Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Course Turn-by-Turn Directions
As in years past, we start at the Ledges Shelter heading directly into the field towards the gravel path at 7:30am. At the path, 50K runners will turn right and half marathoners will turn left. The following directions will describe the 50K path first (Happy Days).
Happy Days Loop (~4.9 miles)
Through field and turn right on gravel path. Take path around corner to the right until it comes to the main trail/access road to the Ledges Shelter where you must turn left or right. Turn left and head into the Pines. Stay straight through Pines and turn left when you reach the next "T" in the trail. (stone steps will be on right but don't go that way). Turning left will take you down rocky hill. At bottom of hill, you will intersect the Ledges Trail. Turn right and follow a short distance until you can make a downhill left turn onto the Haskell Run connector to Happy Days. Go down the hill and steps until you touch Haskell Run. Turn left. Follow this trail around and up the wooden steps to the field in front of the Happy Days Visitor Center. Cross the field (Visitors Center on right, Route 303 on left), cross driveway, and go under 303 via the tunnel. Cross the parking lot and follow gravel path to Boston Run Trail. There are two entrances...take the 2nd one for the counter-clockwise loop of Boston Run. Boston Run has a "short loop" connector in the middle of it. In years past, we never took this. Starting in 2013, we do. Take the "Short Loop" connector and then take an immediate left to head back towards the Happy Days parking lot. After returning to Happy Days, trace your steps back to the Ledges Shelter and the start/finish. There will NOT be an aid station on this loop any longer due to the short distance of the loop. A fully stocked aid station will be at the start/finish.
Virginia Kendall Loop (~8.2 miles)
Leave shelter again through field and take left on gravel trail. Upon entering the trees, the Ledges Overlook will be straight ahead. Do NOT go to Overlook but instead, turn left and follow the Ledges Trail down and around the Overlook. After going around the Overlook, you will come upon stairs on your left. Turn left and follow the stairs down. This is the connector from the Ledges Trail to Pine Grove Trail. Take this gravel trail across the Octagon Shelter access road and continue on and pass the entrance to Pine Grove Trail. A short distance later, you will see a sharp left turn down a hill and across a wooden bridge. Turn left here and go down hill, cross bridge, and up the hill on the other side. Follow this trail, eventually leading down to Truxell Road. Cross Truxell Road and at parking lot barricade, turn right onto Lake Trail. Follow Lake Trail up the stairs, down the other side, and partially around Kendall Lake. When you see the entrance to Salt Run Trail on right, take it and when given a choice to turn left or right at trail head, turn right and head UP. You are now on Salt Run Trail, the counter-clockwise direction. After traveling about 90% of Salt Run, you will go down a very steep hill with a short, flat bridge at the bottom which takes you back up a steep hill. At the top of this hill is a clearing where you can see the Pine Hollow parking lot and shelter. Exit the trail here and head straight across grass, parallel to the parking lot towards the bathrooms. Just past the bathrooms is the burn pit/warming area for ski season. Here is your 2nd aid station, about 4.7 miles since you left the start/finish. Check in here, refuel, and turn around heading back towards Salt Run Trail where you exited. Once you re-enter the woods/trail, turn right on Salt Run and complete it. Once back at the access back to Lake Trail where you originally entered, turn right and head back to Lake Trail. Turn right on Lake Trail and follow this trail around Kendall Lake. Upon exiting the concrete tunnel, do not turn left and head down to the shelter as in years past. Stay straight on Lake Trail and enter the tall pines. Follow Lake Trail all the way back to the parking lot entrance/Truxell Road. Turn right and cross Truxell Road and go back up hill/connector to Pine Grove Trail. Upon reaching the top of hill after the wooden bridge, you will reach an intersection which is Pine Grove Trail. Turn left on Pine Grove Trail which will take you on the clockwise route of this trail. Be careful when you see a sign for the Boy Scout Camp to NOT take that path. It's easy to not pay attention and mistakenly end up a Boy Scout! Pine Grove Trail is 1.5 miles around. Continue on Pine Grove (a relatively flat/fast trail) until it intersects back with the Ledges Trail/Pine Grove connector. You'll know you are there because you'll reach another "T" in the trail where you must turn left or right. Turn left and head back over the Octagon Shelter access road and re-trace steps to the Ledges Shelter (aka: start/finish)
50K runners will do the above run twice plus Happy Days a third time. Half Marathoners will do Virginia Kendall first followed by Happy Days and then they're done. As in years past, you can change distance on race day and run any distance you wish. It is your responsibility to let the timekeepers know what you've done each time you come back to the Ledges Shelter. Hot chili and race swag will be available after you finish. No awards, no age groups, just great fun for all.
Posted by Nick B at 4:25 AM