Course Description--Click underlined word for pics
Mile 0-4 First mile is a short jaunt over the Susquehanna River via Hyner Bridge. Get warmed up as you PASS Huff Run (last year's first hill) and continue on using an old fire line trail along the cliffs following the river. This new trail is semi-flat but narrows at points, so be careful in passing. Progression may be slower here until the first hill, but use this time to get warmed up and conserve your energy. You're going to need it later!! A steep climb of a mile or so in length will take runners/hikers up to Hyner View, one of PA’s finest vistas. There will be a water station as well as some bathrooms. Enjoy the view!!
Mile 4-6 Follow the Hyner View Trail downhill along several switchbacks to the sweet running section of Reichert Hollow. This is a great section to make up time from the previous nasty climb up to the View. There are no leaves on the trees in April so take in the scenery. The footing is fast and sure. There will be another water station at the end of the hollow. Get ready for some tough running through Johnson Run hollow. PLEASE utilize this stop. Get some carbs and hydrate. You’re going to need it.
Mile 6-9 Johnson Run Trail is another Huff Run only a mile longer! The first section will climb along the side of the mounain on a sixteen inch path to avoid the spring run offs. You will be surrounded by tall hard woods. After you drop back down onto the Johnson Run, White Pine and Hemlocks will give you some cover from the sun in case of another warm day like last year. This trail is remote as it follows the stream the entire way. Larger crossings make use a few natural log bridges. In other places stepping stones are abundant. Be prepared to get your feet wet. It’s a gut-check to get to the top of this trail. Make sure you utilize checkpoint #2 because there will be no support in this gorge. Put the head down and chop up this beast. The steepest section is at the end, a section called "Psycho Path".
Mile 9-14Johnson Run ends with a meandering path that brings you out to a gravel forest road that you cross to get to the head of Post Draft Hollow. There will be a much needed water/food station here. If you feel cramped up here, take a few minutes and get some fluids, salt and rest. Post Draft is a side hill trail that traverses the mountain down to the base of the hollow. Enjoy the relaxing run before taking a hard left and start up the infamous “Cleveland Hollow.” This trail known as the GARBY Trail, offers some grinding switchbacks and great views of the area, but the only good thing about it is the fact that it is near the end. It is a grueling climb that will drain the last drop of energy from you. Near the top is a kicker called the S.O.B. (We call it a challenge for a reason.) Be careful as you go up S.O.B..... Potato sized rocks tumble down from contestants above. Try not to kick out these clunkers and keep an eye up-hill in case one is aimed at your head. Also, on a warm day, watch out for the local critters!!! Once on top, enjoy getting your legs back as you have a nice smooth mile run around the horseshoe to the checkpoint.
Mile 14-Finish. First, get a drink from the fourth and last water station. Leaving Cleveland Hollow , contestants will travel through thick Mountain Laurel via the Spring Trail. Well, we’re giving you a chance for some payback when you get to the last leg. Gravity will win this battle as you run down Huff Run. Be careful.... tired legs may just land you on the floor of the forest with some dirt sticking to your front teeth. Not to worry, it is all downhill to the bottom and a short (feels like 10miles) sprint over Hyner Bridge to the finish line. Make sure to follow the orange flags after the bridge because we’re going to bring you in a different way to the finish chute. Sorry to tell you, but there is a small hill to the finish!! Enjoy the course!!!
After you're done, relax and recover with some good food and beverage. Share your war stories with your fellow trailrunners. Last year, the U.S. Army provided a climbing wall for spectators and any runners that could still stand after the grueling 25K.