (faster than 9hr43min, according to this thread). I will be running with my friend Brint Schwerbel. We will run self/un-supported from the Munising Falls Visitor Center to the Grand Sable Visitor Center. Our plan is to start relatively early in the morning (7ish) to beat the heat. This will be my first FKT attempt. If anyone is out on the trail, I'll be wearing grey shorts, an orange sleeveless shirt and a red salomon hydration pack. Should be an adventure!
On Saturday August 29, I (Claire Luby) ran with my friend Brint Schwerbel, self supported, from the Munising Falls Visitor center to the Grand Sable visitor center (43.6 according to my garmin watch) in an elapsed time of 7:50:04. Here is the link to my GPS: www.strava.com/activities/382982952
We refilled our water bottles from the spigot at miners castle visitor center, filtered water from beaver creek, and from the spigot at 12 mile beach campground but otherwise we carried everything we needed.
We started around 7:45am and finished just after 3:30pm and had great weather. The temperature started around 60 and climbed to around 70 by the end of the day. It was pretty humid but since the route is mostly through the woods, we were sweaty but stayed pretty cool running through the shade of the trees.
While the trail was drier than when Jason ran it a couple years ago, we were still glad that we started from Munising as the trail is more technical over that half. The best views of the pictured rocks cliffs are also in the first half of the run when starting from Munising. We definitely had more energy for appreciating the scenery, taking photos and not tripping over roots or mud. The second half is relatively flat and open, which we appreciated by mile 35.
The views of lake superior and the cliffs and beaches are absolutely spectacular. We had a great time!