Eastern States 100
10 August 2019
A world class wilderness trail experience in one of the most remote sections of the Pennsylvania Wilds – the Eastern States 100!Runners will experience portions of some of the most scenic and most challenging trails in Pennsylvania. The Mid State Trail – Pennsylvania’s wildest footpath. The Black Forest Trail – the crown jewel of Pennsylvania’s long distance hiking trails featuring hills, rocks, and on average, a vista for every mile of trail. The West Rim Trail – a backpacker’s favourite for experiencing the Pine Creek Gorge. The Donut Hole Trail, the T Squared Trail, the Long Branch Trail, The Tiadaghton Trail, and several shorter connector trails will round out the 100 mile loop.Runners will also experience miles of hills, rocky hollows, diverse forest and endless views. Wolf Path, Cougar Run, Hemlock Mountain, Jerry Run Falls, Panther Run, and the Algerine Wild Area are just some of the local trails you'll traverse. The course is full of single track, old logging roads and abandoned stone quarries. Deer, bear, bald eagles, and rattlesnakes may be seen.Only the hardiest of runners will complete this circumnavigation of Pine Creek. A Pennsylvania Scenic River. The largest creek in the United States. The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. The river route that supplied the lumber that built America. The Iroquois called it Tiadaghton – the River of Pines. Or is it the Lost or Bewildered River? After 100 miles of multiple 900 – 1200 foot climbs and equally punishing descents, this race is not for beginners!So be prepared to run the race of a lifetime!The event is also part of the Pennsylvania Triple Crown.
Mile 1-4 Easy-peasy. A mile of pavement, 3 miles of gently rolling. Easiest trail race ever. What was all the hype about? Run as fast as you can to make up time in this section.Mile 4 Cross Dam Run Road and face Dam!! Run?? Hill.Mile 5-10 Beautiful single track. Ups and downs. A couple rocky hollows to slow you down mixed with very runnable side hill and a great descent down the switchbacks. Having fun!Mile 10 – 17 Cross Pine Creek on the historic rail trail trestle, then another major climb. Don’t miss the panoramic Ramsey Bend Vista 30 feet off the trail. You will want a breather anyway. Then more great rolling single track until a descent down another rocky hollow. The reward is nice runnable log road that turns into a side hill trail above Pine Creek. Enjoy the views but watch your feet too. If you slip off the trail you will make a big splash and scare the fish.Note: The first 17-ish miles (start to Aid Station 3) are covered in more detail in the Call of the Wilds Mountain Marathon course description. For the rest of the course this is all you get.Mile 17.5 – 22.5 When you are done watching the model train run around the forest inside the State Forest Resource Center, head right down the paved driveway and turn right up Lower Pine Bottom Road. After ¾ mile gently uphill on this little used gravel road, drop across the stream and up an old log slide trail known as Wolf Path. The trail was re-discovered in the last couple years and opened up just for your climbing pleasure at this event. At the top turn left on Middle Hill Road. Don’t expect any traffic, it is a gated road. In a very short distance you will turn right and run along two sides of a fenced in area. This is a Bigfoot pen. If you are lucky you may see one, but it is unlikely since hallucinations generally don’t occur until much later in the race. You will then turn right onto an old logging road which then turns into single track and drops into a branch of Ott Fork, then right again onto the old Ott Fork Road. From Middle Hill to the bottom of Ott Fork at Rt. 44 is one of the most runnable sections of the whole course. Run as fast as you can so you don’t have to make up time later.Mile 22.5 – 24.7 Cross Rt 44 on the bridge and head up Plantation Trail. Another ridge to cross. At the top bear right then left at the picnic table (what an odd place for one) and follow some ATV trails. The state Bureau of Forestry has designated this area as one that ATVs can tear up the trails to their heart’s content so hopefully they stay off the prettier trails we will be using for the rest of the course. You will likely see brown carsonite posts with the following numbers: 18, 19, 20, 27, 21, 15. They are your lottery numbers for Sunday night if you live through this thing so be sure to memorize them. At 15, head down Jack Martin Trail, a very fast runnable downhill with many waterbars to hotdog off the top of if you really go fast. At the bottom cross the bridge on Rt. 414 without crossing the highway and partake of the hospitality of Aid Station 4.Mile 24.7 – 30.5 Beautiful, remote single track along a pristine stream, gently uphill for the next 5.8 miles. Go ahead. Run the whole thing. You know you want to. It’s not steep. Only a few stream crossings. Run fast.Mile 30.5 – 36.5 After acting like a Happy Dutchman at the Happy Dutchman aid station (it’s really the name of the nearby camp), follow the historic Tidewater Pipeline – now a snowmobile trail - along Rt. 44 for just a couple hundred yards, then cross the highway onto Sinking Springs Trail. The next 6 miles are on snowmobile trails. Wide, rolling, not too steep, probably the easiest part of the entire course. Eventually it turns into the orange-blazed Donut Hole Trail, but it is still snowmobile trail/driveway/road all the way to Ritchie Road. Run fast.Mile 36.5 – 40.9 Cross Hyner Mountain Road on Donut Hole Trail, then bear left onto the