Joe English Trail Challenge
Welcome to the 2017 Joe English Challenge!
The Amherst Land Trust invites you to Find Your Inner Wild on a rugged trail course that is not for the faint of heart. For 2017 we will again offer you the option of the original 25 kilometer course or the 12.5 kilometer distance. And, this year we have added a 5 kilometer sprint course that we hope will get you introduced to this great event and get you thinking about tackling the 12.5 kilometer and 25 kilometer courses. Plus we have sequenced the events so that it is possible to run both the 5k and 25k distances.
The 25 kilometer Joe English Challenge begins in the fields of 300-acre Freestyle Farm, a private equestrian facility. In the first 4k, the course loops around the hilltop pond on wide equestrian trails. The course descends a short 30% grade and enters the backcountry of the 558-acre Joe English Reservation. At approximately 6k, the course begins 15k of moderate to steep ascents and descents on mostly single-track trails with multiple stream crossings. At least two ascents are too steep to run. At 15k, the course leaves Joe English Reservation and traverses a challenging 4k-loop on private property on which you will begin the first of a series of rugged climbs back to the Freestyle Farm hilltop. The race ends by rejoining the Freestyle Farm trails and circling the pond where it began.
The 12.5 kilometer short course is run on the equestrian trails for the first 2 and last 2 kilometers. After leaving Freestyle Farm the course enter Joe English Reservation and follows the Hammond Brook trail to the Peabody Mill Environmental Center where it ascends Hemlock Trail to the top. The course then picks up the newly named 4 kilometer Denning Loop and returns to Hemlock Trail. There are steep ascents and descents and four stream crossings on the Denning Loop. Hemlock Trail returns runners to Hammond Brook and back to Freestyle Farm and the finish.
The 5 kilometer sprint course presents some of the same terrain and most of the challenges of the longer courses. The first 2+ kilometers of the new 5-kilometer sprint course follows the 25-kilometer course loop around the hilltop pond on wide equestrian trails and enters a new single track trail for the next 2 kilometers. There is one steep ascent and descent between 1.2 and 1.7 kilometers. The single-track trail consists of numerous switchbacks, small knolls and hills, boulders and other demanding trail conditions. The final kilometer returns to the equestrian trails with a short segment of single-track trail along the pond.
About the Amherst Land Trust Events
The Joe English Challenge consists of spring and fall events: The Joe English Trail Challenge REGISTRATION and the Joe English Twilight Challenge REGISTRATION. Join us for both and help with our land conservation efforts.
Local time: 5:32 PM
The Amherst Land Trust completed construction of Joshua’s Park on Courthouse Road in Amherst in the fall of 2016. This $420,000+ project has created community gardens and an amazing playground for the Town. Details are at JOSHUA’S PARK