This is part of the Ohiopyle Falls & Trails Trilogy, which also includes a half marathon, full trail marathon, mountain biking race, and falls kayak race.
This is a fun climb to flowing, rolling terrain, and then a fun, fluid descent on singletrack trail. About 1.6 miles are on flat rail trail and/or sidewalk in order to get to the trailhead.
The start line will begin in front of the Ohiopyle Falls, the famous 18-foot falls in the middle of town. Racers will run from the Falls Overlook upstream. At 0.1 miles, bear right at Falls Market to cross the main road, Rt. 381, and then make the very first left to get on the Great Allegheny Passage
(GAP), a doubletrack, flat rail trail. Run across two high bridges over the Yough River.
At 0.8 miles, turn left on Great Gorge spur trail (it is unmarked and NOT the main Great Gorge Trail
; it is the first trail on the left after passing the main Great Gorge Trail
sign.) Run uphill on singletrack, the most technical part of the race with rocks, streams and roots, for three quarters of a mile (stay left as you pass the intersection for the campground midway).
At 1.6 miles, turn left onto Kentuck Trail
and run to Tharpe Knob. You'll exit the woods at about 3.0 miles into grass where you'll see a playground and pavilions. Turn right immediately and run along the tree line to the wide uphill path leading to the overlook. From the overlook, run down the fitness trail to connect back to Kentuck Trail
. Turn left on Kentuck Trail
at about 3.5 miles. Run along Kentuck Trail
and make a right back down Great Gorge spur (the same way you ran up) at 5 miles. Remember, this is the most technical part of the trail, so tread lightly with keen eyes.
At the bottom of the hill, at 5.7 miles, turn right onto the GAP rail trail and run across the two high bridges. Turn right at the visitors center, turn right onto the street/sidewalk and cross the main road, Rt. 381, at Falls Market. Make your way back to the finish line, also the start line, running downstream along the Yough River!
The course is a lollipop and about 6.5 miles on my Garmin, a bit more than the official 10K (6.2 mi) distance, in classic trail race style.