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The course is all set. Below are the routes for each day drawn on 1:24000 topo maps with an elevation profile below each map. Both the course maps and the elevation profiles are rough guides. The actual distances are a bit longer than what is shown on the map due to the trails twisting and turning in the forest.

The course is about 29 miles of trails and about 11 miles of country roads.

Saturday Course (26 miles)
Saturday's course starts way upriver at the southern edge (bottom) of the map. It's about a 30-40 minute drive from the cabins at Opossum Creek to the trailhead at Newlyn. There is a permanent set of restrooms at the trailhead.

The day begins with a gradual downhill on a wide path that long ago was a railway. Runners will cross over several wooden bridges. At around 1,5 miles, runners will turn right down a steep rarely used single track trail. This intersection will be flagged and there is a signpost there saying "Arbuckle Connector trail". This short trail passes the old Wee Win coke ovens and ends at river level. The next 6 miles are along the river's edge on the Brooklyn-Southside trail. Runners will cross several trestle bridges and pass the remains of several small mining towns. Aid station #1 will be in the Cunard River Access parking area (around the 8 mile mark). There will be water, energy drinks, and fruit/salty snacks.

Now the fun begins as runners turn on to the (now paved) Cunard Road and ascend most of the way out of the gorge. Just before the gorge rim, runners will turn right on to the Cunard-Kaymoor Mine trail and contour for about 5 miles to the Craigs Branch trail. Runners will ascend the rest of the way out of gorge (slowly at first, and then steeply) to the Arrowhead trail system. After a quick jaunt on the Dalton trail, runners will cross over Kaymoor Top and to the Fayetteville trail trailhead and aid station #2 (about 17 miles). After that, runners will continue on the Fayetteville trail taking a left on to the Timber Ridge trail and then a right back on to the Fayetteville trail. This trail comes out above Fayette Station and runner take a right descending steeply on Route 82 reaching aid station #3 around 22 miles into the run.

The second climb up from the New River to the top of the gorge is on the lightly used Burma Road and Opossum Creek Road. Runners will finish on a short trail ending in front of the Opossum Creek cabins having run very close to a full marathon!

Total trails: 19 miles
Total country roads: 7 miles

Sunday Course (14+ miles)
Sunday's course is a bit easier than Saturday's containing only one big climb, and it is broken up by quite a few flat sections of trail. There are no bathroom facilities at Winona but it's only a 20 minute drive to the start from Opossum Creek cabins. Plan accordingly.

Sunday begins with a 0.75 paved descent from the small town of Winona. The road follows the scenic Keeny Creek all the way down to the New River (at just under 1000 ft ASL). Runners then follow the river downstream to the old Nuttall mining site. The bulk of the mining conveyor is still there and the trail switches back underneath it a half dozen times before heading up Beauty Mountain on a nice single track trail.

Beauty Mtn tops out at just over 2000 ft ASL and the only aid station of the day will be located here (at about 7 miles). Once atop the mountain, runners will head past the old Nutall cemetery and out on to the Fern Creek trail which follows the rim of the gorge (and, at times, very close to the rim!) past the Fern Creek climbing access ladder.

After crossing Fern Creek, the trail comes out on Road 82. Runners will take a left and run about 0.75 miles to Lansing and the Lansing Loop road. Here, runners will take a left and then another immediate left and follow the Lansing Loop road down to where it intersects with Burma Road.

Runners will remember the climb up Burma Road from yesterday! A lunch buffet, finisher medals, and awards will all be waiting at Opossum Creek!

Total trails: 10 miles
Total pavement: 4 miles

Email: info@runaroundthegorge.com Updated: 9 Dec 2017