Inaugural Le Grand du Nord in Grand Marais May 28. Cyclists will ride 100-mile and 50-mile gravel grinder courses


Inaugural Le Grand du Nord in Grand Marais May 28

Cyclists will ride100-mile and 50-mile gravel grinder courses

COOK COUNTY, Minn., January 22, 2016 – Heck of the North Productions is introducing Le Grand du Nord gravel cycling event to Grand Marais, Minn. on  Saturday, May 28, 2016.   “Le Grand du Nord”, which is French for “The Great North”, has 100-mile and 50-mile routes, starting and finishing in Grand Marais.  The all-day event is expected to draw 150-300 participants.

“Le Grand du Nord will showcase one of the most amazing gravel routes in the country,” says Race Director Jeremy Kershaw.  “With almost 6,000 feet of climbing, it is the punchiest route of the three Heck Production events. Riders on the 100-mile course will roll out of the stunning Grand Marais harbor and gradually climb to just within a stone’s throw of Canada; perched on one of the most amazing ridge-line views on the North Shore.

“Le Grand’s 50-mile course will be equally beautiful and challenging. It will start with the 100-mile riders out of the harbor and climb through beautiful mixed-boreal forests until it meets the historic Gunflint Trail. On this road for just a few miles, the course once again picks up sweet gravel roads, punching up and over wooded hills. Le Grand’s 50 then takes a dramatic plunge to sea level just before returning to Grand Marais.”

The route begins at the Grand Marais Coast Guard Station, then heads East on Hwy. 61, going up the Croftville road and ends mid-afternoon at the YMCA. Spectators and cheering sections are welcome.

Registration for the event is now available at

“Cook County is quickly becoming a premier location for cyclists,” says Linda Kratt, executive director for Visit Cook County. “With established events like the Lutsen99er in June, which is now a qualifier for the elite Leadville race in Colorado, we are excited to have a new type of biking event during Memorial Day weekend in Grand Marais.”

Follow Le Grand du Nord on these social media outlets

Facebook |

Twitter | @heckofthenorth, #HeckoftheNorth #LeGrandDuNord


Gravel for Good | 2014 marked the first year of Gravel for Good, the Heck of the North Production’s way of giving back to our local communities.

Here are the key aspects of the program:

  • Heck of the North Productions will sponsor volunteers to participate in several different cycling related projects. These volunteers will have their entry fees waived for the event of their choice (Le Grand du Nord or Heck of the North) In return, they will donate three-four hours of their time to pre-selected programs.
  • Heck of the North Productions will donate 10 percent of profits toward cycling, youth, outdoor or other worthy local organizations.

Duluth, Grand Marais, and Two Harbors are very fortunate to have strong cycling communities. But more could always be done. Heck of the North hopes to contribute toward making cycling more accessible to all ages and incomes where its events take place.

Sponsors | Visit Cook County and Voyageur Brewing Company. More to come!


About Heck of the North Productions

Heck of the North Productions produces the highest quality adventure cycling events by providing beautifully challenging courses, fostering passion for cycling culture via artistic and philanthropic endeavors and promoting strong community and business partnerships.


About Visit Cook County

Cook County, Minn. includes the communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage. Last spring, Grand Marais was named the 2015 “Coolest Small Town in America” by Budget Travel, thanks to a social media voting contest. Visit Cook County inspires guests to rekindle their sense of adventure by boldly escaping the ordinary, from Minnesota’s tallest mountains to its greatest lakeshore. Stay in touch via, Twitter @CookCoVisitors or Facebook.






LeGrande_DSCF6160_photo by Jeremy Kershaw


CONTACT LYNN NELSON | LIN PR 612.990.0126 KJERSTI VICK | Visit Cook County 218.387.2788 ext. 103