When, What, Where: A 54 mile ultramarathon through the Catskills on Sat. to Sun. 6/21-22/14 starting at 5 am at CD Lane Park (Batavia Kill Rec. Area) in Maplecrest, N.Y., in Windham Twp. The park is our staging and start area. We will then head east down Big Hollow Rd. to the northern end of the Black Dome Trail, which takes you up to the Escarpment Trail. We will make a right onto the Escarpment Trail, which is the same as the Long Path at this point and continue on to North Lake, one of the relay exchanges. Then we will follow the Long Path all the way to Palenville and on to Platte Clove Rd., another relay exchange point. (You could also use Palenville aid station as a relay exchange point). We make a right onto Platte Clove Rd., then cross Platte Clove Preserve to the base of Indian Head, then continue on the Long Path (Devil’s Path) for the toughest part of the course (NEW THIS YEAR!). From there we follow the Long Path all the way to Phoenicia, finishing on Plank Rd. in Phoenicia. The finish will be in downtown Phoenicia, N.Y. in a field behind the Parish House.
Who can run?: This is an extreme event and only those who are highly qualified and/or completely deranged should attempt it. In order to run in the 54 miler, you must have run another 50 miler within the time limits for that course and within the last two years. To run in the relay, you must have completed a road marathon in under 4:30 within the last two years, or a 50k trail race, or a trail marathon, or the Escarpment Trail Run. You will need to provide this info on the race application.
Cutoffs: The cutoff is 24 hrs. for the 50 miler. We will not let anyone leave the Platte Clove aid station (31 miles) after 4 pm, or the Mink Hollow aid station (40.5 mi) after 9 pm.
Registration: Visit our registration page. The race fee is $120 for 50 milers, with a 25% discount for first responders and military. The fee for relay participants will depend on the number of relay members on the team, 2 or 3, but will add up to $150.
Crew and Pacers: CREW AND PACERS ARE HIGHLY ENCOURAGED. There are no limits to crew and pacer access, but you are responsible for anyone who accompanies you or helps you. Crew and pacers will be able to take food/supplies at aid stations and partake of the finish line feast. See directions for crew (eventually it will be there).
1 – water stop at bottom of Black Dome before ascent up to Acra Point – 3 mi.
2 – Dutcher’s Notch – 10.3 mi
3 – North Lake – 17.5 This could be the end of the first relay leg.
4 – Palenville, Rte. 23A – 21.5 mi
5 – Platte Clove – 31.5 mi This could be the end or start of a second or third relay leg.
6 – Mink Hollow – 38.5 mi
7 – Planning an additional aid station at Silver Hollow Notch – 43.5 mi
8 – Jessup (Willow) Trail – 48+ mi
9 – water stop, Rte 40, one mile to finish – 53+ mi
Note: Distances are a bit approximate, but probably realistic. Some are from GPS and some from map.
Post Race Food: There will be a fantastic catered post-race meal from the Phoenicia Diner, free to participants and one crew member per participant, and free to volunteers. Additional meals available for $10. Also, we will be able to use the kitchen in the Parish Hall.
Awards and T-shirts: Besides your swag (tech shirt from Atayne and more), there will great merchandise awards to the top three male and female finishers.
Lodging: See Lodging and Directions page.
Directions for runners and crew: See Lodging and Directions page.
Bus: There will be a bus to the start in Windham from Phoenicia leaving at 3:30 a.m. sharp! Included with the race fee.
Parking: You can park at the start in CD Lane Park. Sorry, no camping at the start. You may leave your car here overnight, but there will be no official transportation back to the start. There is lots of parking near the finish in Phoenicia, in town and at the Phoenicia Elementary School just 1/2 mi up 214 from the intersection with Main St, on School Lane, so think about taking the bus or getting dropped off at the start, carpooling, etc. The bus and later the shuttle van will stop at both Phoenicia Pharmacy and Phoenicia Elementary School, every time.
Lodging: See Lodging and Directions page.
