The course for the Grand Island Marathon follows the perimeter trail of the island counterclockwise up past Murray Bay and Duck Lake. At three miles the course heads eastward into the Tombolo, up into the island’s thumb and then back along Trout Bay where runners can enjoy one of the most spectacular stretches of shoreline anywhere in the Great Lakes. Runners then ascend up the eastern cliffs of the island which treat runners to views of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
The northern half of the island features 300 ft colored Jacobsville sandstone cliffs and the remote and exquisitely beautiful North Beach. The return trail on the island’s western shore features remarkable vistas of Lake Superior. Much of the trail is shaded by lush hardwood forests. Exposed sections (atop cliffs) blanket runners with cool breezes off of Lake Superior.
The Grand Island Marathon trail includes single track, two track, and narrow dirt roads. The course is well marked with colored flags, directional arrows, and mile markers.