Course Notes (100K/50K/25K)
We want to share some basic notes about navigating the Fire Tower Trail Races course, for folks who attempt this year’s virtual edition at the park. We’ve provided maps and GPS files on our Course Description page to help you navigate. We would also highly recommend downloading the Avenza app to your phone, and installing the St. Croix State Park map from their in-app store. It’s free, and allows you view your location on the official park map, even without cell phone coverage.
*The 12.5K course was not designed this year, so feel free to run on any of the park trails you would like!
The race starts at the trail center, which is near the equestrian campground. As you leave the trail center to the north, you’ll make a quick left hand turn just a couple dozen yards down the trail to stay on the Matthew Lourey Trail heading west.
First/Fifth aid station
The first and fifth aid station is at gate 31 (the gates are the little dots on the map with numbers). You’re welcome to drop some water or supplies here before you start your race. On your way out, you’ll turn right and head through the gate to make your way back up to the Matthew Lourey Trail (gate 9). On your way back to the start/finish, you’ll keep going up the road past gate 31 to get back to the Matthew Lourey.
Second aid station
The second aid station is at the fire tower. During a normal race year you’ll be climbing the fire tower, or taking a vertigo option. The fire tower is currently open, so feel free to head up and take a look at the beautiful scenery. For the vertigo option, we’ve placed a three-step set of stairs at the bottom. Fourty-four times up and down the small staircase will simulate your fire tower experience (without the amazing view).
If you’re doing the 25K, this is where you turn right, and follow the Matthew Lourey straight back to the start/finish (you don’t return to gate 31).
Third/Fourth aid station
For those continuing on to the 50K/100K, from the fire tower, turn left and keep heading west and follow the Matthew Lourey all the way to the river. Once you get to the river hang a left and head all the way down to the Kettle River Overlook. This is another parking lot and a good place to stash more water and supplies if you need them.
The next part is a little bit tricky. When you leave the parking lot, turn right to go down the Two Rivers trail loop, around the loop, and back up to the road. You then need to run down the road to the Kettle River Overlook again for your fourth aid station, and then back down the road you just ran down to get to the Kennedy Brook Trail, which will be on your left. This will lead you to the Lower Bear Creek Trail (watch for the right hand turn). From there, simply follow the map, turning onto Settler’s Trail which will lead you back to gate 31 for your final aid station stop (see above) before heading back to the start/finish. If you’re doing the 100K, you do this entire loop twice.
The map is your friend so make sure to watch for your gates and you’ll do just fine. Make sure to clean up anything you stash on course before you leave, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!