Luton Park is a favorite of many trail runners, one of the most well-thought out designs of any trail in the state. You’ll cruise along rolling terrain, fly across fast flats and challenge a few short and mostly curvy ascents/descents. These hills are designed with a flow that allows for momentum on the downhill to carry you a ways up the next uphill. You’ll run through scenic hardwood and pine forests, across fields, along marshes and over pretty Rum Creek three times.
Choose from a quarter-marathon (one 6.55 mile loop, slightly longer than a 10K), half marathon (two loops) or full marathon (four loops). You will be racing the green, blue, black, and red loops. These loops add up to the 6.55 distance we need, are less muddy than the others, are a little more challenging and prettier too in my opinion.
The aid stations are at 1.4, 4 and 6.55 miles (start/finish). Water, Gatorade, sweet and salty snacks and fruit at the 4 and 6.55 mile stations, limited food at the 1.4 mile station. Salty snacks and fruit. You can stop for lunch at the 6.55 mile turnaround if you wish (after 10:30 am).
The course will be marked with flags at intersections or any areas that are not clear. The vast majority of the trail is a clear singletrack path and will not be marked in those areas. The trail offers plenty of opportunities to pass with a verbal heads up to the person in front of you. Look for an opening, give notice and go.
The course is considered moderately hilly with roughly 580 feet of climbing over the 6.55 mile loop (because GPS was used to calculate elevation, some degree of inaccuracy should be expected). The elevation gains shown below look like mountains but they are only 20 or 30-foot hills with a gradual incline. Expect lots of small, flowing ups and downs The flat areas represent the Blue “hub” loop which you return to after doing Green, Black and Red. It’s nice to have this breather and provides good spots for the three aid stations on the course.
The trail is hard-packed dirt with limited trip hazards and little to no sand. The trail was built by the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance and other local volunteers over a three-year period and 1,500 hours of hard work. The trail design utilizes International Mountain Biking Association trail building techniques to minimize erosion and create an incredibly fun, flowing feel. The park’s stacked loop system with a variety of skill and distance options is built on 285 acres. It is a trail for runners, mountain bikers, hikers and snowshoers.