“30K trail race in the North Mills River area of the Pisgah National Forest.”
— Victor Mariano
Race - Sep 29, 2018
It was over a year ago now, but a morning like any other. I was heading out for my morning run from the Wash Creek Horse Camp when I heard a rooster crow. I was, of course, surprised as I had never encountered a rooster in the woods. I shrugged and set off on a course that would become the 30K route you are about to embark on. As I came down the final trail, there he was, strutting his stuff, the rooster. People were camping there, so I figured they had brought the rooster with them.
Being my typical start point for many of my runs, I returned and saw/heard the rooster for the next few days. Then the family camping that I believed owned the rooster left. However, the rooster remained. For two weeks he greeted me each morning upon my arrival, until one day, he didn't.
This route is a tribute to him. So as you get your feet wet for the thousandth time, thank the rooster!
Need to Know
Runners will be shuttled from parking (North River Farms) to the start and back after finishing the race. NO PARKING AT THE START AREA!
10 River Crossings in 1.75 miles
LOT'S OF STREAM CROSSINGS - YOU WILL GET WET!
Food trucks will be available after the race at North River Farms.
Bring extra clothes, socks, and shoes for after you finish!
The race starts by heading out lower Trace Ridge to N. Mills River Trail where runners will cross the N. Mills River 10 times in 1.75 miles! After the last crossing, runners will pass by two waterfalls and the Old Hendersonville Reservoir and enter Spencer Branch Trail in which the stream crossings will begin almost immediately taking them onto Middle Fork Trail and more stream crossings.
Upon exiting Middle Fork onto Forest Service Road 5097 for two miles and connecting them to Fletcher Creek Trail (more creek crossings and some pretty scenery) joining runners back to Spencer Branch Trail (even more creek crossings). Runners will cross over 5097 and climb up Spencer Gap Trail and cross over upper Trace Ridge and continue on Spencer Gap to Forest Service Road 5000.
That will provide some beautiful views as runners approach the Blue Ridge Parkway (two miles) till they reach the screaming downhill of Bad Fork Trail (some easy creek crossings). This will return to 5000 for a 1/2 mile and turn up 5000A to reach the final mile on Bear Branch Trail
and finishing in the Wash Creek Horse Camp.
Flora & Fauna
I've personally seen black bear, coyote, and copperheads out on these specific trails. Be mindful and know what to do if encountered!