powerline section. Wide, exposed, sunny, kind of like a desert run only humid. Run fast to get this mile (or two) behind you. Eventually turn right into Bear Pen Hollow, another one of our famous rocky hollows, which will bring you out to the gravel Hyner Run Road, which will take you downstream to Hyner Run State Park, a rare crew accessible, drop bag permissible, overnight parking permissible aid station. This is another very runnable section (except for the somewhat technical Bear Pen Hollow), so run fast. It’s all downhill.Mile 40.9 – 48.3 Another very easy section. How can there be so many of them? Start by continuing eastbound on the Donut Hole Trail on a section known as Long Fork Trail up Log Road Hollow Run. Feel free to give it a few more names. By now you may have figured out a “Run” is not a command or a daily pleasure jog, it is a stream, usually through a steep, rocky hollow where your pace will not likely be anywhere near a run. You will then turn right and stay on top of the Allegheny Plateau for the next several miles. Except when you are not on the plateau and are down in one of our famous hollows. See, this section you may be running along just fine on top of a ridge when all of a sudden you find yourself down in a small little - hollow – or valley – or mini chasm – or kind of like the earth just drops out from under you. Now some of the bigger ones, like Abes Fork and Cougar Hollow, may have switchbacks but others may not, you just kind of crawl up out of the other side. Eventually you make it to Dry Run Aid Station – or not. By the way, at the bottom of Cougar Hollow, you leave the orange blazed Donut Hole Trail and stay on the yellow-blazed T Squared Trail. Still follow our orange flagging and other reflective markings and signs.Mile 48.3 – 51.5 Shortly after leaving Dry Run Aid Station, come out to a camp and jog right a few yards on the road then back onto single track. A few rocks and a lot of mountain laurel later you drop (literally) into Baldwin Branch and pick up the orange-blazed Black Forest Trail. One of the most famous and challenging backpacking trails in Pennsylvania. Too bad you aren’t going to see the entire 42 miles of it. Make a point to come back for that. At this trail junction, climb steeply out of Baldwin Branch, then less steeply for nearly a mile out to Halfway House Aid Station. There is no house but it is slightly past the halfway point of the course.Mile 51.5 – 56.5 Be aware it is over 9 miles to the next fully stocked aid station. Some volunteers have offered to hike in some water at the halfway point of this stretch but that is all that will be available. Start with a short section of gravel road before turning right onto rolling single track through the mountain laurel. The next forestry road you come to go straight across into a camp driveway then left up the trail. You will eventually come out to another forestry road – Big Trail Road where there is a great vista if it is still daylight. Turn left on the road then right and descend Callahan Run. Partly very steep, partly rocky, partly a delight to run. At the forks where the three branches of Callahan Run meet, cross the stream on your left and head back up a new hollow, increasingly steep, mostly rocky, and partly way up on a narrow side hill to avoid blowdowns from a tornado that struck in May 2011. At the top, could that be a mirage? No, it actually is a couple nurses who hiked in some water for you.Mile 56.6 – 60.9 Leave the water station for a mostly rolling (with a couple very short steep pitches) run along the ridge top to the Hemlock Mountain Vista. If you enjoyed the main picture on our ultrasignup page, you have now arrived to see it in person. If you ran fast enough to get there before dark that is. From there it is all downhill. Steeply at times, fun switchbacks at others. You will come out on an old logging road to take you gently downhill along Naval Run. Black Forest Trail will veer off to the left, but you go straight on Naval Run Trail to the next stream crossing, then out to Naval Run Road where you will run a nearly level mile on drivable gravel road along Pine Creek. Proceed straight into the Hotel Manor driveway and go left around back to our aid station. The restaurant and bar closes at 9:30 pm so prior to that there will be customer traffic to watch out for. After that it should be just other runner’s crew traffic in and out of the parking lot.Mile 60.9 – 66.7 The crossing of Slate Run is always a wet crossing. Generally August is the driest time of year, barring a tropical event, but it is still a wet crossing. Water more than knee deep is common in other times of year. It is the bane of the Black Forest Trail. This summer work has begun on a new foot bridge over Slate Run. We thought we may be able to give you a dry crossing option, but less than a week before the race that option is gone and we are re-routing away from the construction area. Cross the ankle deep stream carefully – the rocks are very slippery - and immediately begin one of the Black Forest Trail’s famous climbs. You will pass through 3 rock quarries and 2 vistas before reaching the top where you will be back on single track through the mountain laurel. Eventually the Black Forest Trail will turn left, but you go straight onto the Algerine Trail, past the Algerines Gate to Aid Station 12.66.7 – 73.2 After stretching your legs by running as fast as you can across the top of the plateau you come to…wait for it….another rocky hollow!! Quite possibly the longest and steepest and rockiest you have seen so far. If you haven’t