Rock ‘N The Knob: 5-mile course

New for 2016: 10K Course Description


The singletrack course immediately after the right turn off of Overland Trail.

Mile 0 to Mile 0.5– Racers will start in front of the clubhouse at an elevation of 2732 feet. Runners will immediately make a left turn around Bear Lodge and toward the condos  before making another right. Runners will run along the condos to the right and then drop to the woods by making a right onto a double-track dirt road (Condo Road). We advise faster runners to start in front of the pack and/or pass as many runners before the course narrows.

Once in the woods, runners will make a left onto a singletrack trail and make a slow and gradual climb up the hill and crossing Little Valley Road. If you do try to pass runners on the narrow singletrack, please adhere good running manners by announcing your intentions to pass and on which side. Runners being overtaken should step aside and allow the runner that is passing to pass safety.

Mile 0.5 to Mile 0.95 — A singletrack, runners will make a right turn and down a short 50 feet hill back toward Little Valley Road. This little “dog leg” is a change of pace by offering runners a downhill but keep an eye on rocks. We call it Aiegotta Hedake as a tribute to a local runner.

As you run down the hill keep in mind that running downhill is a bit more harder to negotiate than running uphill. Slow down, pick a good line and be sure to keep some space between you and the runners in front of you.

The trail will eventually turn back to the left and uphill once again to the shed at the bottom of Blue Knob Tubing Park. Runners will run down the access road to the tubing park for a two-tenths of a mile before making a right back onto a singletrack trail. Faster runners should take advantage of this section to overtake any slower runners.

A short technical section as the course parallels Pavia Road.

Mile 0.9 to Mile 1.9 — Back on the singletrack, runners will parallel Pavia Road within a strip of woods between the road and the ski slopes. Some sections are flat and fast while some sections are very rocky and technical. Pay attention to the trail in front of you.

CAUTION: This entire section will have occasional technical sections filled with pointy rocks that are sheared in crazy angles and such.  Some runners can use this section to pass since it is easier to navigate technical terrain running uphill than it is running downhill. Know your limits and abilities!

The final section is a hill climb of about two-tenths of a mile up a technical section called Stoehr Climb (pronounced “stair climb”). At the top, runners will cross Pavia Road and run toward the chalet.

Mile 1.95 to Mile 2.25 — Running past the chalet with the chalet on the left, runners will drop into the woods and onto a short section of singletrack before turning left on a dirt road. The road will travel downhill and again some runners may use this section to overtake runners. Though not long and dropping only 150 feet, the road is moderately steep. Runners will then make a hard right at the trail sign pointing to the “lookouts”. Follow the arrows and course markings. (This is also where the 2o milr runners will join the 10K course.)

The dirt state forest road then to the turn to the lookouts.


“The Rock Pads” at the top of the climb.

Mile 2.25 to Mile 3.5 — Runners will go up hill on a singletrack trail. There will be some “rock steps” in some sections that are more fun than they are challenging before leveling out after the summit of the hill and curving toward the right. Here the trail become rather flat for a mile. Here the course will complete a half circle along the southern side of Blue Knob. Flora will vary from thick brush, to vast green fields of ferns in open forest, and finally twisted and weathered oaks. Be sure to look on your left at mile 2.8 at Pavia Lookout offering a view toward the southwest. At mile 3.25 there will be a “S”-curve to the left then to the right with a small downhill in the middle of the “S” and merging to another trail coming up from the top of the mountain on your left. Continue right. At mile 3.4, runners will make a left onto a state forest dirt road, past a gate and arrive at the western side of the mountain at Pavia Road. There will be a water-only station here at mile 3.5.

Mile 3.5 to Mile 5.1 — Runners will run to the lodge via a powerline, cross a service shed, a parking area and then up a bank to the lodge. Runners will go behind the lodge (right before the lodge) and will be offered a tremendous view toward the northeast at the top of the ski lifts. Runners will then proceed down Upper Mambo ski slope. Follow the “running lanes” as it switchbacks down the steeper part of the slope to avoid the holes and ruts. At the bottom, runners will have the condos on the right as they continue down the slope and yield left and down a steep slope called Edge Set. After a short break, runners will go down for one turn before running down a service road. Then it is a steep scramble up the mountain called “I Need a Sherpa”. After the climb, you run along a grass lane before another short drop downhill on another service road before a second climb.

CAUTION: This new section including Edge Set, Stembogen, “I Need a Sherpa!” and to the beginning of Old Ridge Run is either a very steep downhill or a steep climb up. You will probably bitch fiercely to us about it. However we rather give you a challenge that you will talk about long after the race.

Left: View from the top. Runners will go down Upper Mambo left of center. Right: One of the many views before going down Edge Set.

Condo Trail

Mile 5.1 to FINISH — Now on Old Ridge Run (a wide and fast doubletrack) some racers will be able to make a final sprint. At mile 5.4, we will offer some nice singletrack. As the trail cross a couple roads and past some golf greens before terminating at Evergreen Lane at mile 5.7. Then it is a paved road as you approach the rear of the clubhouse.


Course Statistics:

  • Length: 6.3 miles
  • Elevation: Start – 2786 feet; Lowest- 2510 feet; Highest – 3146 feet
  • Steepest Climb: 199 feet in 0.1 miles (23% to 38% grade)
  • Steepest Downhill: 200 feet in 0.1 miles (40% max. grade)
  • Longest Continuous Climb: 220 feet in 1.2 miles from bottom of Aiegotta Hedake to Chalet
  • Longest Continuous Downhill: 634 feet in 1 miles from ski lodge to bottom along Stembogen
  • Total Climb: 1165 feet