Lost Turkey Trail 50K
50 Kilometers of Pennsylvania rocks, ridges and hollows from Windber, PA to Blue Knob State Park.
Lost Turkey Half
Experience Blue Knob trails and the Lost Turkey Trail in this all new distances, beginning and ending in Blue Knob State Park.
About the Event
Welcome to Central Pennsylvania’s ridges and valleys! You will experience the best terrain and trails PA has to offer, from gnarly single track to flat and fast double track, heart breaking climbs and quad-busting descents.
The Lost Turkey Trail runs as a point to point trail, traversing the southern portion of the Allegheny Front and culminating at the top of Blue Knob. This year you will experience an ALL NEW event with distances of 50K (32 miles) or a Half Marathon (13.1 miles). New swag, new Start/Finish area and a post-race party you will need to stay for all come with this year’s lower registration fees!
50K Course Description
You will be bussed from the Finish Line in Chappell’s Field within Blue Knob State Park to the race start in Winber, PA. The race will begin on a stretch of rocky singletrack that will test your footwork and loosen your legs for what is to come. The trail then turns to grassy doubletrack that will allow you to make up time and stretch out. The LTT will continue to follow the ridge through scenic stretches that will take you past the Highland’s signature bogs, through stands of pine and large swaths of hardwood forests. A water drop will be located at the bridge crossing near Hollow Rd. in Ogletown, giving you the chance to fill your pack for the next small stretch. The trail has a net descent for the first 17 miles, but don’t let that fool you as long steady climbs will keep you working as you head toward the first manned aid station at Buffalo Rd. Make sure you HYDRATE! The double track will give way to beautiful singletrack that will parallel Buffalo Rd. and continue past the first aid station. Following the Buffalo Rd. AS, the trail will be a mixture of single and doubletrack that will continue until you make your way onto a dirt/gravel section that is FAST and relatively flat. This section runs for approx. 3 miles toward the next AS at King’s Field. Fuel up here and have fun with our awesome volunteers before you begin your descent off of the Allegheny Front. This is arguably the most fun section of the race, winding and switch backing down the face of the ridge. Fun, short ridge sections and fast singletrack will drop you off of Round Top into Big Break Hollow, where you will reach a stream and a nice rocky section. This section culminates at our flagship AS at Burnt House. Make it here on time, because this is where the cutoffs start and the work begins!
Leave Burnt House AS and cross RT. 869 (Burnt House Rd.) to start the first true climb of the race after a small stream crossing. Climb the ridge and be rewarded with a section of doubletrack that gives way to the first “goat path”. Traverse along the edge of the ridge with careful footing and round the edge of the ridge, dropping slightly in elevation. Traverse the second goat path with the same careful footing and catch your breath on the moss covered, gorgeous “green mile”. Cross the stream and make your way toward the LTT as it turns LEFT onto the Fisherman’s Path section that parallels Bob’s Creek for a short time. The trail then reaches Bob’s Creek and the wire bridge that will keep your feet dry as you shimmy across OR cool off in the freestone creek that holds some gorgeous native trout! Catch your breath and climb up the steepest section of trail to the top of the ridge and immediately begin the long, rocky descent to the Cox Monument and your third manned AS. Continue onto Monument Rd. for a short stretch and begin the climb toward the summit of Blue Knob that will last approx. 3 miles. Round the campground and continue on this doubletrack section for 1 mile. Turn right and climb to Blue Knob Rd., which you will then cross and continue your climb to the top. Reach the summit and the white marker stamped with Lost Turkey Trail. At this point, you’ve completed the Lost Turkey Trail, but not the race. A short connector trail winds through a forested section toward the large bend just below the Ski Lodge. Cross the hard road and catch Mountain View Trail, which drops quickly off the top. Hang a right onto “clickity clack” toward the Scout Camp and Sawmill Trail. The race will follow Sawmill back to Chappell’s Field, where you will finish strong, catch your breath and join the post-race pig roast!
Half Marathon Course Description
This all new course Starts and Finishes at Chappell Field within Blue Knob State Park. The course begins on the grassy double track section of the Chappell Field Trail and runs toward the intersection with Sawmill trail. Turn right onto Sawmill for a stretch of mostly flat doubletrack, running toward the Scout Camp and intersection of Clickity Clack. Bear left onto this rocky, beautiful singletrack section that leads deep into the hollow. Continue around the ridge to the first climb, turning left onto Mountain View Trail. Reach the bench and continue right onto Mountain View trail toward the overlook. Take in the view and continue on Mountain View, hopping rocks to the connector trail. Turn left and head back toward Mountain View Trail, where you ended your initial climb. Turn right and run toward the hard road just below the ski lodge. Cross the road onto the connector trail toward the start of the Lost Turkey Trail. Begin your rocky descent on the LTT and cross Blue Knob Rd., continuing onto the LTT. Run to the campground where you will reach the first aid station. Continue on and bear right, continuing on the LTT. Bomb down the ridge to the Monument Rd. and turn left onto the hard road. Run a short distance (approx. .2 mile) and get back onto the trail, starting the Fisherman's path. Cross two small streams and continue toward Bob's Creek. This will be your first creek crossing, and you're going to get wet! Navigate the rocks and reach the other side, where you will run a singletrack trail that parallels Bob's Creek. Rejoin the LTT by continuing straight on the Fisherman's Path. Make your way to the wire bridge that crosses Bob's Creek and shimmy across OR cool off in the freestone creek with beautiful native trout! Catch your breath and start the climb out of Bob's Creek, the steepest climb of the race. Reach the top and bear left onto the ridge top. Turn right and start the 2 mile rocky descent to the Lost Cox Monument. Reach the Monument parking area and the second aid station. Turn right onto Monument Rd. and right back onto the LTT, beginning your third climb toward the finish line! Reach the saddle and turn right onto the Chappell Field Trail, a smooth doubletrack trail that crosses Blue Knob Rd. above Pavia. Cross the hard road and continue on Chappell Field Trail, climbing the slight grade back to the finish and the post-race party at Chappell’s Field!
