This half marathon is part of a weekend of outdoor races, music, and vendors on behalf of the Yough Riverkeeper and Mountain Watershed Association. Mountain biking, white water kayaking and trail racing highlights the watershed and its beauty.
Run from the Falls Overlook upstream. At 0.1 miles, bear right at Falls Market, 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 0.9 miles, turn left where it says "Campground" and quickly turn right to enter Beech Trail
. You'll enter Beech Trail
at about one mile into the run. You'll see official state park sign for Beech, which runs parallel to the GAP.
At about two miles when you come to a T in the trail at a stream, turn right down a bank back to the GAP. Run 1.7 miles on the GAP. At mile 3, you'll see the signs for Jonathan Run. Turn right to follow Jonathan Run trail, along the creek, for a 2.6 total there and back again section. At 4.45 mi, you'll cross the narrow bridge. Run all the way to the Jonathan Run parking area, where you'll turn around—be sure to actually loop around the rock at the trailhead!
You'll cross the narrow bridge again around 6.2 miles. You'll cross the wider wooden bridge around 6.5 miles. Turn right to follow Kentuck Trail
, straight uphill for 0.75 miles until you get to the campground, where you'll come out onto a paved campground road near a parking lot. Turn right onto the road, pass the parking lot on your right, run through the four-way intersection to the edge of the woods on the other side and connect to Kentuck Trail
Run to Tharpe Knob Overlook! When you get to Tharpe Knob, you'll exit the woods onto grass where you'll see a playground and pavilions, which is Tharpe Knob Picnic Area. Stay in the grass, along the tree line, turning right to run along the trees to the wide uphill path leading to the overlook. At the overlook, you'll hit 9.3 miles. Run down the fitness trail for about half a mile to connect back to Kentuck Trail
. Turn left on Kentuck Trail
Run 1.8 miles until you see the sign for Great Gorge. Make a right at the Great Gorge sign and run mostly downhill for 1.5 miles until you get to the GAP again. Continue across the high bridges, cross the main road and make your way back to the start/finish area. You'll run the three viewing decks at the falls and loop once around the parking lot for your complete half marathon! My Garmin clocked the run at 13 miles exactly, while Trail Run Project clocked it at 13.8 mi.