We are excited to announce the addition of a 50 mile race to or 2016 race schedule. This race will be part of the final race of the year, previously know as the Tranquility Lake 50K and 25K. The race will take place November 19th, starting at the Redbud Pavilion at Oak Mountain State Park. The race will start at 6:30 AM. The plans are to have a 15 hour cutoff but since the course in not yet established that may change. I have created a single loop 50K course for the race but this course has not been measured so I may have to make some modifications. Just a small warning. This race will use a few trails that are not on the map and consequently get very little traffic. Two of them will be very difficult to negotiate and one will involve a very demanding climb over extremely rocky terrain. Don't try this race is "Road Shoes."
In 2017 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. There will be one additional change for 2017. We hope to have the Blood Rock 100 Mile Endurance Trail Race at Oak Mountain. We will need approval from OMSP but we are hopeful. The dates for 2017 are not set.
The trails at Oak Mountain State Park are rugged, as are all mountain trails in the southeastern United States. Double Oak Mountain, which runs the length of the park rises above the surrounding terrain over 600 ft. and the 50K course will gain about 4,390 feet, per my GPS. The course is 100% single track trials other than a 1 mile section of gravel road (a bike road with very limited automobile access) leading up to an old scout camp.
The following is a turn by turn description of the course at Oak Mtn State Park. As I said, until I actually measure it, this is just my best guess!
The race will NOT start in the Cabins as planned. Four of the Cabins are already rented so the race will start at Redbud Pavilion instead. For the 2017 race, we will reserve all the cabins for 50 and 100 mile runners. I plan to be standing at the door of the OMSP office when they open on Friday, November 17, 2016 to reserve all 10 Cabins. I figure 100 mile runners would like the idea of getting up, eating breakfast in their own cabin, walking a few yards to the start and using their cabin as a private aid station during the race.
The race will start at Redbud Pavilion at 6:30 AM with a loop around the BMX track then take a left on the “Chimney Trail” to the “Dog Cat Snake Trail” and over to the North Trail Head (NTH.) From the NTH, runners will cross Findley Dr. to the NTH parking lot, then take the trail back to the campground. They will run through the campground and cross over to the northwest side of Oak Mountain Lake. Runners will then following the trail along the shoreline, cross the spillway and continue heading northeast along the lake shore on the gravel road. At the end of the gravel road, enter the paved road and continue straight ahead, past the north toll-booth to the road across Lunker Lake Dam. (3.68 Miles)
From there the course follows Findley Drive about 1 mile back south to an old roadway that turns off to the left along a small creek. This trail starts at the parking area with just enough room for two or three cars. This parking area is 0.4 miles north of the North Trail Head. (There will be a water only aid station here.) The trail follows the creek to a fork where two small creeks merge. Runners cross the creek and angles left following the creek upstream through an old quarry cut. Just before the spot where the creek running straight down Double Oak Mtn makes a left, (this is the creek you have been following upstream) the trail turns right and goes straight up the mountain paralleling 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 right up to the crest. The course then follows the ridge crest heading southwest. Near the end of the ridge, the trail turns left across a short shoulder and up to the Eagle Nest Overlook Trail. Follow the trail along the crest, then down the hill to the left and connect into the Blue Trail heading back to the NTH. At the trail head, follow the Yellow trail back to Maggie’s Glen, switch to the White Trail for ½ mile to the Cabin Trail then through the cabins and back to Redbud Pavilion Aid Station. (9.5 Miles)
Leave the aid station heading up the paved road toward Findley Dr. After about 100 yards, go left onto the bike trail, past “the Rock Garden” and left on the Yellow Trail. Stay on the Yellow Trail, past Redbud Pavilion, up past Tranquility Dam and around the lake on the southwest shore. At the end of the lake, take the trail to the right, up the hill to the ruins of the Chapel in the old scout camp. Turn left on the gravel road. Stay on the road past the cabins being renovated and up to the top of the hill to the overhead, wooden, Camp Tranquility sign.