DISCLAIMER: While the overall course concept is set, slight changes might be made to the beginning/end of the course so correct mileage can be attained. Any changes will vary only slightly from the above description and will be announced well before race day!
Camping in Blue Knob State Park
Campsites are available but are limited. We suggest you reserve your site as soon as you register so you get one! We will be there from Wednesday, June 26, so feel free to come up early and hang out! If spaces fill up at Blue Knob, many more sites will be available at nearby Shawnee State Park. (Approx. 30 mins. away) Below is the link for the State Parks Reservations page.
Cutoffs for the 50k will be relaxed. Overall cutoff for the 50k will be 11 hours from starting gun, or 5:00 PM. The first cutoff will be encountered at the Burnt House Aid Station (AS3), 7 hours from start, or 1:00 PM. The next cutoff will be at the Lost Cox Aid Station (AS4), 9 hours from start, or 3:00 PM. These cutoffs are purposely set to keep runners moving and out of the woods before dark. As long as a training regimen that incorporates hills and trail running is executed in preparation for race day, runners should have no problem attaining these cutoffs.
Cutoffs will be enforced by aid station captains and will be adhered to by all runners. If a runner misses the cutoffs at either aid station, arrangements will be made to return them to the finish line at Chappell's Field.
Testimonials from Previous Finishers
"The Lost Turkey Trail Marathon made the 52.4 miler I did in Michigan in the spring look like a casual stroll through the woods. Brutal run....I loved it!!!!" - Josiah Poore, Huron, OH
"This race is no joke, failure to prepare is preparing to fail." - Finisher
"Great organized race that was by far harder than a 50 miler I did last year. After Mile 17, get ready to be broken and find out what you are made of. The camaraderie of this race was terrific, and the aid stations were perfectly placed along the course. It feels like you are pretty much a "lost turkey" in the middle of the woods and then at just the right time smiling volunteers appear around the next bend ready to fill your water bottle, throw you some gummy worms, and tell you to, "Enjoy taking your water bottle for a hike up the next hill." - Finisher
"The toughest last 8 miles I ever ran in a marathon." - Bill Serafin, Clymer, PA
"The inaugural LTT was anything but a first time event. It gave the ultra feel of a veteran ultra thanks to the direction of experienced runners who actively sought out and listened to runners beforehand. From the ability to camp in site, to well stocked aid stations, to a post race meal and showers; this event was a joy to run and a perfectly timed race to gear up for the fall racing season." - Shelly Cable, Ruckersville, VA
"This has got to be one of the toughest marathons in PA. It's not the elevation change, almost entirely coming in the last 10 miles, but the terrain in which you run. There are boulders, ankle-biting rocks, severely sloped sections of trail, and it all starts at mile 0. At 26 miles, it may not be an ultra by definition, but your legs won't know the difference." - Finisher
"The people were encouraging and helpful, the aid stations had great food, and the trail was well marked. A great race day experience with a hard earned finish." - Rick Maricle, Cambridge Springs, PA
"I am sure to make this an annual climb to the top." - Jeremy Nelson, Stafford, VA
"I've done some of the tougher courses in PA. This ranks right up there with the best." - Finisher
"This race will challenge you, no question about it and at times you will curse the course but it is a group effort and everyone around you is going through it as well ...making it an amazing experience." - Michael Gerchak, Hollidaysburg, PA
"The name "Lost Turkey" makes the race sound so unassuming, or gentle...maybe even inviting. A ploy from the mind of a maniacal marketing Pennsylvanian! Kidding aside, the race was conducted by great, welcoming, and helpful people throughout. Beautiful trails. Can't wait for the ULTRA!" - Jordan Romanacce, Lake Grove, NY
Registration fees are NON-REFUNDABLE. Deferments must be cleared by the Race Director (RD) in advance by:
1) Provide info showing you are called to active duty or reserves.
2) Injured runners may volunteer for the 2019 race day to defer your registration fee one year (to 2020).
Unless the world ends, this race will NOT be canceled. Rain, shine, tornado, volcano and damn the torpedoes! The race will go on!!
Shirts will be provided by Territory Run Co., of Portland, OR. These shirts will be more true to size and will alleviate any issues encountered with previous year's shirts.
No drop bags. No pacers. No outside aid (from crews).
No drop bags. No pacers. No outside aid (from crews) other than at the Burnt House Aid Station (mile 17).<
50K racers are required to carry a headlamp or other light at the start line. The race staff will have the liberty to pull you from the race if you do not meet the minimum cutoffs or if at any point thereafter you appear incapable of reaching the finish in the allotted time. Race staff have full discretion. If that should happen, you will be at the mercy of the race staff to return you to the finish line when their aid station closes.
Registrations may NOT be transferred to other runners nor may they be deferred unless as noted above.
Post-Race Pig Roast
Stay after the race at the NEW race finish in Chappell's Field for a pig roast and other refreshments! We think you'll find the grass more comfortable than the gravel and the wind less buffeting!
Local time: 10:26 PM