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blueBlack Cossatot "Skull Crusher" Half Marathon Trail Race

  5.0 ( 2 ) Favorite


12.9 mile 20.7 kilometer point to point
98% Runnable


Ascent: 900' 274 m
Descent: -984' -300 m
High: 1,007' 307 m
Low: 584' 178 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)


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Trail shared by il coyote

That aching in your cranium... it's just your heart pounding from the love sick crush it has for this trail race.

il coyote

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife


This race is named after the infamous Cossatot River Falls that the trail follows. Cossatot is the Cado people's word meaning "Skull Crusher". Your skull is not the only thing that will be crushed during this daring and dangerous dance of a trail from Vandervort, Arkansas to Wickes, AR, Cossatot State Recreational Park. Your psyche will suffer the crush of hill and vale and your heart will be crushed by the kind-hearted Arkansas State Park Crew who support this race, and the spectacular views of the river.

Need to Know

Bring money for the ridiculously cool park memorabilia. Cup your beverages; running through the wood like a wildebeest does not entitle you to forget your southern manners: cans and bottles are never to be shown in public. Reserve lodging well in advance in Mena or nearby cabins.

Runner Notes

Be kind to the state park staff. This is their gift to the community.


This race is best paired with Toasted Coconut Core beer from Core Brewery in Little Rock and the soundtrack from Les Miserables.

Run like Prefontaine and die at mile 12. Folks say: "Hike the hills, jog the flats, run the downs." This sweet advice has coated many a Cossatot Trail river bridge with copious amounts of crimson coagulated trail hieroglyphs. Run downhill and get tossed over the edge when you slip. Take your sweet time and set a personal worst. Prep for this race by doing knee bends and punching yourself in the groin whilst reading your junior high yearbook. Pain, humiliation and stamina are the main ingredients of this life altering race. The sirens call of enchanting water echoing through the river bottoms in amnesiac dirges through the pine beckons the runner to continue. Alas, you are forced to your knees once again less than three quarter's mile from the finish.

Flora & Fauna

Rocky and precarious in places. No North American Yeti have been spotted on the trail in the last decade.

History & Background

The Cossatot River hosts the most challenging section of whitewater between the Smokies and the Rockies. Don't be the fool who slips and falls in.

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  5.0 from 2 votes


  5.0 from 2 votes
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