Big Changes for the Final Race in the 2016 Mountain High Outfitters Southeastern Trail Series
We are excited to announce the addition of a 50 mile race to or 2016 race schedule. This race will be the final race of the 2016 Southeastern Trail Series. The final race of the series originally was the Tranquility Lake 50K and 25K. Blood Rock is a totally different race. The race will take place November 19th, starting at the Redbud Pavilion at Oak Mountain State Park. In addition to the 50 mile, we will still have the Blood Rock 50K and Blood Rock 25K. The race will start at 6:30 AM. The plans are to have a 15 hour cutoff but since the course in not yet finalized, that may change. The first 12 miles of the course will be very difficult. Starting at about mile 1.5, the course enters a long section of unmaintained backcountry trails that receive little use. The next 10 miles will be mostly on the very difficult, very demanding and in some places, VERY steep trails. Don't try this race is "Road Shoes."
There will be a couple of changes in 2017. First, the race will start at the Cabins on Tranquility Lake. We will reserve all 10 cabins and runners may rent them for the race weekend. We will be able to use the lodge building at the cabins for the prerace meeting and as the aid station. If you reserve one of the 10 Cabins, you can use it as your personal aid station. There will be one additional change for 2017, along with the the Blood Rock 50 Mile, we will present the inaugural Blood Rock 100 Mile Endurance Trail Race at Oak Mountain. We will no have official approval for the 100 until we file the application with OMSP but hopefully that will not be a problems. The dates for 2017 are not set.
Continue up steep terrain to the the rocky crest of the ridge then angle left. Do not cross over the ridge. Continue along easy ground for several hundred yards to where the trial angles to the left and drops downhill on the old wagon road. If you look carefully you can still see the parallel ruts of the road. After about 200 yards the trail makes a sharp left turn and continues down the mountain for about 1/4 mile. Just before reaching an old fence at the park boundary, make a sharp right turn and traverse along a series of rock shelves. Eventually the trail drops sharply downhill through a rock band, turning left then back right. Watch for the old wagon wheel rim and bearing case as the trails levels out. Continue to where the trial again turns left through another rocky area and continues downhill to an old sunken road.
Go right on the old road and continue until just before the park boundary. You will see a No Trespassing sign on the left where the trail leave the old roadbed. If you go to far, you will come to the park boundary. Follow the trail off to the right slowly winding up the side of the mountain. Cross a small creek and follow the trail up the back side of the east ridge of Double Oak Mountain. This is the longest of the backcountry climbs and the steepest in one short section. This hill is called "Topples Hill" and gains 550 ft. in 0.45 Miles. At the top, turn left along the ridge to an overlook where the trial leaves the ridge to the right and connects into the Blue Trail.
Go right on the Blue Trial to the South Red/Blue Connector and turn left, downhill to the Red Bike Road. Cross the bridge and angle right continuing downhill on the bike road to the North Red/Blue Connector. Runners will turn right at the connector and climb up the to the Blue Trial, turn right again for about 100 yards, then make a sharp left up the steep climb to Eagles Nest Overlook. Continue to the ridge crest and follow the trail along the ridge heading northeast. Runners will again enter the Far End Back Trail heading northeast. Stay on the trail along the ridge, then drop down the mountain. At the bottom of the hill, angle left along the creek to where the creek you are following intersects another creek coming down the mountain from your left. Cross the creek straight ahead and climb the steep but short hill, past a bench and continue along the trail to the Blue Trail. Turn right and follow the Blue Trial back to the North Trial Head. This is the location of the North Trail Head Aid Station, AS #1. Be sure your number is recorded. We want to make sure all runners make it back from the "Out Back" safely. From there go a few yards up the Red Bike Road to the Yellow and White Trail, turn right and follow the yellow trail back south, past Tranquility Lake to where the Yellow Trail comes out of the woods and crossed a long footbridge.
PLEASE NOTE: It is 11.8 Miles from the start to Aid Station 1 - Carry a lot of water!
