Blood Rock 25K Trail Race

The Blood Rock 25K Course Description
The following is a turn by turn description of the Blood Rock 25K course at Oak Mtn State Park. 
The race will start at 7:30 AM at the Fishing Center Pavilion on Oak Mountain Lake. This is the lake adjacent to the toll booth at the north entrance to the park. The run will start down Findley Drive for about 1.5 miles to an old roadway that turns off to the left along a small creek. This trail starts at the small parking area with just enough room for two or three cars. This parking area is 0.4 miles north of the North Trail Head. Leave the aid station on the "Far End Back Trail." The trail follows the creek to a fork where two small creeks merge. Runners cross the creek and angle left following the creek upstream through an old quarry cut. You will cross the creek 3 times in about 1/3 mile. If there has been a substantial amount of rain, your feet will get wet. Just before reaching the spot where the creek you have been following comes down the mountain directly in front of you, makes a right and go straight up the mountain paralleling the creek. (Do not cross the creek.) Continue uphill through a very rocky area covered in boulders to the base of the cliffs. The trail climbs through the rock band to the left side of the cliff face, then angles to the right over steep terrain, up to the ridge crest. This is the first of three very steep climbs, gaining 370 ft. in 0.3 mile. The course follows the ridge crest heading southwest to a shoulder near the end of the ridge. The trail turns left across the shoulder (or gap) over to the next ridgeline to your left and continues to the Eagle Nest Overlook Trail. Follow the trail along the crest, then down the hill to the left connecting into the Blue Trail. Go left on blue, then up the hill to the ridge and continue left on the Kings Chair Trail. At the top of the eastern most ridge, where the Kings Chair Trail turns left, (northeast) go just over the ridge and turn right along the back side of the ridgeline. 
The Fishing Center Start
Although the start is 200 yards from the north entrance, everyone may need to enter through the south entrance near Interstate 65 and Hwy 119, Cahaba Valley Rd. The north gate does not open until 7:00 AM and the race starts at 7:30 AM. If you pick up your race packet Friday afternoon at Mountain High Outfitters, you will be safe coming in the north gate.

This first section, start to Aid Station 1 is going to be long, almost 12 miles. We will do our best to get water up the South Red/Blue Connector Trail but this will still be 8.5 miles from the start. Just be prepared. Carry enough water to run the 12 hardest miles of the race without an aid station. It will take many runners over 3 hours, some 4+ hours. No one will be allowed to start without carrying some type of hydration.
This is where things start to get interesting. This is also where the trails become much more difficult to run. The next 3 miles are on unimproved backcountry trails. They receive very light use and are not leveled or maintained. One section is an old wagon road that zigzags down the back side of the mountain and has not been used in years. This old road is even more difficult to run. In places, the trial is little more than an animal trial. Many runners will need to walk much of this 3 mile section. Trekking poles will come in very handy in areas, especially on the very steep traverses. I will spend considerable time raking and clearing limbs and debris and the route will be very well marked. Just be prepared for some slow going. From the Kings Chair Trail, runners will follow the east ridge of Double Oak Mountain on faint trails staying just to the west side of the ridge and at places, on top of the ridge. Runners will be following the trail called the "Rim Walk East Trail." Continue over two hills and watch for where the trail climbs through the rock band to your left, over the ridge crest and continue along the east side of the ridge. The trail will drop sharply downhill through large boulders to a small creek crossing very close to a park boundary marker. After crossing the creek angle slightly to the right and climb straight up the hill on a very steep, very rocky, trail. This section will be much easier to negotiate if you have trekking poles. This hill, I call "Barkley Hill" gains 250 ft in 0.18 miles. That's steep!! The top of the hill is guarded by the Barkley Demon! As you approach the ridge, look up to your right to see this rather imposing stone figure looming above.

Continue up steep terrain to the rocky crest of the ridge then angle left. Do not cross over the ridge. Continue along easy ground for several hundred yards to where the trial angles to the left and drops downhill on the old wagon road. If you look carefully you can still see the parallel ruts of the road. After about 200 yards the trail makes a sharp left turn and continues down the mountain for about 1/4 mile. Just before reaching an old fence at the park boundary, make a sharp right turn and traverse along a series of rock shelves. Eventually the trail drops sharply downhill through a rock band, turning left then back right. Watch for the old wagon wheel rim and bearing case as the trails levels out. Continue to where the trial again turns left through another rocky area and continues downhill to an old sunken road. 

Go right on the old road and continue until just before the park boundary. You will see a No Trespassing sign on the left where the trail leave the old roadbed. If you go too far, you will come to the park boundary. Follow the trail off to the right slowly winding up the side of the mountain. Cross a small creek and follow the trail up the back side of the east ridge of Double Oak Mountain. This is the longest of the backcountry climbs and the steepest in one short section. This hill is called "Topples Hill" and gains 550 ft. in 0.45 Miles. At the top, turn left along the ridge to an overlook where the trial leaves the ridge to the right and connects into the Blue Trail. 

Go right on the Blue Trial to the South Red/Blue Connector and turn left, downhill to the Red Bike Road. Cross the bridge and angle right continuing downhill on the bike road to the North Red/Blue Connector. Runners will turn right at the connector and climb up the to the Blue Trial, turn right again for about 100 yards, then make a sharp left up the steep climb to Eagles Nest Overlook. Continue to the ridge crest and follow the trail along the ridge heading northeast. Runners will again enter the Far End Back Trail heading northeast. Stay on the trail along the ridge, then drop down the mountain. At the bottom of the hill, angle left along the creek to where the creek you are following intersects another creek coming down the mountain from your left. Cross the creek straight ahead and climb the steep but short hill, past a bench and continue along the trail to the Blue Trail. Turn right and follow the Blue Trial back to the North Trialhead. This is the location of the North Trail Head Aid Station, AS #1. Be sure your number is recorded. We want to make sure all runners make it back from the "Out Back" safely. From there go a few yards up the Red Bike Road to the Yellow and White Trail, turn right and follow the yellow trail back south, past Tranquility Lake to where the Yellow Trail comes out of the woods and crossed a long footbridge.
​PLEASE NOTE: It is 11.8 Miles from the start to Aid Station 1 - Carry a lot of water!

From the NTH, runners will cross Findley Dr., go through the NTH parking lot, to a trail leading out of the back side of the lot. (Use Caution crossing Findley Drive.) Follow the trail to the campground. Runners will turn right on the campground road running past the Campground Office and continue through the campground. Leave the camp road near the lake and cross over to the northwest side of Oak Mountain Lake. This area may be very wet. Runners will then following the trail along the shoreline, cross the spillway and continue heading northeast along the lake shore on the gravel road. Be very careful descending the ladder down to the Spillway. The medal rungs are VERY SLIPPERY. At the end of the gravel road, enter the paved road and continue straight ahead a short distance to the race finish.

Page Not Updated for 2017