Yamacraw 50k Detailed Course Description
Race Start to Yahoo Arch Trail Aid Station (0 – 7.2 Miles):
- The 50k course starts at the Lick Creek Trail located in Daniel Boone National Forest.
- The first mile follows an old roadbed along a ridge before changing to single track.
- During the next 0.5-mile, the trail descends more than 300 feet in elevation. Several sets of metal stairs will be encountered.
- You will run behind rock overhangs and shelters, and even cross beneath a wet season waterfall before reaching the creek after two miles along the trail.
- It will be necessary to cross Lick Creek several times, so be prepared for the possibility of getting your feet wet. Although the creek isn’t too deep, it is wide in places.
- At 3.35 miles along the trail, you will reach Princess Falls.
- Shortly after Princess Falls at approximately mile 3.45, runners will take a right turn onto the Sheltowee Trace Trail and head north over a newly constructed bridge that crosses Lick Creek.
- At around 5 miles, runners will be guided by signs to turn right onto the Negro Creek Trail where they will make a 2 mile gradual accent of 700 feet in elevation gain to a powerline.
- From the powerline, runners will follow a gravel road for .2 miles to the Yahoo Trail Aid Station at Kentucky State Road 700.
Yahoo Arch Trail Aid Station to Alum Ford Aid Station (7.2 – 11.6 Miles):
- Upon leaving the first aid station, runners will turn right onto Kentucky State 700. Runners will cross the road and reenter the trail at the Yahoo Arch Trail trailhead on the left, approximately 75 yards down the road.
- From the Yahoo Arch Trail trailhead, the trail follows the old road along the ridgetop. After 1/2-mile, the trail begins to descend.
- After one mile, you will have reached Yahoo Arch. Stairs with railings mark your approach to Yahoo Arch.
- From Yahoo Arch, runners will continue past behind rock overhangs and wind down switchbacks for another mile until they reach Yahoo Falls.
- From Yahoo Falls, runners will soon reconnect with the Sheltowee Trace Trail.
- The next 2 miles is a rolling section of trail that runs along side the river. Runners will encounter several small feeder creeks that they will cross during this stretch until eventually reaching Kentucky State 700 again.
- Once at Kentucky State Road 700, runners will go right and take the first gravel road on the left towards the Alum Ford Campground and up to Aid Station #2.
Alum Ford Aid Station to Yamacraw Bridge Aid Station (11.6 – 17.9):
- As runners leave the Alum Ford Aid Station they will continue on the Sheltowee Trace Trail as it follows along side the Big South Fork River for the next 6.4 miles. This next section contains rolling inclines, some mildly technical passes, and creek crossings.
- Approximately 3.2 miles after leaving the Alum Ford Aid Station, runners will pass the Negro Creek Trail. (Runners will need to continue on the Sheltowee Trace trail towards the Yamacraw Bridge Aid Station #3. There will be signs guiding runners.)
- After passing the Negro Creek Trail, the next 1.7 miles of trail will be the only section of the course that runners will repeat during the race.
- Once runners return to the newly constructed bridge at Lick Creek, they will head right on the Sheltowee Trace Trail and continue for about 1.5 miles to the Yamacraw Bridge Aid Station.
Yamacraw Bridge Aid Station to Beech Grove Rd Aid Station (17.9 – 25.8):
- Leaving the aid station, runners will head up a short ramp to KY Hwy 92 and turn right to cross the Yamacraw Bridge. There will be traffic monitors on either side of the road to direct traffic but runners should use always use caution when crossing any road and/or bridge.
- After crossing the Yamacraw Bridge, runners will take an immediate left onto Yamacraw-Bell Farm Rd and stay left heading down the ramp to the Yamacraw River Access point.
- Runners will continue back onto the Sheltowee Trace Trail as it picks back up before the river access road turns sharply down toward the river.
- From here runners will go .8 miles and will pass underneath an old Railway Bride after which the trail will turn right away from the river.
- Runners will run alongside Rock Creek for .4 miles and follow markers to turn left towards Rock Creek. (See High Water Alternative Route below for years of high water)
- At approximately mile 19.5, runners must ford Rock Creek. The crossing can be dangerous during high water times. A guide rope will be stretched across the river, with personnel available for assistance. River rafts will be used in high-water years. In years of flooding or when the creek is determined to be unsafe for crossing, runners will take the alternative and recommended Sheltowee Trace High Water Route as described below.
- For the next 1.9 miles, runners will encounter numerous creek crossings. Be prepared to get your feet wet. Although most of the crossings aren’t too deep, it is wide in places. In high water times, some of these crossings have the potential to be dangerous. Guide ropes will be stretched across all difficult crossings.
- The trail will turn sharply right and runners will begin a half mile 350 foot assent up the ridge as the trail turns from single track to forest service road.
- Once on top of the ridge, runners will take a left on a connecting service road (HWR Connection: High Water Alternative Route reconnects here) and follow course markers for just under 1 mile until they reach Wilson Ridge and Devil’s Creek Road.
- Following course markers, runners will stay straight along the paved road for approximately 400 yards where they will then reconnect with the Sheltowee Trace Trail.
- The next 2.6 miles of trail is mostly single track and weaves up and down, through and around boulders and bluffs.
- The trail pops out onto a gravel county road (CR-1210). Turn left and follow the gravel road almost 1 mile to the third aid station at Beech Grove Road
Beech Grove Rd Aid Station to Blue Heron Mining Community (25.8 – 33.9):
- From the aid station, runners will head slightly left and cross Beech Grove Road following markers to the gravel Bald Knob-Hill Cemetery Rd.
- After about 1.4 miles of gravel road, runners will turn left onto a short cemetery road that dead-ends onto the Kentucky Trail.
- The next 4 miles of the course follows the Kentucky Trail through winding switchbacks, high grass fields, and bridge crossings & flat creek beds.
- The course then turns left and up as runners make their final climbs on the course taking them on bluffs above the Big South Cumberland River. Runners will climb up and down several sets of wooden ladders.
- The final 1.5 miles runners will descend quickly back towards the river.
- Following signs to the finish, runners will take a right onto the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Big South Cumberland River and leads them to Blue Heron Mining Community and the finish of the Yamacraw 50k.
*** High Water Alternative Route: ***
During Years of flooding or very high water when the creek is determined to be unsafe for crossing, runners will take the Sheltowee Trace High Water Route. This section does includes some road running. There will be traffic monitors to help with directing traffic but runners should use caution at all times.
- Before crossing Rock Creek, follow the trail to the powerline.
- Turn left onto the powerline and follow it to the highway.
- Turn left onto the highway. Follow the sign for Bald Knob and Wilson Ridge.
- Turn left across the bridge and follow this road to the Koger Arch Trail (0.5 miles).
- The Koger Arch Trail goes up and to the left .3 miles, paralleling the road at a distance. Runners will pass underneath Koger Arch and continue on up steps for .2 miles where they will turn right onto forest service road and reconnect with the course (see HWR Connection above).