Package Pickup and Late Registration will be Friday Afternoon, 4:30 to 6:00 PM at Mountain High Outfitters store on Hwy 280 adjacent to Whole Foods in Cahaba Village on Hwy 280. Address - 2800 Cahaba Village Plaza Suite 250, Birmingham, AL 3524. There will also be Packet Pickup before the race start at Fishing Center Pavilion beginning about 5:45 AM. Race Start is 6:30 AM
Map to Race Startat the Fishing Center Pavilion - Oak Mtn State Park - from Mountain High Outfitters store on Hwy 280 to theBlood Rock Start.
GPS Coordinates to Start: 33°22'24.4"N 86°42'02.2"W -Please note, the north entrance to OMSP does not open until 7:00 AM. You must use the south entrance off Interstate 65 and HWY 119 (Cahaba Valley Rd)
This is where things start to get interesting. This is also where the trails become much more difficult to run. The next 3 miles are on unimproved backcountry trails. They receive very light use and are not leveled or maintained. One section is an old wagon road that zigzags down the back side of the mountain and has not been used in years. This old road is even more difficult to run. In places, the trial is little more than an animal trial. Many runners will need to walk much of this 3 mile section. Trekking poles will come in very handy in areas, especially on the very steep traverses. I will spend considerable time raking and clearing limbs and debris and the route will be very well marked. Just be prepared for some slow going.From the Kings Chair Trail, runners will follow the east ridge of Double Oak Mountain on faint trails staying just to the west side of the ridge and at places, on top of the ridge. Runners will be following the trail called the "Rim Walk East Trail." Continue over two hills and watch for where the trail climbs through the rock band to your left, over the ridge crest and continue along the east side of the ridge. The trail will drop sharply downhill through large boulders to a small creek crossing very close to a park boundary marker. After crossing the creek angle slightly to the right and climb straight up the hill on a very steep, very rocky, trail. This section will be much easier to negotiate if you have trekking poles. This hill, I call "Barkley Hill" gains 250 ft in 0.18 miles. That's steep!! The top of the hill is guarded by the Barkley Demon! As you approach the ridge, look up to your right to see this rather imposing stone figure looming above.
Continue straight ahead and down Tranquility Road for about 100 yards past Redbud Pavilion and turn left onto the Rock Garden Bike Trail. Follow the trail around to the intersection of the Yellow Trail and angle lightly left and cross a small creek and enter the horse trail. Climb slowly on gentle trials through the ruins of the old Camp Tranquility Boy Scout Camp to Tranquility Road. Turn right, under the large overhead Camp Tranquility Sign and head down the mountain on the gravel road. Follow the road around a gate and continue past group campsites to the Yellow/White Connector Trail. Turn off the road on Y/W to the left and follow the trail for a few 200 yards on flat ground and begin the long climb to the top of West Ridge of Double Oak Mtn.
At the top of the ridge turn right onto the White Trail for about 100 yards to the Red Bike Road and angle right onto the road. Follow the Red Road for about 1 1/2 miles along the ridge, then to the right side of the ridge to the intersection of the Green Trail. Make a sharp right heading down the mountain on Green. Stay on the Green Trail until you reach the Yellow Trial and go right. Stay on Yellow a short distance to where the trial "Ts" into the Nature Center Trail at the rail fence. Turn right up the hill and exit the trail at the Nature Center. As you leave the trail turn left down the hill and follow the road all the way to Terrace Drive. Cross the road to the Marina Aid Station #2 Directly across the road by the Marina Parking Lot. This is a Drop Bag AS. It is 10.3 Miles from AS1 to AS2. You will pass by a water faucet in front of Redbud Pavilion by the BMX Track and we will have water on the trail at the start of the Yellow/White Connector.
