“This trail has it all: high speed doubletrack, tight singletrack, big hills, and steep, rocky descents.”
— Brad Scales
Race - May 4, 2019
This is not recommended during hunting season.
The 2017 Coal Country 50 course features all types of trails. These trails offer the perfect mix of technical challenge and fitness. The large hills on this course offer something rare in this area and the rocky terrain keeps it interesting. The course features a 3-mile beginner course along with an 8-mile intermediate course. Beginner racers complete two laps on the beginner course. Intermediate racers complete two laps on the intermediate course. Advanced racers complete four laps on the intermediate course.
Need to Know
This course can be accessed from the main parking lot where pit toilets and a shelter house are located. There is no potable water on site.
This race starts by the boat ramp just past the gate house and enters the singletrack north of the lake. The singletrack takes a right turn and climbs to a picnic area. From there, head north on the trail that follows the lake. After a large, steep descent and climb, you'll turn left and head toward the gate that will take you to the west side of the lake. Turn left on the trail that runs southward along the west edge of the lake. This trail runs into a gate and forces you to turn right. At this point, the beginner course goes straight.
The intermediate course takes the forced right turn onto a fast trail that heads north for a couple minutes and turns left onto the singletrack that crosses it. This singletrack is bench cut with lots of ruts and tight sections. It ends at a "T" where the course turns right and tackles a long, rocky climb. At the top of the climb, the trail opens up and the course takes the first left turn.
This trail is fast and open, so be sure to turn right at the next "Y". After the "Y", the trail remains fast and open leading up to a left turn on doubletrack that heads west and places you at the shore of a large lake. Continue on the doubletrack until you reach an old haul road and turn right. Follow the road west and turn left onto the next trail. Follow this trail for about a quarter mile until you see a right turn. Take the right turn, cross three bridges, and turn left when you reach the haul road again.
Follow the haul road west and turn left onto the next trail. This trail heads south and winds its way towards a short, punchy climb that ends at a "T". Turn left onto the trail that descends and stay right when you see the next singletrack on your left. After staying right, this trail eventually crosses over a doubletrack trail and continues south. After a long climb, stay left and continue to stay left until you encounter a long descent.
Following the descent, continue north on the trail until you encounter a drop into an area with trails going all directions. As you drop into this area, turn right on the doubletrack and follow it east until the main trail turns right and heads toward the south. Follow this trail as it traverses the hillside along the lake.
Stay left along the lake while taking one small detour away from the lake to bypass a badly eroded section of trail. This bypass is right off the main trail and a left turn just after it crosses the singletrack at the top of a short hill. This trail takes you up and down, then into a long, steep climb. At the top of the climb, stay left and continue until you see the emergency post and a "T".
This post is at the south end of the eroded section of trail. Turn right at the "T" and go down a fast section of doubletrack to a left turn that leads into a wide open section of trail through a field. This trail bottlenecks into a small bridge. After crossing the bridge, turn right and continue on the trail, crossing a gravel haul road where the intermediate course meets back up with the beginner course.
After crossing the gravel haul road, follow the singletrack south along the edge of the lake until the trail turns left along Hwy 68. The trail wraps around the south edge of the lake and turns left back onto the singletrack. This trail is tight and twisty with many ruts to challenge riders. Avoid turning onto the hiking trail through this section and follow it until you exit the trail back at the boat ramp.
History & Background
Strip-mining has dominated this landscape. While the course does not encounter the many large spoil banks at this park, it does offer a unique course for the tri-state with its large hills, technical terrain, and great views.