The Dams

During the Marathon, the teams cross six hydroelectric dams. Each is a great place to view the race as the teams are required to portage each dam. Below is a list of the dams, key information and the approximate arrival time for leaders.  No alcohol is allowed on the dams. Consumers Energy will have security personnel in place at each dam on race night. Please follow their instructions at all times.

  • Mio Dam – 2:05am. This is the only dam portage that occurs at night. Typically this portage has larger crowds because it is usually the last location to watch all the teams pass and make it to the next stop to view the leaders. If you want to avoid the chaos (and the cooler temperatures) walk up the hill and watch the action from about ½ way up.
  • Alcona Dam – 5:25am. The sunrise views during the Alcona Dam portage make it a fan favorite stop. There is a nice platform on the east side of the dam, but the best spot to watch is where the teams exit Alcona Pond and begin their portage.
  • Loud Dam – 7:05am – Access to Loud Dam is limited to feeder teams and race officials. No public access.
  • Five Channels Dam – 7:30am. Great views of the teams as they come across the open water. Good viewing locations are available from the canoe portage and the old M-65 bridge. Both the top and bottom of the dam are great spots to cheer on the teams.
  • Cooke Dam – 8:30am. At this point there will be a significant difference between the leaders and other teams. If you want to catch the leaders crossing Foote Dam, leave about 45 minutes after the leaders go by. Your drive to Foote Dam from this point is 20 minutes. If you decide to stay at Cooke Dam a bit longer, your drive to the Finish Line is 30 minutes.
  • Foote Dam – 9:40am. Consider a stop at Foote Dam to watch the leader teams. A good location to watch the action is from the Foote Tailwater Recreation site located on the far side of the dam off of Rea Rd.

The drive from Foote Dam to Oscoda is about 10 minutes, so keep track of the time if you want to watch the winners cross the finish line.

The Finish