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Rollerskiing from Boyne Mountain to East Jordan

Tue, Jul  9, 2002 - By Mike Muha

At a Glance
Boyne Mountain to East Jordan

Length: 22 miles
Road or bike path? This is entirely on the open road.
Need Speed Reducers? Yes - there are two mile-long downhills with steep sections.
Big climbs? Yes - three mile-long climbs.
Rough Pavement? Some. Mostly great road with 12 inch paved shoulder.
Shorter, easier variations: Yes!

Here's a nice long rollerski for someone up in the Boyne Falls / Boyne City / East Jordan area. This route is on the open road, pretty long (22 miles), has a couple of steep downhills (you need Speed Reducers), three long uphills, and has occasional rough or rocky pavement (can you say "V2 Aeros"?), but most of the pavement is smooth and there's a paved 12 inch shoulder much of the way where you can double pole or coast when cars pass. A couple options that make the route shorter, easier, and smoother are presented at the end.

The Hills
Boyne's "Over the Mountain" road between the Nordic Center and the Golf Pro Shop and Beach House on Deer Lake is a little less than two miles but it's all uphill or downhill. You'll definitely want Speed Reducers on your rollerskis. The pavement is very smooth, except for the final 2 tenths of a mile where it's older and gets a little rough. On the return trip, the shoulder servers as a golf cart path for three quarters of the climb - race the golfers as they climb the hill - that'll make you suffer!

Click to view larger version of map.

Coming out a East Jordan is another long climb - about a mile. You start with a gentle climb on a straightaway. Then the road curves to the right and the slope steepens. A little bend to the left, and it gets steeper yet. Once over the top, there's a nice downhill and a fast section of road.

Those of you thinking about going down the hill into East Jordan: You'll really need to crank down those speed reducers. Everyone else: walk down the steep sections - you pick up way too much speed...

Boyne is building a new road to M75 (the road between Boyne Falls and Boyne City) that starts at the Nordic Center and runs through the old Pancake XC ski trail. Be careful of construction equipment now, and traffic later, as you leave and return to the Nordic Center.

The Route


Description (Map here)
0.0 Start at the Boyne Nordican Center.
Put on your rollerskis, turn right out of the parking lot, then bear left up the hill past the sign that says "No passing, next 3 miles.
1.8 Climb up "Over the Mountain Road" then descend down the other side to the Golf Center and Beach House.
You'll want your Speed Reducers cranked down when you start the descent!  Smooth pavement, no shoulder. Pavement is somewhat rough the last couple tenths of a mile. Cumulative distance: 1.8 miles.
1.1 Turn Left at the stop sign on to Deer Lake Road / C48. Ski to the next stop sign.
The road is somewhat narrow, but not too bumpy.
Cumulative distance: 2.9 miles.
2.9 Turn Left on East Jordan - Boyne City Road / C48. Ski until you come to Pearsall Road.
Great pavement, a 12 inch paved shoulder, gentle terrain.
Cumulative distance: 7.0 miles.
1.8 Turn Left on Pearsall Road. Ski until you come to M32.
Nice pavement, less traffic, but no shoulder. Just before M32, the road takes a sharp right, and there's quite a bit a gravel and sand on the pavement.
Cumulative distance: 8.8 miles.
3.2 Turn Right on M32 and ski into East Jordan to the first stop sign (State Street).
M32 is a busy road, but there's a 12 inch shoulder. The road and shoulder are bumpy, and the shoulder is rough until M32 takes a sharp right at the 10.6 mile point (1.8 miles down M32). Not bad on V2 Aeros, watch out everyone else. You then need to watch for gravel on the shoulder all the way to the stop sign.
Cumulative distance: 12.0 miles.
7.2 Turn right on State Street (C48). Ski all the way back to Deer Lake Road (C48).
The first half mile is a little rough, then it's back to great pavement and a nice 12 inch shoulder. A mile out of East Jordan, you begin a long climb. It seems easy at the beginning but the hills gets much steeper as you climb. You're heart rate will be up there by the time you finish this hill! The uphill is followed by a nice doable downhill.
   About three miles out of East Jordan, you'll pass Pearsall Road on the right (mile 15.2). You're now returning on the route you took out.
Cumulative distance: 19.2 miles.
1.1 Turn Right on Dear Lake Road / C48 and ski back to the Beach House / Golf Course.
Some road as before, somewhat bumper in this direction - only an issue if cars have to pass.
Cumulative distance: 20.1 miles.
1.8 Turn right at the Beach House and climb over the mountain to get to the Nordic Center.
A nice long climb that gets steeper as you climb. Race the golf carts that are driving up to the 1st tee at the top of the mountain!
  The descent isn't too bad, but Speed Reducers are highly recommended!
Cumulative distance: 21.9 miles.
You're done!

Great pavement, no big uphills or downhills.

Here's a couple variations that shorten the distance, get rid of the big downhills, and keep you on great pavement: Park at the Beach House on Deer Lake Road or at the public boat launch three quarters of a mile down the road. Ski to Pearsall Road and back (10.4 miles), or continue down Pearsall Road to M32 before turning around (14.0 miles). Highly recommended!


Common Sense on the Road

Wear a helmet
Double-pole when cars pass you.
Drink lots of water.