A couple of weeks ago, I ran the “unofficial” Crowder’s Mountain 50K. Aaron Ligon had organized a F.A. style run since this year the official race was on hiatus. Around 20 people showed up to run various distances, although most opted for the 50K.
It was a beautiful day, although pretty hot considering I had still been running in snow the week leading up to Crowder’s Mountain. The run started at the Linwood parking area, as the original race had done and followed the forest service up towards the top of Crowder’s Mountain. But instead of heading down the stairs, this route took a fun, rocky trail down the mountain and towards the park office and visitor center.
After leaving the park office, where Aaron and friends had left a cooler full of goodies, you followed the Ridgeline trail out to the 16 mile point at Kings Mountain and reversed course. The route included some steep climbs and descents with rocky terrain along with some rolling trail with a nice runnable surface. There were views along the way and a nice climb to the top of Kings Pinnacle. All in all, a very nice trail to run with rocky terrain that you wouldn’t expect right outside Charlotte. And as an added bonus, the route back included the long stair climb from the original course.
I finished pretty slow, 7:10, but I wasn’t in a big hurry and I enjoyed the run. Aaron and his friends did a nice job of organizing the run and providing better “aid station” fare than most regular races.