The Noquemanon race committee has completed three new significant trail improvements already this fall.
The first one is a new route from the bottom of the first hill out of Al Quaal, heading northeast. This section is now wider, and straighter than the previous route, and adds a spectacular view of Teal Lake. It also avoids the 90 degree off-camber left turn about 1.5km into the race. It appears that it will only add about 200 meters additional distance. The re-routed section will be a major improvement to the first 2km of the marathon course, making it much more novice friendly. You will be very happy with this improvement. Thanks to the City of Ishpeming and Craig Stien for heading up this major project!
The second re-route is a modification of the main NTN year-round trail near Forestville. The goal was to avoid the big drop into the ditch and onto the road after you pass the NTN pole barn at Forestville, again making the trail significantly easier to negotiate. We will no longer be using the road or accessing it via the steep downhill through the ditch (just after the pole barn). We now have a more gentle straight downhill section. This will add an additional road crossing, but this will be a very minor inconvenience compared to the significant improvement in the skiability of this section.
Lastly, we have been able to work with the landowners up at the 510 start area. We are in the process of widening the bottle neck that occurs 100m after the start of the half marathon. We have a long ways yet to go to get this to the width we would like, but this year will create a noticeable increase in the width for that initial stretch of trail.
Overall, I think you all will be happy with the improvements we have made. There are a few more sections we hope to tackle in the coming years, but we want you to know that we are committed to continued investment in our race trail!