Birmingham Mountain Stage Race - Stage 3 - Oak Mountain State Park - Sept. 25

Course - We have a new course for 2106. Total length is 24 Miles. Start - Redbud Pavilion
   Unmanned, Water Only Aid Station  
   Aid Station 1 - Redbud Pavilion - Mile 8.2
   Aid Station 2 - Peavine Falls Aid Station - Mile 12.3 
   Unmanned, Water Only AS - Red Bike Road at the North Red/Blue Connector - Mile 17.9
   Finish - Redbud Pavilion - 24 miles.
Stage 3 - Oak Mountain State Park- 24 Miles - This stage will be the longest and hardest of the three stages. Double Oak Mountain is over 600 feet above the surrounding terrain and is a very rugged mountain. There are several steep climbs and depending on the weather, there may also be several creek crossings. The race will be divided into two segments. The first part will circle the southwest end of the park before returning to he Start/Finish area. Runners will then head northeast to the other end of Double Oak Mountain before returning to the finish. There will be an aid station located on the Peavine Falls Road. I do not yet have a map of the 2016 course. The total elevation gain for the Oak Mtn Stage will be 4,424 ft. (Elevation Change, 8,848 ft.)

Map to the Race Start at the Redbud Pavilion: by the BMX Track. Please note, the North Gate of Oak Mountain State Park does not open until 7:00 AM. GPS Coordinates to the start: 33.349074, -86.729132

Below is the 2016 Stage 3 Course Map and Elevation Profile. Those of you that have done one of the Blood Rock preview runs will recognize a little of this course.
Birmingham Stage Race
Stage 3 - Oak Mountain State Park
The 2016 Oak Mountain Stage 
of the Birmingham Stage Race.
Start at Redbud and make a short loop around the BMX track on the road then enter the woods by the bathrooms. Follow the trail (road) around the lake and through the cabins. Take the White Trail to the North Trail Head. Go Left to the Blue Blue Trail and up to the #1 Post. Just before the post, take the Overlook Trail off to your left. Go past the bench at the end of the trail and continue down the steep hill and cross the creek. Cross just below (left) of where the two creeks join. Go up to the obvious trail just ahead and turn right, immediately crossing back across the creek. Follow that trail along the creek, crossing over it a couple more times, through the rock cut (maybe a quarry) then another 100 yards +/- to where the trail turns right and heads up the mountain. This is also where the creek comes down the mountain directly in front of you. Stay to the right of the creek. As you reach the base of the cliff band the trail turns left across a very rocky area, and traverses across steep terrain just a little below the base of the cliffs. Continue to where you can easily climb up through the rock band. Continue up the steep slope on the obvious trail and eventually you will reach the ridgeline. From there the trail follows the top of the ridge for about 2/3 mile then turns left across a shoulder to the next ridge. Follow that ridge to the right for less than 1/2 mile and you will come out on the Eagle Nest Overlook Trail. Go past the overlook and take the steep trail down to the Blue Trail. Go right for 100 yards to the North Red/Blue Connector, then  go left down to the bike road. (There will be a Water Only - Unmanned Aid Station here.) Go left again at the Red Bike Road and up to the new Red/White Connector trail, on your right, starting just below the large bridge located at Post #5. Take the R/W trial up to the White Trial and go right down the mountain to the Yellow Trail. Turn left on Yellow, past Tranquility Lake and back to the Redbud Aid Station at mile 8.2.

From the Redbud AS, enter the woods heading southwest on the Yellow Trail. Stay on Yellow to The Group Camp Gravel Rd (a bike road) then go left for 30 yards on the road. Turn right onto the Yellow/White Connector and follow it to the top of the West Ridge of Double Oak Mountain, about 1 mile. At the top of the mountain, the Yellow/White "T's" into the White Trial. Go right on White for about 100 yards down to the Red Bike Road and go right again onto the Red Bike Raod. Stay on the Red Road for about 2.5 miles until you reach an Iron gate across the gravel road. This is where the gravel road reaches the paved Peavine Falls Road. Go just past the gate an take the trail to your left up to the top of the ridge to the Green Trail. Go right on Green down to the Peavine Falls Aid Station at Mile 12.5. 

Leave the Aid Station following the White Trail, the wide gravel path, to where it makes a sharp left and angles downhill. DO NOT GO LEFT! Continue straight ahead, through the two benches and down the trail into Peavine Gorge. Cross the creek and climb out on the other side. At the top of the climb enter the Blue Trial angling right. Stay on Blue for about 3 miles to the Orange Connector Trail and turn left. Follow the Orange trail across the gravel road and continue up to the White Trail. Go right onto White, over Shackleford Point and along Shackleford ridge. About Post #34 the trail starts to angle down the mountain. After descending three distinct "Rock Steps" the trail traverses around the end of the ridge and drops sharply downhill to the left. DO NOT GO TO THE LEFT! Continue straight ahead into the Red/White Connector. (From here to the end of the race you will be backtracking on the same trails you ran early in the race.)  Take the Red/White Connector down to the Red Rd and turn left heading back down to the North Red/Blue Connector. At Red/Blue go right heading up the mountain to Blue, then left for 100 yards on Blue to the Eagles Nest Trail. Go left up the steep trail past Eagle's Nest and continue along the ridge again entering the backcountry section of the trail. Follow the backcountry trial back to the NTH, then take the White trail back to the Cabins, then around the lake and return to the Finish.