Just before the sign, go left onto the Thunder Trail for the long climb to the top of the West Ridge of Double Oak Mtn. At the top of the ridge, go right on the White Trail and down to the Bike Road along the crest. Immediately turn right back onto the start of the Thunder Trail for a few 100 yards. At the intersection with the Yellow/White Connector Trail, go left on the connector for the steep descent down the mountain. Stay on Y/W all the way to the bottom and just before reaching the Group Camp Road, go left onto the Yellow Trail. Follow the Yellow Trail, heading southwest until you come to the paved road leading up to the Wildlife Center. Go right down the hill to Terrace Drive and to the Marina Aid Station #2. (15.0 Miles)
Leave the aid station heading northeast on the paved road across a short section of lake, then turn left onto the “Lake Trail.” Follow the Lake Trail, across the dam to the intersection with Rattle Snake Ridge Trail and go right. Follow the RR Trail all the way around until it finally coming out at the south end of Double Oak Lake. Follow the paved road a short distance then along the shoreline, across the beach, through the patio area and back to the Marina Aid Station #3. (19.6 Miles)
Leave the AS heading southwest along Terrace Drive to the Wildlife Center Trail on your left. Head up the trail going through the boardwalk for 1/3 mile until it intersects with the Yellow Trail. Go right on Yellow to the second intersection with the Jekyll n Hyde Trail and turn left. Follow Jekyll N Hyde down the hill to the Peavine Falls Road. Cross the road and go left on the bike trail, “Mr. Toad.” Follow the bike trail up the Johnson Mountain trail, then cross the paved road to the BUMP Trail. Follow BUMP all the way up the mountain and up past “Blood Rock.” Just past Blood Rock take a sharp right onto the trail leading back to the Peavine Falls Road and the gate on the end of the Red Bike Road. (I think the call it the Red/Green Connector) At the Peavine Rd, go left down the hill staying on the Peavine Falls Rd to the Peavine Falls Parking lot and the Peavine Falls Aid Station. (27.3 Miles)
Leave the PVF Aid Station headed northeast on the white trail. Just as the white trail turns left runners will go right down a faint trail angling downhill to the south. Follow the trail until it crosses Lower Peavine Creek and turns left heading north up the opposite side of the creek. Continue climbing up past the stone overlook, then continue uphill until the trail merges into the Blue Trial. At the intersection, go right heading northeast along the Blue Trail. Continue on Blue for a little less than 3 miles. Go left at the intersection with the Orange Trail heading down the mountain. Stay on The Orange Trail across the Red Fire Road (bike trail) and back up the hill to the intersection with the White Trail. Go right down the White Trail.
Follow the white trail along the ridge, over Shackleford Point and along the crest for about a mile. The white trail drops sharply downhill and continues down until it joins the Yellow Trail. At Yellow turn left and follow the Yellow trail for about a mile until Yellow makes a sharp left and crosses a creek just above Tranquility Lake. Where the Yellow Trail turns left, runners continue straight ahead keeping the lake on your left. Follow the trail back to the Cabins and continue on the paved cabin road. Circle around the lake heading back left along the northwest shore of the lake, still keeping the
lake on your left. Continue around the lake on the gravel road to the paved road at the BMX track. Go left down the road and back to the 50K finish. (33 Miles) Fifty mile runners will go through the Cabins Aid Station and continue back out on the course for 17 more miles. Just what that 17 mile loop will be is yet to be decided.
At this time I plan to leave the race date where it is but I may make a few adjustments by next year.
Please Note: The South Gate of Oak Mountain State Park is the only gate that opens early enough to make the 7:00 AM start. This is the entrance close to Interstate 65.
Just a few Comments from FaceBook:
John Kent Leighton - Southeastern Trail Runs - November 22 at 9:03pm ·
Just wanted to thank David and everyone else involved in putting on today's race. I had a great time; the volunteers were wonderful and the course was absolutely beautiful. Definitely worth the drive down from Ohio!
Monk E Pants - Southeastern Trail Runs - November 22 at 6:01pm ·
Thank you David and Marye Jo Tosch for a great time today! You guys are the best!
Kathleen Touchstone Pearson - Southeastern Trail Runs - November 22 at 5:03pm · Nashville, TN ·
Thanks for putting on an excellent race today! The course was well marked, the trails were beautiful and the weather could not have been more perfect! Can I also say that you Birmingham people weren't kidding when you warned me about that connector trail! Holy Hills! I am spreading the word here in Nashville about your awesome races!
Samm Bartee9:33am Nov 24
David, huge thanks to you and Marye Jo for doing what you do. We know it's a labor of love for sure!! I really missed volunteering, but it was a lot of fun to be out there running. This was my longest race so far....Not that I was fast or really racing, but it was awesome just being out there!!
Mike Jenkins8:07am Nov 24
Thanks Marye Jo Tosch and David Tosch for a great year on the trails! Actually I felt like I spent a year on the trails Saturday!
Chulwon Park - November 22 at 5:30pm
Thank you David Tosch and Marye Jo Tosch for another wonderful race! And thank you all the volunteers that came out today and helped! You guys are amazing! Another 50K in the books and so happy to have see old friends and make new ones!
Missy Lafrance Kittrell - November 22 at 5:08pm
Thank you once again David Tosch and Marye Jo Tosch for a fabulous day on the trails! And thank you to the amazing volunteers who spent all day taking care of us. The trail community/family is definitely the best