The 25 & 50K will start at the Redbud Pavilion and follow a short section of the bike trail back to near the "Chimneys," then take a small connector over the Light Trail to the campground. Runners will continue straight ahead through the campground to a trail leading off to the left and around the northwest side of Oak Mountain Lake. You will cross over the dam and continue on the gravel road then paved road, past the fishing center and turn right across the dam. At the parking lot just past the dam you will enter a trail that will eventually reach the "Far End Back Trail." Turn left and head into the Oak Mountain Backcountry.
The next 6 miles are all in the backcountry. Runners will climb up and over the west ridge, then the east ridge of Double Oak Mountain. You will eventually reach Kings Chair Overlook, one of the best overlooks in the park. Be sure to stop of photo or two. Runners will continue along the east ridge on the old "Rim Walk East" trail for about a mile before the trail drops out from under you and you will find yourself at the bottom of "Barkley Hill" . After reaching the east ridge runners will head down the back side of Double Oak Mountain on an old wagon road into the "Outback." Runners will eventually climb out of Donnavant Valley, up "Topless Hill" and return to "Normal" trails and eventually reach Redbud the end for 25K runners. 50K Runners, well, you have a little bit to go yet.
The start will be at the Redbud Pavilion by the BMX track on Tranquility Road. The race will start following the Red "Chimney Trail" then take cut through trail that leads over the Light Trail. Runners will follow the Light Trial to the Campground then following the road angling left to the cul de sac. Continue straight ahead on the trail for about 50 yards the follow the obscure trail to the left and around the fishing lake on the southwest side. You will cross the dam and continue along the lake on the gravel road, past the Fishing Center Pavilion and over the dam between the two fishing lakes. Just past the dam you will come to a parking lot on your left and a Water Only Aid Station at about mile 3.6. leave the road and take the wide trail to your left.
Stay on the trail paralleling Findley Drive for about a mile to where it crosses the "Far End Back Trail." This trail is one of the old backcountry trails that are no longer maintained but it is well used. Turn left and follow the trail along a creek for about 1/2 mile to where the trails turns right and heads uphill. This is the start of the first significant climb up to the top of one of Double Oak Mountains ridges. Once you reach the top on some very steep, very rocky terrain, the trail follows the ridge for a short distance then turns left downhill, then over another rugged and very rock ridge. Stay on the trail down to an old road and go left for a short distance before climbing up a shot hill to the "Kings Chair" Trail.
You are now on the old abandoned "Rim Walk East Trail." Runners will continue along the far southeast ridge of Double Oak Mountain for a couple of miles along some short but climbs and descents. 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, and in some cases, no use and are not leveled or maintained. After two steep little hills you will cross over the ridge to the back side of Double Oak Mountain. As you continue along the east side of the ridge the trail becomes much steeper going down hill to a small creek. As you cross the creek, look up above you. This rather imposing hill is what we affectionately call "Barkley Hill" named after the infamous Barkley Marathons. This is also where we run 600 ft. of rope up the hill. If it doesn't rain the rope isn't necessary. If it does rain, this climb without ropes would be just about impossible! This section will be much easier to negotiate if you have trekking poles. The hill gains 250 ft. in 210 yards. 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.
Once you reach the ridge (after a short recovery) you will follow a fairly easy section of trail for about 1/2 mile along the southeast side of the ridge to where the old wagon road cuts through a very rocky section of the ridge. Continue straight ahead on the old wagon road as it drops down the back side of Double Oak Mtn. The old road zigzags down the back side of the mountain for less than a mile, then makes a sharp right and traverses along a series of rocky ledges for about a mile. This old road is steep in some places but fairly easy to run. If you look carefully you can still see the parallel ruts of the road. 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. Just past the remains of the wheel, 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 to 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 there are a few very steep sections. 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.
This is the location of the Eagle Nest Trail Aid Station at mile 10.8. 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, straight ahead. Stay on the trail along the ridge, then across a small valley and up to the next ridge. As you reach the ridge, you will turn left onto the original Far End Back Trail heading down the ridge to the southwest then drops sharply down the mountain to your right. The old trail "Ts" into the Blue Trail Turn and runners will go right on Blue to the North Trial Head. At the bike road go left about 100 yards the right on the White/Yellow Trail. After a short hill the Yellow and White Split. Angle left onto the Yellow Trail. Stay on Yellow until the trail descends into Maggie's Glen. Turn right onto the White Trail keeping the creek on your left. Continue straight on the Cabin Trail at the intersection where the White Trail turns right. Runners will emerge from the woods and see the cabins straight ahead. Continue straight ahead on the cabin road then take the trail along the lake. The cabins will be on your right, the lake on your left. You are now on a wide trail that follows the lake short then turns right past the dam and continue to where the trail comes out by the bathrooms adjacent to the BMX track. Go left down the road 200 yards back to Redbud Aid Station.