BLUE MOUNTAIN ULTRA SQUATCH
It's time to GET STOKED AT STOKES! The next "semi-virtual" Sassquad Trail Party is at the beautiful Stokes State Forest in Branchville, NJ. Get out to the park anytime between July 27 - August 24 for the Blue Mountain Ultra Squatch! We are using the very well marked trails at Stokes for this event. Runners and hikers can run/hike 7 miles, 17 miles, or 34 miles! For every runner that registers, we will donate a warm winter hat to our charity partner, Operation Chillout who will get it in the hands of a homeless Veteran in New Jersey.
34 miles: 2 counterclockwise loops on the blue-blazed Blue Mountain Trail
After parking at the main park office lot on Coursen Rd (do not drive through the gate as this is the closest parking lot to the trail). Walk on the road past the gate and to the bottom of the small hill. The Blue Mountain Trailhead is on your right. Take a picture of the map on the sign and note the blue blazes that you will be following the entire way. That's right, just one blaze color to follow! Easy-peasy! If you'd like to put the map on your phone/watch, the All-Trails link is good (though inaccurate in stating it's 16 miles - it is a true 17). To complete the 34 miles, you will do the loop TWICE. The Blue Mountain Trail is VERY well-marked. If at any point you do not see a trail marker after 0.10 or 0.25 miles, stop and turn around! The trails are so well marked that if you don't see a marker for a few minutes, you need to turn around and get back on the trail. https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/new-jersey/stokes-state-forest-blue-mtn-trail-i?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-view-full-map
17 miles: 1 counterclockwise loop on the blue-blazed Blue Mountain Trail. See above for directions. To complete the 17 miles, you will do the counterclockwise loop ONCE.
7 miles: 1 counterclockwise loop following the blue-blazed Blue Mountain Trail/Brown-Blazed Stony-Brook Trail. The first 2.25 miles are identical to the 7 and 34 mile course. At mile 2.25, after you pass Stony Lake on your right (you can somewhat see it through the trees), you'll cross over Coursen Rd -- at this point, the Blue Mountain Trail continues through the parking lot ****YOU WILL BEAR LEFT TO GO ON THE BROWN BLAZED STONY -BROOK TRAIL**** Stay on the Brown Blazed Stony-Brook for 1 mile until it ends by hitting the Blue Mountain Trail. YOU WILL THEN MAKE A LEFT ON THE BLUE MOUNTAIN TRAIL. Follow the Blue Mountain Trail back to the start! Please refer to the picture of the course in the photo gallery at the top of the registration page!
AID, WATER & WILDLIFE
This is a self-supported RunVenture! That means you will have to provide all of your own aid and water for your run/hike. For runners/hikers completing the full Blue Mountain Trail Loop for 17 miles or 34 miles, there is a water spigot at the Stearn Mills Camping Area at mile 10. (**7 milers will not pass this spigot**). This will be your only place to refill water, unless you bring a filter for the streams/rivers. You can also use the park map to find a place to drop aid along the way as there are a couple of easy access points (look for the P symbol on the map in the photo gallery at the top of the registration page). And of course, 34 milers can opt to go back to your car after the first loop.
There is a possibility you will see a bear while you're out on the trails! Stokes State Forest is in Sussex County, NJ which has a bit more wildlife than trails like the South Mountain Reservation. We recommend giving this PDF a quick read before heading out to Stokes: https://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/pdf/bear/bearfacts_know.pdf
Everyone loves SWAG, right?! YES! All runners and hikers who register for the Blue Mountain Ultra Squatch will receive a handcrafted wood medal and can choose between a Sassquad buff, Sassquad Silipint, Sassquad Duckbille Hat or Sassquad Race Tech Hat! Check out the swag options in the picture gallery at the top of the registration page.
For runners/hikers who want their finish times listed in the official results, you can email them to us after your race! email@example.com Please include a Strava/Garmin url link so we can see your TOTAL TIME (not just moving time) and MAP. Reach out with any questions or concerns! firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are familiar with Sassquad Trail Running, you know that we are committed to supporting a local charity with all of our events... Because the "fate" of our September race is uncertain, we want to make sure that we will still be able to support our Charity Partner for that event, Operation Chillout! SO, we are going to partner with OC for the Blue Mountain Ultra Squatch! For every runner that registers, we will donate 1 warm winter hat to Operation Chillout, who will get these hats into the hands of Homeless Veterans in New Jersey. We have supported Operation Chillout the past couple of years and have donated (through your help!) several truckloads of warm clothing that go directly in the hands of Homeless Veterans in New Jersey.
Q: Will I see Sasquatch?
A: We sure hope you do! Make sure you take a selfie with him if you see Squatchy out there!
Q: What's so great about Stokes State Forest?
A: Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!
Q: Uhh are you singing that song from Hamilton?
A: History is happening ... at Stokes... and we Just happen to be in the greatest city in the world! In the greatest city in the world!
Q: Will there be an aid station at the park for me to get food or water?
A: WERK! WERK! No, this is a self-supported runventure - you'll need to bring your own food and water. There is a water spigot at mile 10 of the 17 mile loop (7 milers will not pass this spigot).
Q: Tell me about the SWAG!
A: Were you paying attention when we told you the first time? Go ahead, sing Thomas Jefferson's song... "So what did I miss? What did I miss?!" All runners/hikers will get a handcrafted wood medal that's made locally in the Squatch Shop! Runners/hikers will also choose between a buff, Silipint, duckbill hat or race tech hat. Check out the swag options in the photo gallery at the top of the registration page!
Q: What address should I use to get to the park?
A: 1 Coursen Road, Branchville, NJ. When you enter the park, make your first left into the Park Office parking lot. Don't drive through the gate -- the Park Office lot is the closest parking lot to the trailhead. After you park, you'll walk down the hill beyond the gate and the Blue Mountain Trail will be on your right.
Q: You said I should bring a map. I don't like maps - do I really need to bring one with me?
A: Why do you assume you're the smartest in the room? Soon that attitude may be your doom. It's always a good idea to be over-prepared, especially in a self-supported run/hike. Although the Blue Mountain Trail is incredibly well-marked we do recommend bringing a map or preloading the loop on your phone/watch as a back-up. The 7 milers should also bring a map or save a picture of the map on your phone to reference the two turns in the loop. You can access these maps in the photo gallery at the top of the registration page.
Q: What are the trails like?
A: BEAUTIFUL! The Blue Mountain Trail is very runnable. There are 2 climbs on the front-half of the loop and the rest of the course is pretty mellow with elevation gain. The section after the Stearn Mills Camping Area (for the 17/34 milers) around mile 10 gets technical with the roots/rocks next to the river. So just take your time through this pine forest and soak up the trail beauty!
Q: Thanks for answering my questions... Do you have any other advice?
A: Da da da dat da dat da da da da ya da da da dat dat da ya da! Da da da dat da dat da da da da ya da da da dat dat da ya da!
SASSQUAD TRAIL RUNNERS
We are a community of SASQUATCH-lovin' trail runners. Our goal is to provide FUN and challenging events for runners of all ages and paces. We like to think that we have a good sense of humor, a full arsenal of sarcastic wit, useless trivia facts and a deep appreciation for cinematic masterpieces (as evidenced multiple times already). Follow us on Instagram @sassquadtrailrunning and like us on Facebook to get all of our Squatchy updates: facebook.com/sassquadtrailrunning. You can also join our Facebook group, "Sassquad Trail Runners" to connect with other runners and hikers!
Local time: 3:57 PM