North Country Trail

Last weekend I went to Michigan to visit my dad and family. My dad and I always run together when I come to visit, I told him this time I wanted to do a 20 mile trail run with him. He lives on Gun Lake which has quite a few good running trails around it, but I wasn't sure if there was 20 miles worth of trails. My dad said that we would be running on the North Country Trail.

North Country Trail marker

I had never heard of the North Country Trail, living in the Pacific Northwest I am very familiar with the Pacific Crest Trail and of course I know about the Appalachian Trail. The North Country Trail is the longest scenic trail in the US, running across 7 states, totaling over 4,600 miles.

The plan was to drop the car off 20 miles down the trail from the house and run home. Michigan like a lot of the country is having a very hot summer, while Oregon isn't and I wasn't quite acclimated to the heat, so we decided to shorten the run to 14 miles. We started the run in Middleville, the first 3.7 miles were on the Paul Henry Thronapple paved bike and pedestrian trail, it followed a stream with a nice gradual uphill. From there we had to run on the road for 1.2 miles to get to the actual trail. Somehow we went the wrong direction and ended up running on the road for 2 more miles then we had planned. Oops!

There were a couple sections of the trail where it crossed roads and we had a hard time finding the connecting trail, but once we did the trail was really well marked and pretty runnable.

Right before we ended the trail section for the last little bit of the road to the house, Dad told me to run ahead and he would see me at the house. As soon as I got to the house I took everything off by my sports bra and shorts and jumped into the lake. I was in the lake for at least 10 minutes and my dad hadn't shown up, I knew he wasn't that far behind me. I started to worry, so I got out to go find him. Just I did that he showed-up and said he ran an extra 1/2 miles, because he had to run further than I did! I ended up doing 17 miles, and Dad did 17.5. (But I ran the next day and he didn't, so I win!)

sign at the trailhead - a good reminder - not that I actually stretched

Dad running

I took a picture at one of the trailheads of the map, after Dad had already gotten us lost.

Double checking the map.

trail markers

Checking time and miles

Trail marker

Our awesome Brooks Cascadias

dad. me. lake. 

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