Trail conditions for opening the FLRC Challenge trail courses

I’m curious if anyone has been on the Tortoise or Danby courses in the last week.

I ran on the Tortoise course today. Or at least what I think it is. It was in really good condition. There was no snow anywhere.

There were three trees down on the trail, possibly from the wind yesterday. Two of them were flush with the ground and easy to step on or over. One of them on the spur trail that leads to the FLT had a path already worn down around it, so it looks like that’s been down for a bit. There were the fragments of a tree that had been cut up across the road just past the parking lot.

In a few spots the ground was a little soft but no standing water or mud spots.

The challenge course doesn’t use the Larch Meadow trail, right? That was muddy with some puddles, but still runable.

Hey, that’s great news. Once I get my permit forms back from the State, I’ll get that course open! I’m honestly not sure which one is the Larch Meadow trail, but if that’s the 1-mile loop around the field across Sandbank, no, the Challenge course doesn’t use that. I didn’t want to have people crossing the road twice unnecessarily.

1 Like

That’s great! I’m excited! Yeah, the Larch Meadow trail is the one around the field across Sandback.

I ran in the Tortoise course a week ago and agree with Adam P’s assessment. This morning I ran in Danby. The usual wet and muddy spots were wet and muddy, but most of the rest was dry. The whole thing is runnable if you don’t mind getting your feet wet. There’s also some debris from blowdown but nothing that isn’t easily passable.

In my opinion both courses could open next weekend if we don’t get anymore snow or heavy rain, permits permitting.

Excellent! My State Forest permits open up on April 1st, so we’ll aim for next weekend for Danby. And with luck, I’ll get the State Park paperwork back this week so we can open Tortoise. Then it shouldn’t be too much longer before Hammond Hill clears. I suspect Kennedy State Forest in Virgil—the Forest Frolic course—will be last.

I was up on Hammond Hill (the southern part) hiking/bushwacking last Saturday. Only tiny patches of snow, not terribly muddy either.

I ran in Virgil yesterday and the Frolic course was a mess after a day of rain on Sunday and light snow overnight. Some dry and smooth sections, but also tons of water and mud, and some icy patches. One spot about 5.5 miles into the course was completely flooded. There was a good amount of downed trees and branches on the trails, most notably a large tree covering the 4-way intersection between the white and orange trails (where 7k-ers take a hard right in during the race and 15k-ers choose either straight or left.) I think it’ll be at least a few weeks until that one opens.

@D_G_Rossiter Good to know! The Hammond trails always drain quickly—I’ve never encountered huge amounts of mud or standing water.

Thanks! Sounds like we could open the Thom B. course soon too, though perhaps @Petorius can help with a GPS run through so we can make RunGo directions. I don’t have an exact run of that course mapped and it’s impossible to map in RunGo on trails without a GPX import to start from.

I’ve run that route from the parking lot dozens of times. I’ll pull an old .gpx file into RunGo and map it out when I get a chance.

1 Like

Okay, all set on RunGo! RunGo | FLRC Challenge Thom B Loop | Freeville

@Petorius, you are officially my favorite person for the week! Especially given my troublesome calf preventing me from running these courses. You’ve already done Danby Down & Dirty; any chance you could put Tortoise and Frolic into RunGo? The only slight fault on the Tortoise track is just after we got back on the track at Comfort Road. You go down the trail a bit and then turn left to head over toward the bridge, and I think we cut it a little short. I think the Frolic course is right.

FLRC-Challenge-Tortoise.gpx (280.6 KB)

FLRC-Challenge-Forest-Frolic.gpx (507.3 KB)

And if you wanted to clean up the Waterfront Trail directions, I ran out of time to do those.

1 Like

Yeah, I’ll try to get to sometime this week. The T&H Challenge course is the same as the actual race minus the field trail at the start, right? Will the start/finish Challenge sign be next to the playground where the actual race finishes?

I’ll probably do a separate RunGo route for the in-person Thom B course, since the start and finish are a little different. I’ll differentiate the two in the RunGo title and description.

P.S. I’m telling Tonya.

Yes, the T&H course is just as you describe (lacking the first mile), except for the sign will probably be closer to the bridge than the traditional finish line. I’ll have to see what the park people say, but I anticipate installing it near the Buttermilk Falls edge of the playground.

I agree that the in-person Thom B. course needs its own map, since that final turn is a little tricky.

Umm, favorite person outside my immediate household. Yes, that’s it! :slight_smile:

I ran the Thom B course this afternoon and it was in great running condition. A few little mud patches and a few downed trees that could easily be maneuvered, otherwise all clear. If not for the impending snow I think that course could open this weekend too.

I also did part of Thom B on Saturday. Excellent conditions. One idea: because these will be individual runs there is no need to start/finish at Camp Connection. Why not start/finish at the parking lot? So down/up to Camp Connection, continue on the usual course; on the way back continue straight on Y1, no need for the last turn. It would be slightly longer, maybe 800m or so.

That’s exactly the plan for the FLRC Challenge version of the Thom B. course.

I hope to open it very soon—all that remains is to install the sign!

1 Like

I’ve consistently measured that route at 8.5 miles, as opposed to the 8.2 for the actual Thom B race course. I can’t wait for this one to open!

@Petorius If you have a few minutes today, I’m hoping to install the Tortoise sign today, on the parking lot side of the bridge for better visibility and to keep people from crossing unnecessarily when it might be wet and slippery. Any chance you could turn that GPX track into RunGo directions?

Also on tap for today is Danby, and if I have enough time, Thom B.