Our northern Michigan Loppet is a point-to-point backcountry adventure from Harbor Springs to Cross Village undertaken in any weather and on classic nordic ski gear. It’s not a race, and skiers can go at their own pace.
The Outfitter Loppet is low-key and low tech: there is no check-in, no official starting gate, no bibs, numbers or the likes. Trail junctions are marked with a sharpie marker on paper plates and cell-phone reception is not always available or reliable.
Loppet skiers are a friendly bunch and will give you a hand, if need be. Remember, this a ski-at-your-own-risk event, and you’re on your own out there in between aid stations. Enjoy some of the best woodland scenery and terrain in northern Michigan. What’s more, this route is accessible only once a year during this ski tour. So join us on this one-of-a-kind winter adventure!
The 16-mile trail (give or take) starts on LaCount Rd (west of State Rd) at Laura and Vern Kors’ barn. The single-track trail is freshly groomed the morning of for classic skis (so don’t bring your skate skis!) and marked at junctions. The route ends south of Cross Village at The Crow’s Nest restaurant. Note: there are two major road crossings at Stutsmansville and Robinson Roads. Use caution and heed to vehicules as they won’t be expecting a “skier crossing”. You may opt for shorter mileage by parking and starting at either aid station.
Departure time from LaCount Rd is 9:30-10:00am. Please do not begin before 9:30am as you will be meddling with the groomers strategic plan and breathing their fumes!
There are two aid stations – Middle Village Road and Wormwood Lane – supplied with water, oranges and cookies. Mole skin for blisters and duct tape for on-trail repairs will be available. Middle Village Rd will be open from 10:15am-12:30pm. Plan to supply your own water and snacks if you arrive at another time. Note that the Middle Village Rd aid station and trail crossing are almost 1/2 mile in the woods from the parking lot, so plan accordingly.
The shuttling of cars between LaCount Road and the Crow’s Nest is up to you. Typically you can find a ride from the Crow’s Nest back to LaCount Rd but may need to wait awhile.
The Crow’s Nest awaits with a full-on skiers buffet with homemade pizza, other hot dishes, salads, desserts and more. Drinks are also included. At around 2pm, the coveted door prizes (i.e., high quality outdoor gear booty) are handed out along with a few select awards for our 70+ skiers. Festivities run from 12:00-3:00pm.
Classic ski rentals (skis, boots and poles) are available at The Outfitter. Please stop by in advance to be fitted and to pick up your gear.
$35 per skier until Thursday, February 4th; $40 from Friday 2/5 – Saturday 2/6.
Note: there is no day-of registration. Fee covers freshly groomed (the morning of!) trail with marked junctions, aid stations with snacks and water plus the hot and tasty buffet including 2 drinks at The Crow’s Nest.