The start is at CD Lane Park in Windham. You will run 3 miles on paved and dirt road to a trailhead for the red blazed Black Dome Trail, then make a left and climb up to the Escarpment Trail over 1.1 mi. You then make a right onto the Escarpment Trail and climb up to Acra Point and continue on to Blackhead Mtn. You will head steeply down the mountain to the Dutcher’s Notch aid station (about 2500 ft.). From here you will begin the long climb in stages up to Stoppel Pt. and the wreckage of a plane crash. Continuing on you will pass North Point, and several scenic ledges to reach North Lake campground at about 17.5 mi. A second relay runner (for a three person group) could start here. After North lake, there is a long, very runnable descent of 5 miles to Rte 23A in Palenville, at 568 ft. the lowest elevation on the course. After passing the aid station, you will cross over the road, turn right and run about 1/4 mile on the highway over a bridge and make a left down a dead end. Climb over the fence and follow a ragged trail to Malden Ave. After passing the Fernwood Restaurant, make a right uphill at the next road which looks like a driveway, and then a quick sharp right steeply uphill to begin the climb up Kaaterskill High Peak, the worst climb all day, over about 3 miles. There are some great views along the way, eventually, from the tops of two waterfalls. You will not actually summit KHP as it is a bushwhack. The descent to the Platte Clove aid station is long and very runnable. YOU MUST REACH PLATTE CLOVE AID STATION BY 4 P.M. For a two person relay, this would be a good breakpoint, and also a good break for a third person in a three person relay. The remaining 25-26 miles are the most rugged on the course, however.
If you think you’ve had it at this point, you ain’t seen nothing yet! You will cross the Platte Clove Preserve on the Long Path to the start of the Devil’s Path (red) (which runs concurrently with the Long Path at this point). You will then climb steeply up Indian Head, yet another 3500+ peak. After Indian Head, you will drop into the col and then climb Twin and Sugarloaf Mtns. The descent off Sugarloaf is treacherous and it may be near nightfall at this point. There is an aid station at Mink Hollow. YOU MUST REACH MINK HOLLOW AID STATION BY 9 P.M. A tough hike up Plateau, 1200 ft. in 0.8 mi, pulling yourself up ledges, then follows. At 3840 ft., this is the last of the seven 3500+ peaks on the course, but by no means the end of your trouble. After running a short distance on the relatively flat top of Plateau, you will turn left on the new Long Path and head 10.4 miles towards the summit of Mt. Tremper. You will have to cross over Silver Hollow, Edgewood Mtn., Warner Creek (can be knee deep), and Carl Mountain. The footing is sometimes bad and many of you will be doing this segment in the dark, guided by fluorescent tape. Finally, you will reach the fire tower at the summit of Mt. Tremper, at 2740 ft. From there you will descend 1900 ft. in less than 3 miles to County Rte 40 (Plank Rd.) and turn right to follow the highway the last mile into Phoenicia and the finish line.
Contact: RD Charlie Gadol firstname.lastname@example.org
Detailed Turn Sheet
Most turns will be marked with orange flagging tape (fluorescent later on). The entire course will be marked from Plateau Mtn. down to Rte 40. The Long Path is sometimes marked with aqua blazes painted on trees. In several areas, there are red blazes instead of blue ones — coming down from North-South Lake after you leave the Escarpment Trail, coming down from Kaaterskill High Peak, coming down from Mt. Tremper at the end of the race, and the entire section that coincides with the Devil’s Path. The blazes are confusing!
1. Start headed east from CD Lane Park on Big Hollow Rd. for 3 mi., becomes a dirt road.
2. When you reach the trailhead for the Black Dome Trail (red blaze), you will make a left at the water table (aid station #1).
3. Go 1.1 mi. uphill (about 1000 ft. of climb) to the Escarpment Trail/Long Path (ET/LP) (blue blaze). Make a right.
4. Continue on the Escarpment Trail/Long Path (blue blaze) over Acra Point and Blackhead Mtn. (3940 ft., high point on the course), then down to Dutcher’s Notch (10.3 mi) and aid station #2.
5. Continue straight up Stoppel Pt. to North Pt. Continue on the blue-blazed ET/LP. DO NOT TURN RIGHT ONTO RED OR YELLOW-BLAZED TRAILS.
6. Continue to aid station #3 at 17.5 mi. at a picnic table next to the trail at North-South Lake. There are water and bathrooms available close by, next to the parking area by the beach. (This could be a first relay exchange point). NOTE: IT COSTS $8/CAR TO ENTER THE PARK AT NORTH-SOUTH LAKE. THIS PARK FEE IS NOT INCLUDED WITH YOUR RACE PAYMENT AND YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY THIS YOURSELF).