Leave the Aid Station heading back up to Terrace Dr and turn left (northeast.) Cross over a short section of Double Oak Lake and continue about 200 yards to the entrance of the Lake Trail on your left. Follow the trail, a beginner bike trail, around the lake, across the dam and along the far shore of the lake. At the intersection with Rattle Snake Ridge Trail, turn right and continue for about 3 miles. You will cross a long, narrow wooden bike bridge (actually most runners go around the left side) and continue to the intersection with the Family Trial. Turn right onto the family trail and follow it around to a trial that joins into Mr. Toad Bike Trail and turn right. Stay on Mr Toad to the South Trail Head and turn left onto the road. Follow the road around, past the bathrooms then along the lake. Follow signs all the way around the east side of the lake staying close to the water on roads, then a paved trail and finally a sidewalk leading past the bath houses and the beach area. Cross the beach and go through the patio area and continue out the other side of the patio. Follow the road by the water back around to the Marina Aid Station #3. This is a Drop Bag Aid Station. Any of you that ran the Run for Kids in 2016 or the BOO Run Run for Down Syndrome Alabama in 2015, this section is very similar. It is 7.8 miles to High Crest Aid Station. Some of you may want to have a headlamp or flashlight in your dropbag just in case. Sunset is 4:42 PM.
Again, leave the aid station heading back up to Terrace Dr and go right (southwest) about 150 yards and turn left into the parking lot for Tree Top Nature Trail. On the right side of the parking lot, enter the Green Trail and climb up to the top of the first ridge and turn right onto the Green/Yellow Connector. Go about 200 yards and turn left down the hill on the Yellow Trail. The Yellow Trail crossed the bike trail Jekyll & Hyde Trail. Turn right on Jekyll & Hyde as it winds around two ridges then drops down to the Peavine Falls (Paved) Road. Cross the road and enter the Foreplay Bike Trail angling to your left. The trail crosses a small bridge and a gated emergency road leading out of the park. Continue straight across the road onto the the Johnson Mountain Trail. Trail climbs up the ridge and follows the ridgeline back to a 180 deg. turn to the left and back along the opposite ridge. The trail then makes another 180 deg. turn to the right and goes back down the far side of the ridge. After about 0.4 mile you come to a third 180 deg. turn. At this turn, take the faint trail leading up the hill to the right. (This is a trail used by High Hampton Residents to enter the park from the back side.) Runners are now entering a 6+ mile long "out/back" section of the race with very difficult climbs and descents and more than 3,000 ft of elevation change. Follow the "High Hampton Trail" along the ridge and down to the paved road, High Hampton Dr. and turn left.
Follow the road for just over 0.4 mile to the powerline easement and turn left by a bench in a grassy area and follow the marked trail and roads up the easement. Near the top of the mountain runners will pass through the cliff band on a narrow trail, then continue past the tower on top of the crest. Continue over the other side of the mountain. You are now descending through the Oak Crest Subdivision along High Crest Rd. At the bottom of the powerline easement just of Hwy 11, enter the High Crest Aid Station #4. This is a Drop Bag Aid Station. This is also where many runners will want go leave headlamps and flashlights for the remaining 14+ miles of the race. Leave the Aid Station heading back up the powerline easement the way you came. Continue over the top of the mountain, past the tower and back down to High Hampton Dr. At the paved road turn right back to the "High Hampton Trail" and return to the Johnson Mountain Bike Trail.
At the bike trail turn right and head down the trail to the Peavine Falls Road. Cross the road and climb up the BUMP trail and over BLOOD ROCK.
Continue up BUMP to where it intersects the Red Bike Road and turn right onto the road. Follow the road heading southwest to the gate at the Peavine Falls Road. Immediately past the gate go left up a short connector trail to the Green Trail and turn left onto Green. Stay on Green for 0.6 mile to the Green/White Connector and descend steeply on the connector. At the White Trial tun Left on White and follow it to the trial split just above Peavine Creek. Go right at the split following the single track trail to the Peavine Falls Aid Station #5. This will also be a Drop Bag Aid Station.
