Course Description

 

The course runs generally in a clockwise direction beginning on the west/south side of the river. Runners will pass through the start/finish area at approximately mile 20 and will run the first 8.4 miles of the course again before turning on to the orange blazed Ridge Trail to head to the finish. Cumulative and section distances are approximate.

Aid Station: Cumulative Miles: Section Distance:
Start 0
Landing Rd 7.4 7.4
Hilltop 11 3.6
Rolling Road 18 7.0
Pavilion 20 2.0
Landing Rd 27.5 7.5
Finish 31.1 3.6

Start to Aid 1 at Landing Road

Early climb, then mostly gently rolling, good footing on dirt singletrack, clockwise loop to landing road

From the start (Avalon pavilion 105), facing west head across the grassy field turning right onto the park road. Run down the road for about a quarter mile to the trailhead on the left. Turn on to the Ridge Trail at the sign. Start the first climb of the day up to the junction with Rockburn Branch trail. Turn left onto the purple blazed trail of the Rockburn Branch loop. Stay on purple going clockwise. There are no right hand turns on this section. Stay left. The loop comes back to the yellow blazed Morning Choice Trail. Turn left on Morning Choice. Stay left on yellow on good rolling single track. You will skirt the edge of a meadow and go back into the woods. Check out the old falling down house on the right. Back into a meadow. First creek crossing at the other side of the meadow. Continue on yellow to an unblazed trail on the left. This is a clockwise loop.
The only right hand turn on this side of the river is a sharp hairpin at the turnaround for this loop. If you miss it you will run into a white “Private Property” sign. Turn around. This turn will be well marked with chalk on the trail. Continue back to yellow blazed trail, again staying to the left on an un-blazed trail. After ~0.25mi this trail will rejoin with Morning Choice. Stay on yellow Morning Choice until you reach a fork. Follow the left branch of the fork which will be blazed yellow also. At about 6.5 miles turn left onto another unblazed trail. You will stay on this trail, cross a private road and continue back on singletrack less than a mile to the Landing Road aid station.

Landing Rd to Hilltop

Downhill to the waterfall, good climbing to technical downhill. Continue past the Bloede Dam and Climb up to a nice lookout at Buzzard Rock.

Leaving the aid station, take Blue Blazed Cascade Falls Trail left-most fork. Follow blue blazes and KEEP RIGHT at all other junctions with other parts of the Cascade Falls Trail until you reach the waterfall. Bear left and cross the stream on the rocks at the waterfall. In about 50 yards, take a sharp left turn and head up the steep climb following blue blazes. Climb for ~0.25mi and take a right onto the unmarked trail leading back down to the paved road. Go left on the pavement to the dam. Continue straight past the dam following the unmarked trail parallel to the river (note: this trail is not maintained) until it ends at Ilchester Rd. Go over the guardrail, turn right and make a quick right in about 50 yards across the “new” Swinging Bridge. Follow the paved Grist Mill trail for 0.25mi and make a left onto the yellow blazed Buzzards Rock trail. This section is a steep climb that crosses the Buzzards Rock lookout point. A short trail section will bring you out into a dirt parking lot where you reach the Hilltop Aid Station.

 

Hilltop to Rolling Road

Fun technical downhill, rock hopping through the creek to the train tunnel. 

Exit Hilltop following yellow blazes for several hundred yards. Take the red blazes Saw Mill Branch Trail on the left. Follow red blazes down to a creek. Take a sharp right to continue on red (you will see a sign that says ‘Foot Traffic Only’). DO NOT CROSS THE CREEK! Follow Saw Mill Branch, through several boulder hopping sections down to the tunnel then take a left on the blue blazed Forrest Glen Trail. DO NOT GO THROUGH THE TUNNEL! You will follow Forrest Glen for ~0.25mi and bear left on to the purple blazed Pigs Run trail. After crossing a meadow you will take a right and will now be on the white blazed Santee Branch trail. You will cross one paved road, but at the second paved road turn right. Run past the Hilton Area Entrance for ~100 yards and look for the unmarked trail on the right. Follow the unmarked trail until you reach the railroad tracks. Carefully cross the tracks and descend through the mill ruins to reach the paved Grist Mill Trail. Turn left and follow Grist Mill for ~0.50mi. When you cross the wooden bridge, take a sharp u-turn left and go through the tunnel. Stay left after crossing the creek and continue on the un-blazed trail. After a steep climb, turn right to continue on the un-marked trail until it reaches the white blazed Santee Branch Trail. Turn right on Santee Branch. You will cross a road and reach a gate. Shortly after the gate you will turn right on the red blazed Vinyard Springs Trail. Enjoy a fast section of single-track all the way back down to the valley. At the bottom, continue straight across the creek to the ‘Foot Traffic Only’ trail. After a steep climb, you will reach the power lines. Make a left onto the Santee Branch Trail (white blazes). Follow this trail to another creek crossing a a short climb to the orange blazed Bull Run Trail. Turn left on Bull Run trail and follow it until you reach a red gate on your left. You will cross a meadow and continue on a very narrow non-blazed trail with a few steep declines and climbs until you reach the aid station at Rolling Road.

Rolling Road to Pavilion

Mainly downhill on the purple blazed Soapstone Trail

Leaving Rolling Road, you will follow the purple blazed Soapstone Trail to a creek crossing. Just after crossing the creek, you will pop out in a parking lot. Go straight across the parking lot and re-enter the Soapstone Trail on the opposite side (there is a large sign at the trail head). After completing this short section, you will emerge at a park road. Turn right on the park road heading toward the Lost Lake tunnel. After going through the tunnel, cross the park road and enjoy a short section of single track until you emerge again at a paved park road. Turn right, go over the bridge and the Pavilion will be on your right.

Pavilion to Landing Rd

Leaving the Pavilion, follow same directions as before in the beginning of the route, except this time it will be in the daylight.

Landing Rd to Finish

Downhill about a mile along the creek past the waterfall. Up and down on the ridge to a fast downhill finish.

Leaving the aid station, take Blue Blazed Cascade Falls Trail left-most fork. Follow blue blazes and KEEP RIGHT at all other junctions with other parts of the Cascade Falls Trail until you reach the waterfall. This time, continue straight on to the orange blazed Ridge Trail. DO NOT CROSS THE WATERFALL CREEK A SECOND TIME! Follow Ridge Trail orange blazes until reaching a sharp downhill left to continue on orange which will be a steep, short downhill section. Follow and keep right on the gravel road until reaching the paved park road. Turn right on paved road for ~0.25 miles. Cross the ditch into the grassy field and the finish area.