7. Continue straight along the blue blazed ET/LP; look for orange flagging tape in this area. Continue on past the detour to Boulder Rock (if you do visit Boulder Rock, the trail returns to the course). When you bypass Boulder Rock, you will briefly be on a red-blazed trail. Continue on the ET/LP to a marked trail junction (also marked with tape). Make a left to stay on the Long Path/Escarpment Trail, the blazes are still blue. Go 0.5 mi downhill and then make another left to stay on the LP; at this point the blazes turn red. Follow the rocky road downhill about 3 mi. more to aid station #4 at 21.5 mi in Palenville, just up the hill from 23A. (This could be another relay exchange point).
8. CAREFULLY CROSS 23A and head right along the guardrail facing traffic. There is almost no shoulder. There will be no police presence to make this any easier, since there are too few runners and you will be so spread out. WATCH FOR ONCOMING TRAFFIC. Continue uphill for 1/4 mi over the bridge over Kaaterskill Creek and make the immediate left onto Malden Ave.
9. Continue past the barrier and follow the Long Path onto the street again, past the Fernwood Restaurant. You will see a dirt road on the right. Make the right turn and then another right to continue on the LP. (It may seem like you are running through someone’s backyard).
10. Follow the LP (blue blaze) up Kaaterskill High Peak. Note that after Buttermilk Falls, the trail turns abruptly to the left. (There is a wider trail straight ahead; this is the wrong trail). If you stop seeing blue blazes, you are off course and turn around. There should be orange flagging. Continue on the LP to Platte Clove aid station #5 at 31.5 mi. (another possible relay exchange). There will be van service to and from the finish from here. IF YOU CHOOSE TO DROP OUT, PLEASE TELL THE AID STATION VOLUNTEERS.
YOU MUST HAVE AT LEAST ONE HEADLAMP AND/OR FLASHLIGHT WITH EXTRA BATTERIES TO CONTINUE. NO EXCEPTIONS. You must reach Platte Clove by 4 pm in order to continue. This is a hard cutoff; please cooperate with the volunteers.
11. Turn right at the end of the driveway onto Platte Clove Rd. Go a short distance up the road and turn left onto the Long Path (aqua blazes) to cross the Platte Clove Preserve (about 1 mile). This will take you to the base of Indian Head.
12. Continue on the LP which runs together with the DP (red blazes). From now on, you will stay on the LP until you reach Plank Rd. (Rte 40) in Phoenicia.
Continue over Indian Head, Twin, and Sugarloaf Mountains.
13. Continue down Sugarloaf to Mink Hollow aid station #6 (40.5 mi). The aid station will probably be right on the trail.
14. Continue straight up Plateau Mtn for another 1.5 mi. You will reach a well-marked trail intersection, heavily flagged. After you reach the summit, you still have about a half mile to the next turn.
15. Make a left to continue on the LP. DO NOT MISS THIS TURN. A COUPLE OF PEOPLE MISSED THIS TURN LAST YEAR. (The DP continues straight and you do not want to continue on the DP).
16. Stay on the LP for a long, long time. Do not make any turns onto other trails. At this point, there will be one aid station at the junction with the Willow trail at about 50 mi. (Note: At Silver Hollow Notch, you may see some old blue/aqua blazes heading off at a right angle to the LP. Do not turn here; go straight). You will cross Edgewood Mtn., wade through Warner Creek, and go over Carl Mtn. before climbing up Mt. Tremper (passing its fire tower). WATCH FOR A SHARP LEFT THAT TAKES YOU TO THE WARNER CREEK CROSSING (easily missed). At Mt. Tremper, head down the LP now blazed red. (Somewhere close to the bottom, there are some ruins/a quarry off to the left. Stay out of this area, which is off the trail anyway, since there is a rattlesnake den here. There are not reported to be any rattlesnakes anywhere else on the course).
17. Follow the orange flagging down to the road and the last aid station. We will give you a reflective vest or belt to wear along the road to the finish after 8 pm, which you will give back to us to recirculate back to the last aid station.
18. Make a right turn onto Plank Rd. (Rte 40). From here it is roughly 1.5 mi. to the finish at the Parish Hall, a low white building on your right as you enter the village. PLEASE WATCH FOR TRAFFIC. In places, there isn’t much of a shoulder. Phoenicia is a happening place on Saturday nights during the summer. Do not assume drivers will see you. We will give you a fluorescent vest to wear if you arrive after dark. Again, there will not be a police presence to guide you in.