CANEY FORK ULTRA 40 miler
We are excited to offer the opportunity for runners to enjoy the rugged terrain of Scotts Gulf with the inaugural Caney Fork Ultra.
Scotts Gulf in White County is formed by the Caney Fork River which contains several areas of class III-V rapids. Fortunately though, the river typically becomes almost dry during late summer months and has several areas with natural Fords. As part of the agreement when the lands surrounding the Caney Fork were ceded to the State of Tennessee from Bridgestone/Firestone Corporation, there are no structures allowed on the property. This includes bridges. Needless to say, if you register for this event, you can expect to get wet. The course is a 40(ish) mile event that will take runners across the Caney Fork a total of 4 times at different Fords. In between these river crossings runners can expect a little bit of everything. Steep rocky decents/ascents, technical boulder fields, wide flowing single track, and a bit of gravel road all while passing by beautiful overlooks, and several waterfalls.
The Caney Fork Ultra 40 mile course will start and finish on the Latimer Reservation Boy Scout property on the south side of the Caney Fork River in Van Buren County. Runners will cover several miles of trail in the Bridgestone/Firestone Centennial Wilderness as well as Virgin Falls and Lost Creek State Natural Areas. Runners will make a loop around Lake Joe Long to start the race before quickly descending into Bee Creek Gorge. The course will follow Bee Creek toward the confluence with Caney Fork River where you will Ford the river for the first time. Once across the Caney Fork, the course follows the Caney Fork River Trail in the Gulf through several rocky boulder fields before climbing up onto the Chestnut Mountain Ranch. A few miles of wide single track and a short distance of gravel road takes runners through the Centennial Wilderness toward Big Laurel Falls. Once past Big Laurel Falls, runners will follow Virgin Falls Trail to Virgin Falls then onto a climb over Wilson Ridge into Lost Creek Natural Area. Once runners pass Lost Creek Falls a short section of gravel road takes them to Big Bottom Unit(Yes, thats really the name) of Centennial Wilderness where they will Ford the Caney Fork two more times while passing through historic(though long gone) towns of Dodson and Bethesda. Once runners pass through Big Bottom they will climb out of Scotts Gulf on Ambers Den Ridge Trail to Welch Point where a spectacular overlook of the Caney Fork River awaits. After taking Ambers Den Ridge Trail runners will run a short section of gravel once again(retracing about a mile from earlier in the race) and then run the rim of Scotts Gulf above the Caney Fork River with some great views along the way before dipping back down into the Gulf one last time to make a final Ford of the river. After crossing the Caney Fork for the last time runners will begin making their way back up along the Bee Creek Trail toward Latimer Reservation. Fair warning: the last 3/4 miles of trail ascends roughly 450'ft and is narrow, loose, and rocky. A perfect way to end a 40(ish) mile run!
Participants have the opportunity to reserve camping or lodging on the Latimer Reservation in one of the Male/Female Lodge Houses, in Latimers Tent City, or for their own tent.
Cutoff for this event will be 13 hours which means an average pace of 18.5 minute miles. Many sections of this course will be very runnable and many sections will not be. River crossings will also slow your overall pace. Please keep this in mind when registering for this event.
CANEY FORK 20K
The 20k course will begin at the Angel Bridge at 7:00a.m. CST just like the 40 mile course. After a loop around Lake Joe Long runners will pop out in the Lodge House area and follow a short section of gravel where they will split from the 40 mile runners and reenter a section of single track to their right. Once on the single track the 20k course will follow the Latimer Reservation Mountain Bike Trail in its entirety with the exception of a .8 mile out and back down to the abandoned Dark Hollow Mines where runners will turn and have a climb back out of around 300ft. Once back up top runners will continue to follow the Mountain Bike course all the way back to Angel Bridge following the bluff line along the Bee Creek Gorge. The course is primarily flat to gently rolling and very runnable with some field sections and just a bit of gravel.
Cuttoff for the 20k will be 5 hours which means an average pace of just under 25 minutes per mile
20K participants will have the opportunity to reserve a spot to stay at Latimer Reservation the night before the race in one of the Male/Female Lodge Houses, one the Tent City tents, or in their own tent
Our hosts, The Latimer High Adventure Boy Scout Camp, have made accomodations available to all participants of the Caney Fork Ultra races.
Local time: 5:27 AM
All participants of the Caney Fork Ultra, both the 40 milers and the 20kers, have the opportunity to stay in one of the male/female Lodge Houses for $25, in one of the Latimer Tent City tents with cots for $10, or reserve a spot for your own tent on the property for $5.
A meal can also be purchased for after the race at the LaRoche Dining Hall.