Thursday, July 03, 2014

17th Annual Horsetail Scramble to be at Marsin Center July 4; optional paddle across Portage Waterway before event

Runners and walkers cross the finish line at the 2013 July 4th Horsetail Scramble. This year the event has a new location -- the Marsin Nature Retreat. An optional paddle across the Portage Waterway will take place before the event. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

HOUGHTON -- The 17th Annual Horsetail Scramble, sponsored by the Keweenaw Land Trust (KLT), will have a new location -- the Marsin Nature Retreat -- this Friday, July 4, 2014. The new course will lead runners and walkers around the roads of the Oskar area. Take part in the 5k fitness walk, the 10k run, or just stop by for friendly company and a delicious potluck feast. (Times are earlier. See schedule below.)

An optional paddle across the Portage Waterway from Churning Rapids will take place -- at your own risk -- before the event. Suggested donation (for participating in these events) is $15 for a pair of colorful KLT socks. The Scramble is open to the public -- all ages welcome.

The Marsin Nature Retreat Center, located on the Portage Waterway near Oskar, adjoins the 40-acre Marsin Preserve established in 1999. The late Mary Sinish, who grew up in the Keweenaw, bequeathed these properties to the Keweenaw Land Trust. Her vision was to establish a nature center for those with limited access to the serenity of the outdoors, including the elderly and disadvantaged. This year's Horsetail Scramble will be held here. (Keweenaw Now file photo courtesy Keweenaw Land Trust)

Here is the schedule:

9 a.m. -- Paddle launch site near Churning Rapids opens
9:30 a.m. -- Paddle flotilla departs on Portage crossing
10 a.m. - 11 a.m. -- Race registration at the Marsin Nature Retreat
11 a.m. -- 10k race and 5k fitness walk start
12:30 p.m. -- Race results and Heart and Hands Award Ceremony
12:45 p.m. -- Potluck feast! Bring a tasty dish to share and your own tableware.

Directions to the Marsin Nature Retreat: Take Houghton Canal Road off M-26 for 6.4 miles before turning right onto Red Brick Road. The Marsin Nature Retreat will be on the left after o.8 miles.

Optional paddle access: Park on Christensen Road or M203. We have permission to use the launch location at 53019 M203 from 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Be ready to join the flotilla at 9:30 a.m. or paddle across at your leisure.

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