The 14 mile canoe leg will start at the MN DOT Wayside Rest Area on US 2 West on the southwest shore of Cass Lake at 7:00 AM on June 8, 2019. At the start you will head southeast to the channel on Pike Bay where you will paddle the most protected shore (based on predicted wind of the day). Participants MUST WEAR LIFE JACKETS until the end of Pike Bay.
The canoe route is the historic "Pike Bay, Connection" used for centuries by Native Americans and in the early 1800's by explorers Zebulon Pike, Jospeh Nicollet, Lewis Cass and Henry Schoolcraft. Heading south, you will paddle eight lakes, two small channels, a 3/4 miles narrow meandering, weedy creek and a short upstream section of the river. Six portages (with a total distance of 1.8 miles) are flat and well maintained. Take out point and questionable points along the route will be marked. Bring a compass and the map provided, as navigation and common sense are required. The canoe leg will end at the DNR Omega Recreation Area on the northeast shore of Steamboat Lake. NOTE! : The presence of zebra mussels in Cass Lake necessitates the mandatory dumping of water from canoes and kayaks at the exit from Pike Bay. (Use of zebras or other pack animals not allowed on portages.)
At Omega, you will switch from paddling to peddling. The 29-mile mountain bike route will follow forest roads and trails through the Ten Section area of old pine forest and the Pike Bay Experimental Forest. The Mi-Ge-Zi Bike Trail will bring you the last few miles back to the town of Cass Lake. NOTE: The map below was the final course for 2014. Any changes will likely be geared toward benefitting those who have wide tires.
The running leg will follow the southeast shoreline of Cass Lake and the north edge of pristine Strawberry Lake. The run has been closer to 5 miles the last couple years and no one seems to complain! NOTE: Map below is for 2014. Small changes may be in store for 2019.
Race course from the air. Makes it look easy! SUNDAY CANOE COURSE BELOW. Please keep in mind it may be altered based on water levels, wind, etc. The race start will most likely head a little south and go around the small pond shown at the bottom center of the photo. This will spread things out before heading north toward Portage Lake.
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