started already it is time to curse the idiot who told you to run so fast in the first half. At the bottom you cross at the intersection of Leetonia Road and Mine Hole Road and enter the Honagha Danju Ga Wisay Trail. I won’t give away what this Native American phrase really means. Only the hardiest of runners who make it this far will be able to read the sign and find out. The trail leads you up the twin of the rocky hollow you just came down and out to the Long Branch Aid Station.73.2 – 78.2 Shortly after leaving the aid station you will turn left onto the orange-blazed West Rim Trail – one of the most popular hiking and backpacking trails in Pennsylvania. It follows the Pine Creek Gorge north for 30.5 miles. You will only be on a short section of it. Soon you will pass a small metal building with an alarming sign on it. Don’t be scared. It has been rendered safe. This is a very runnable level section if our fun little rocky hollows have left anything in your legs. You will cross West Rim Road and make your way out to a vista where you may be able to see the lights of Blackwell and the next aid station way down in the valley. Run down a fun single track to a trail junction where you will switch back to your right and follow Bohen Run Trail to the bottom. Along the way you will cross at the top of Jerry Run Falls (too bad it is a dry time of year) and finish with a descent along the canyon wall on trail supported by timbers set into the side hill. Watch your step or you could make a big splash in Pine Creek. At the bottom, hop the guide rail and cross Pine Creek for the second time into the Blackwell Aid Station. SPECIAL NOTE: Although overnight parking is allowed, there are only 20 parking spots here. Please try to carpool pacers as much as possible. 78.2 – 82.6 When you leave the Blackwell Aid Station you will follow State Route 414 east through the village, across the one lane bend-in-the-middle bridge over Babb Creek and turn right onto Big Run Road. In a hundred yards or so go straight onto the orange-blazed Mid State Trail and the fun climb to the top of Gillespie Point. This is a panoramic vista of Blackwell and the huge bend in Pine Creek. From there go down the back side of Gillespie Point, jog left a short distance on Big Run Road then drop off the bank to your right. Cross streams a few times and make you way up to SkyTop Aid Station. This is a private hunting club that is determined to have the best aid station in all of ultrarunning. I feel sorry for all the runners who will not make it this far. Fuel up good because it is the longest stretch between aid stations coming up.82.6 – 91.0 Continue on the Mid State Trail on alternating single track, grassy State Game Land management road, another rocky hollow, past the 1918 Browns Fork log cabin, up to the crest of Oregon Hill and a vista looking back at Gillespie Point, multiple stream crossings, and eventually out to the Barrens Aid Station. This is our most remote station. We have to pack a lunch to even drive in or out of there.91.0 – 97.1 Can you smell the barn yet? A pretty combination of management roads, old railroad grades, stream crossings, and several differently managed areas. You will cross Wolf Run Wild Area, State Game Land 75, Tiadaghton State Forest, and Bark Cabin Natural Area before arriving at our last aid station at Hacketts Fork. Everyone who makes it this far will be a superhero and you will be greeted appropriately.97.1 – FINISH Cross the road and drop to your right to cross the stream, then follow Hacketts Fork upstream before climbing to Schoolhouse Hollow Road. Could this really be the last climb? Except for the fact that most of our downs have a little up in them, it is the last real climb. Turn right at the first junction of Panther Run Trail to stay on the Mid State Trail. Meander out past Monument Rock and at the next junction of Panther Run, stay straight as the Mid State turns right. Nice vista at top of old quarry. Drop to your left off this vista and pay particular attention at the bottom of this short rock scramble. Rattlesnakes are nearly always seen just off the trail to your right. Don’t disturb them and they will leave you alone as well. The next mile is a gorgeous ridgeline descent with many rock outcroppings. You will finally drop steeply down to Little Pine Creek Road where you will jog right a few feet and into the parking lot for a grand finish right where you started from.
Runners will also experience miles of hills, rocky hollows, diverse forest and endless views.
Drop bags are to be dropped off at the start/finish area. Please have your name clearly written and the Aid Station # it is to go to and place it in the appropriate pile.
Seventeen fully stocked aid stations along the course. Aid stations that are located on the ridge tops and away from the streams, will have water buffalos in which runners can use to cool off.
FREE tent camping at Little Pine State Park. There is no need to reserve a spot as it's a group tenting area.Sites also available for large RVs. Rustic cabins, deluxe cabins (even several with Jacuzzis), or yurts.
As a minimum, all participants in the Eastern States 100 must have completed at least one 50-mile race within the advertised cut-off time AND less than 16 hours, OR any 100-mile race within the advertised cut-off time, and the race must have been completed within the past two years. This must have been an official race with at least 10 participants and results published on a publicly available website.
Finisher awards and prizes for the top male and female in both races.