Frankenthon

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Sat, 2011-10-22

The Frankenthon Marathon is a little race held in Cedar Park, Texas (just north of Austin) on the Brushy Creek Trail. The trail is a mix of concrete and crushed gravel, and runners get to do 3 8.7 mile loops to make a marathon. The trail isn't flat, and goes up and over a dam, making for an interesting run. There isn't any traffic on the trail except for other runners, dogs taking their morning walks, and a few moms with strollers.

Race Types: 
Running race
Marathon

Little Grand Canyon Marathon

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Sat, 2011-09-10

The Little Grand Canyon Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10K starts in Huntingdon, Utah, a small town with a motel and a state park for camping and not much else. Most runners stay in Price, 20 miles north of Huntingdon, which is much bigger, has a choice of hotels and restaurants, and also hosts packet pickup the night before. The course is a point-to-point for all three races - the best scenery is in the 9 miles at the end of the marathon or half marathon (or the whole 10K).

Race Types: 
Running race
10K
Half Marathon
Marathon

Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail

One of the most interesting trails in the Las Vegas area is the least natural. The Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail in Lake Mead Recreational Area goes from its trailhead by the Lake Mead NRA entry gate to the Hoover Dam parking garage.

3.50miles

Captain Karls SHOE 10K, 30K, 60K Trail Race

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Sat, 2011-08-27

The final race in the Captain Karls trail run series in 2011 is the SHOE, held out at Muleshoe Bend on Lake Travis. The 10K is held in the morning at 8am, and the 30K and 60K distances are held at night at 7pm. 60K runners have until 7am the next morning to finish their 37 mile race.

Race Types: 
Running race
10K
Other long
Other Ultramarathon
Trail Run
Night Run
Lengths: 
6.00miles
18.60miles
37.20miles

Upper River Trail

The Upper River Trail runs along the banks of the Pedernales River in Reimers Ranch Park. You'll get access to some nice swimming areas along the river as well as great views!

1.50miles

Reimers Ranch Mountain Biking Trails

Reimers Ranch is one of the best mountain biking destinations in Central Texas. Unlike most other trail systems, Reimers Ranch trails are one-way and mountain-bike only, so you don't have to worry about running into a hiker, kid, dog, horse, or mountain bike coming the wrong way. Also, there's a wide variety of terrain and obstacles. The beginner loop is comparable to the Slaughter Creek Trail on the WQPL land, while the advanced trail has a lot more narrow spots, ledges, and interesting terrain.

18.00miles

Milton Reimers Ranch Park

Description: 

Reimers Ranch in far-western Travis County used to be a private ranch that Milton Reimers opened up for rock climbing, mountain biking, swimming, and fishing. Travis County acquired it in 2006, but hasn't changed too much about the place. Probably the most obvious change is the new ADA trail going in along the cliff rim, which isn't open yet.

Unlike a lot of parks, Reimers Ranch isn't really developed - there are porta-potties, but no running water or real bathrooms. The roads inside the park are dirt, but passenger cars should be able to get to the rock climbing/hiking parking lots and the upper beach parking lot. If the road down to the lower beach parking lot is open, be careful - a tow out of the park costs $300 according to the park ranger we talked to. If you've been to other Travis County Metro Parks like East or Southeast, this is completely different - no soccer fields, no concrete sidewalks, a much more relaxing experience.

The maps of the park that the rangers give out are pretty bad - we're on the lookout for GOOD maps of Reimers Ranch mountain biking, hiking, and rock climbing. The hiking trails are not clearly marked yet, but perhaps with the ADA trail work, more trail markings will come in later this year. The mountain bike trails are well marked and not too confusing - following the beginners loop was no problem, but when we cut from the race loop back to the beginners loop, we ended up on the black diamond trail.

One thing to note about Reimers Ranch is that while it has 18 miles of mountain biking trails, they are NOT shared-use for hikers and runners. The mountain bike trails are for biking only, and are one way. This eliminates conflict between hikers and bikers. Really, the most interesting parts of this park for hiking are along the river on the other side of the park road. Similarly, the hiking trails are for foot-traffic only, not mountain bikes.

Reimers Ranch is one of three good places in the Austin area for rock climbing - Barton Creek Greenbelt and Enchanted Rock being the others. The climbing in the park is down along the river bluffs by Reimers Canyon.

Youtube Videos: 

Guadalupe Peak Trail

Guadalupe Peak is the highest point in Texas. This is one of the most strenuous hikes in Texas, and is prone to lightning storms. The views from the top over Texas and New Mexico are amazing. You also get an impressive view over El Capitan and Pine Springs Canyon.

At the top is an aluminum pyramid marking the highpoint of Texas, commemorating the Butterfield State Route, and also marking the loss of an airplane due to a crash in the Guadalupe Mountains.

8.40miles
3000feet
8749feet

Pedernales Falls State Park

Description: 

Pedernales Falls State Park is less than an hour from downtown Austin, but this park doesn't feel like it at all. Although the hiking here never goes up or down any major climbs, and there are only a few impressive views, there are lots of interesting places to go.

In addition to the hiking trails marked on the main map of the park, there are 25 miles of horse trails around the perimeter of the park and in the blank spaces on the main map. These horse trails vary from singletrack to double jeep track, and aren't the most interesting, but you can hike (or ride your horse, of course) them.

The main hiking trail in the park is the Wolf Mountain trail, accessed from the parking lot just past the visitor center. This is a 7.5 mile lollipop loop that trail that makes for a good long hike or a nice easy mountain bike ride. There is about a mile of rocky singletrack in the middle, but most of the trail is actually on improved jeep trail. There are a few water crossings, but there's never much water in these wet-weather creeks. Out at Jones Spring, you'll see the remnants of a settler's cabin. Primitive camping (backpack in and find a spot) and an outhouse are along the trail about a mile from the parking lot.

If you're here at a warm time of year, the swimming beach is a perfect place to bring a picnic or a good book and relax by the river on the sandy beach. The water is usually very clear.

Hill Country State Natural Area

Description: 

The Hill Country State Natural Area outside Bandera, Texas is a rugged, wild place that isn't like most state parks - there aren't any real toilets, paved roads, swimming pools, showers, or even drinking water. If you want any of that, you have to go into town. Out at the HCSNA, they have 35 miles of rocky trails made out of old ranch roads, fall line trails, nice singletrack, and bushwhacking expeditions.

The trails are open for mountain biking, but it's really not a good place to bring a bike because of all the loose goathead rock. It's much better for hiking or horseback riding.

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