North Country Trail Run…Newaygo

While living in Grand Rapids MI. , there’s no better place to train for long distance trail running than the North Country Trail in the Manistee National Forest.   I’ve been preparing for two events this year; one being a 50 mile trail run and the other is to complete, in sections, the entire Michigan stretch of the North Country Trail.   

Checking the map before heading out!

Checking the map before heading out!

I haven’t been diligent following my weekly training plan, but I do try to get in my long runs on the weekends.

NCT Trail Marker off of 40th Street

NCT Trail Marker off of 40th Street

This past weekend I was able to get in two days of running.  Friday I got in 10 miles starting from Newaygo, with a 5 mile out and back.   It was the perfect ending to a busy week at work, leveling me out, both emotionally and spiritually.

Mile 5 heading out!!

Mile 5 heading out!!

 I was in a total  zone, running solo through this quiet section of trail.   Fantastic run!

Sunday 8-25-13 ….15 miles starting south of the School house ending at Nichols Lake!

NCT Schoolhouse off of Feltch Ave.

NCT Schoolhouse off of Feltch Ave.

When I left the house I was planning on running solo again on this 90 degree day, but a mile from Dave’s house I called to see if he was up for a run!!

Trailhead

Trailhead

It was like Dave was waiting for my call, in 15 minutes he was dressed and ready for some adventure!!    

Signing in!

Signing in!

It was 2 o’clock in the afternoon when we hit the trail, just in time for the mid-day heat wave!!  It was a HOT and humid day!!

Trail Marker and crossing

Even though it was HOT, it was a perfect day on the trail!

North Country Trail

North Country Trail

Heading out with my Ultimate Direction Pack, loaded with plenty of fluids and nutrition.

Box with Trail Log

Box with Trail Log

We made sure that we signed in at every checkpoint with the trail log.

First Log Box Leaving Schoolhouse

First Log Box Leaving Schoolhouse

We signed in as Dave and Joe with find YOUR adventure!!

Dave setting the pace!!

Dave setting the pace!!

Dave starting out with a grueling pace but soon settled into a comfortable stride!

Beautiful Section with Ferns!!

Beautiful Section with Ferns!!

I loved this section of trail with the ground covered in ferns.

Signing in findyouradventure.wordpress.com

Signing in findyouradventure.wordpress.com

Checking the time and date before signing the log.

NCT creek at bridge 3 

I had been on this section of trail before but totally forgot out the three creek crossings….a welcoming site on this hot day!!

Crossing one of the 3 bridges on trail

Crossing one of the 3 bridges on trail

The first creek we stopped only to dip our hats for some cooling off.

Dave Taking the Plunge....a nice relief from the 90 deg weather!

Thankfully, Dave talked me into taking a rest and dip in the very cool waters!

Preparing for the last 3 miles!!

Preparing for the last 3 miles!!

Our 15 minute rest flew by WAY too fast!  I could have spent the rest of the afternoon soaking in the refreshing waters.

Checking the Map!!

Checking the Map!!

The trail is well-marked, I was checking my map for a distance to Nichols Lake!

 

Bridge Crossing

Bridge Crossing

The third and last creek crossing, we again dipped our hats for a refreshing splash.

Open Section south of Nichols Lake

We came across some mountain bikers coming out of this open section just South of Nichols Lake.  This is one section of trail where mountain biking is allowed.   I have biked this section of trail before and I highly recommend it!

Signing in!

Signing in!

Last log before Nichols lake.

Nichols Lake!

Nichols Lake!

Nichols lake was a welcoming site at the end of our run, as we ended with a swim.    We sipped our last drop of water before arriving at our finish.   We could have used another liter of water out on the trail, as we rationed the last 4 miles.  

Dave preparing to head out!

Dave preparing to head out!

We planted my car at Nichols lake, I’m dropping Dave back off at his car located at the starting point!   With the heat it seamed longer than 15 miles but it not only was a perfect run it was a great Adventure!!

For your next trail run, get out on the beautiful North Country Trail, you can’t go wrong.  

Get out and find YOUR adventure!!

JJ

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