Steep Rock Trail Series
Just a little over an hour from the northern suburbs of NYC, in the northwest hills of Connecticut lies one of the best kept secrets in trail running around! If you are ready for a new challenge of some awesome trails, then the Steep Rock Trail Series brought to you by Steep Endurance is for you! In cooperation with the Steep Rock Association, the Steep Rock Trail Series gives runners a chance to experience the idyllic trails of the Steep Rock Preserves in Washington, CT. Each preserve and race offer its own sweeping viewpoints, lush forest single track trails and hillsides, babbling brooks and streams, old rail beds, rural landscapes, and of course the ever present New England fall foliage. With each subsequent race, runners will progress from a 10K up to a Half Marathon.
Steep Rock 10K: Sunday, September 29, 2019
Hidden Valley 15K: Sunday, November 3, 2019
Steep Rock Half Marathon: Sunday, November 17, 2019
About the event
In the third race of the series, the Steep Rock Half Marathon, runners will get to experience the largest of the three preserves, with it’s amazing mix of single track, rail trails, technical trails, the iconic Steep Rock Tunnel, a trip to the Steep Rock Summit, and three river crossings of the Shepaug River. With nearly 2000’ of climbing and descending, it will be one of the most challenging, yet beautiful half marathons you have ever run!
Registration starts on Monday, April 1 for all 3 races in the series.
**Runners can sign up for all 3 (10K, 15K, Half Marathon) at a discounted price for the trail series! Please see registration link above or go to the ultrasignup links below!
Steep Rock 10K
Hidden Valley 15K
Steep Rock Half Marathon
T-shirts will be offered to the first 100 pre-registered runners in the Half Marathon before November 7. Additional Shirts can be purchased for $20. Please see event store link above.
The following non-profits will benefit from the Steep Rock Trail Series:
Steep Rock Association, Families United in Newtown, Washington Ambulance Association, and Washington Volunteer Fire Department.
Refund Policy: There will no refunds and/or no transfers of your registration or bib to any other person. Entry fees collected are used to develop and produce the event, starting well in advance of the race date--including course preparation, race supplies, permits, and administration.
The third race in the Steep Rock Trail Series, the Steep Rock Half Marathon starts near the entrance to the preserve where runners will begin with some gentle single track through the northern end of the preserve along the river before making the steep climb up to Barnes Rd. From there it’s quick trip on the pavement to rejoin with the preserve trails at the end of Ferry Bridge Rd. As runners enjoy the early miles they will pass by the old foundation of the Holiday House as they work their way on gentle tree lined downhill trails towards Spring Hill Rd. After the short, but runnable climb up the dirt road, it’s a sharp right turn back onto the single track into a less traveled part of the preserve, weaving your way up then back down to the river a couple of times. After reaching the southern part of the preserve via a winding technical rocky descent, you will find yourself on the old Shepaug Railroad rail trail before entering the iconic Steep Rock Tunnel for the first time. It’s a beautiful site and you will feel the rush of cool air upon entering. Exiting the tunnel, it’s a couple of quick turns, up a steep hill, and down towards the beginning of the Clam Shell section of the preserve. This is mostly a flat trail along the river. On the left hand side, you will see a huge boulder in the middle of the river that fell from the cliff above many years ago. About 2/3 of the way around the Clam Shell, you will come upon the first river crossing of the day, a double crossing with a small island in between. Leaving the cold water of the Shepaug River, runners will make a quick climb up the singletrack, then a sharp right turn down one of the pine tree laden sections of trail on the course towards the Hauser Footbridge, but will again cross the river at another one of the “ford” sections of the river before then crossing over the bridge to return back to the north side of the river and turning right. Some flat sandy trail along the shore and it’s time to hit some technical, rocky portion of trail before starting the climb up towards the Steep Rock Summit. It’s about a 300’ climb, but over a distance of only 4/10 mile. Upon reaching the summit, take a look to your left at likely the best view in the preserve! Then it’s down the backside on some technical rolling (with just one short climb) downhill to the river. Another quick river crossing, a short climb up, and you have reached the Steep Rock Tunnel again. After passing through this time, it’s all rail trail and flat dirt road for the final 2 miles with just a little single track in the last ½ mile. A downhill finish awaits you back near the riding ring. This course is challenging, with a mix of lush and technical singletrack trails, rail trail, river crossings, but a relatively fast finish!
Each race in the Steep Rock Trail Series will offer awards in the following age groups for both men and women:
Overall, 19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 and up.
Special “Steep Rock Trail Series” awards will be given for series winners in the following categories:
Overall Male/Female (1st, 2nd, and 3rd), Masters Male/Female (1st).
Specially designed awards will also be given to any participant who signs up for IN ADVANCE and RUNS in each of the three Steep Rock Trail Series events.
Post Race Celebration
You’ve just finished a super challenging course! Enjoy your accomplishment, sit back, relax, and don’t forget to cheer on all the runners coming in behind you! We will have the usual spread including bagels, bananas, pizza, non-alcoholic hydration options. **There is no alcohol permitted in any of the Steep Rock Association Preserves.
For more info, please go to www.steependurance.com/steep-rock-trail-series-2019
Local time: 8:48 PM