Leave the Aid Station heading down the wide gravel path toward Peavine Falls for about 1/3 mile. At the two benches, continue down the trail straight ahead passing by the benches. (Do not go left on the wide gravel road.) Follow the steep, narrow trial down into Peavine Falls Gorge. At the bottom, head downstream for a short distance, cross the creek and climb the steep trail heading up the other side of the gorge. At the Blue Trial, turn left and follow the Blue Trail for about 2.5 miles to the Orange Trail. Turn left onto Orange and follow it across the Red Bike Road to the White Rail and turn right. Follow White over Shackleford Point, high point is OMSP, and along the ridge for over a mile. The White Trail makes a left turn and heads down the side of the mountain. At the bottom of the hill the White Trial "Ts" into the Yellow Trail. Turn right on the Yellow Trail on gentle trails for about 100 yards to Maggie's Glen. Cross the creek on a footbridge and follow the yellow trail 1 mile to the North Trial Head and the NTH Aid Station #6. It is only 2.1 Miles to the finish from AS6
From the NTH, runners will cross Findley Dr., go through the NTH parking lot, to a trail leading out of the back side of the lot. (Use Caution crossing Findley Drive.) Follow the trail to the campground. Runners will turn right on the campground road running past the Campground Office and continue through the campground. Leave the camp road near the lake and cross over to the northwest side of Oak Mountain Lake. This area may be very wet. Runners will then following the trail along the shoreline, cross the spillway and continue heading northeast along the lake shore on the gravel road. Be very careful descending the ladder down to the Spillway. The medal rungs are VERY SLIPPERY. At the end of the gravel road, enter the paved road and continue straight ahead a short distance to the race finish.
The Course Details - Revised 5/25/2016
Length: 50.48 Miles
Elevation Gain: 9,320 ft
Elevation Change: 18,640 ft
Start: Redbud Pavilion - 6:30 AM
Cutoff: 15 Hours - 9:30 PM
Sunrise: 6:23 AM
Sunset: 4:42 PM
Marina AS-3 and Peavine Falls AS-5
2017 Blood Rock 100 Elevation Gain: 18,640 ft
The following is a turn by turn description of the course at Oak Mtn State Park.
The race will start at the Fishing Center Pavilion on Oak Mountain Lake. This is the lake adjacent to the toll booth at the north entrance to the park. The run will start down Findley Drive for about 1.5 miles to an old roadway that turns off to the left along a small creek. This trail starts at the small parking area with just enough room for two or three cars. This parking area is 0.4 miles north of the North Trail Head. Leave the aid station on the "Far End Back Trail." The trail follows the creek to a fork where two small creeks merge. Runners cross the creek and angle left following the creek upstream through an old quarry cut. You will cross the creek 3 times in about 1/3 mile. If there has been a substantial amount of rain, your feet will get wet. Just before reaching the spot where the creek you have been following comes down the mountain directly in front of you, makes a right and go straight up the mountain paralleling the creek. (Do not cross the creek.) Continue uphill through a very rocky area covered in boulders to the base of the cliffs. The trail climbs through the rock band to the left side of the cliff face, then angles to the right over steep terrain, up to the ridge crest. This is the first of three very steep climbs, gaining 370 ft. in 0.3 mile. The course follows the ridge crest heading southwest to a shoulder near the end of the ridge. The trail turns left across the shoulder (or gap) over to the next ridgeline to your left and continues to the Eagle Nest Overlook Trail. Follow the trail along the crest, then down the hill to the left connecting into the Blue Trail. Go left on blue, then up the hill to the ridge and continue left on the Kings Chair Trail. At the top of the eastern most ridge, where the Kings Chair Trail turns left, (northeast) go just over the ridge and turn right along the back side of the ridgeline.
The Fishing Center Start
Although the start is 200 yards from the north entrance, everyone will need to enter through the south entrance near Interstate 65 and Hwy 119, Cahaba Valley Rd. The north gate does not open until 7:00 AM and the race starts at 6:30 AM.
This first section, start to Aid Station 1 is going to be long, almost 12 miles. We will do our best to get water up the South Red/Blue Connector Trail but this will still be 8.5 miles from the start. Just be prepared. Carry enough water to run the 12 hardest miles of the race without an aid station. It will take many runners over 3 hours, some 4+ hours. No one will be allowed to start without carrying some type of hydration.