Rock The Ridge | September 25, 2021
We have redesigned the 2021 Rock The Ridge course to provide participants with a fun, exciting and rewarding 50-mile endurance challenge that maintains many of the same elements of the traditional course while adding new features to highlight the best of Mohonk Preserve and Mohonk Mountain House property. This year’s event will take place entirely on Mohonk Preserve and Mohonk Mountain House property.
Why is the course different this year?
Unfortunately, not all of our race partners were able to accommodate the new fall date, a traditionally busy time for visitation on the Shawangunk Ridge.
Who designed the new course?
The new course was designed by Andy Reynolds, Volunteer Programs Manager at Mohonk Preserve with help of other staff members with input from Mohonk Mountain House management.
Please note that the course described below is subject to slight modifications.
Leg 1: Testimonial Gateway/Eagle Cliff/Pine Road
Participants start at the Testimonial Gateway Tower and continue on Lenape Lane toward Duck Pond. Then, they ascend uphill on Glory Hill Road. The course levels out on Oakwood Drive to Rhododendron Bridge and begins climbing gradually on Laurel Ledge. Participants take Copes Lookout Road to the highlight of this leg - Eagle Cliff. With spectacular views of Skytop and Mohonk Lake, this route features the grandeur of the Mohonk Mountain House and a remarkable new view of Skytop.
From there, participants take the following carriage roads to the end of leg 1 at Pine Road: Humpty Dumpty Road, Short Woodland Drive, Old Minnewaska, Forest Drive, Kleinekill Road, Oakwood Drive, Duck Pond Road, Farm Road, and Lenape Lane. The shuttle will stop at Pine Road for Relay participants. Spectator access is not permitted at Pine Road.
Elevation Gain: +1,392 ft; Elevation Loss -1,281 ft
Leg 2: Pine Road/Skytop/Spring Farm
Skytop is the highlight of leg 2. Participants will begin at Pine Road and take Lenape Lane to the Mohonk Mountain House Gatehouse. They then follow the path above the Day Hiker Parking Lot to reach Whitney Road.
Participants continue on Whitney Road, N. Lookout Road, Hemlock Lane, and cross Garden Road The course continues onto Huguenot Drive and Skytop Road to the iconic Skytop Tower. From there, participants retrace their steps to Huguenot Drive, Hemlock Lane, crossing Garden Road to N. Lookout Road. They take Bonticou Road to Rock Rift Road and follow Cedar Drive toward Spring Farm. Next, participants cross Mohonk Road on the Cedar Drive Bridge, turn uphill on Spring Farm Road, take Bonticou Road for views of the Bonticou Crag, and turn on Cedar Drive to decline steeply before finishing this leg at Slingerland Pavilion, a large cedar pavilion with outstanding views of the Catskill Mountains. This major aid station will serve as the bag drop location. The shuttle will stop at Spring Farm for Relay participants. Spectator access is permitted at Spring Farm. Parking is limited.
Elevation Gain: +1,582 ft; Elevation Loss -1,300 ft
Cutoff Time: Participants will be pulled from the course if they do not depart from Spring Farm to begin leg 3 by 3:30 pm.
Leg 3: Spring Farm/Old Minnewaska/Lyons Road
Participants begin at the Slingerland Pavilion and take Cedar Drive to Rock Rift Road, Bonticou Road, N. Lookout Road, Hemlock Lane, and cross Garden Road for the third and final time.
Participants will continue Huguenot Drive, Kleinekill Road, Oakwood Drive, Old Stage Road, Forest Drive, Home Farm Circle, Home Farm Drive, Forest Drive, Old Minnewaska Road, Undercliff Road, and Trapps Road until reaching the aid station at Lyons Road. The shuttle will stop at Lyons Road for Relay participants. There will be no public access at Lyons Road.
Highlights of this leg include the view of the ridge from Old Minnewaska Road, the fast and steep descent on “Godzilla,” the rollercoaster terrain of Old Stage Road, and the climbing cliffs on Undercliff Carriage Road .
Elevation Gain: +1,448 ft; Elevation Loss -1,016 ft
Cutoff Time: Participants will be pulled from the course if they do not depart from Lyons Road to being the final leg by 8:00 pm.
Leg 4: Lyons Road/Overcliff/Testimonial Gateway
At just 10.9 miles, with an elevation loss of 1,125 feet, this leg – the homestretch – is short and fast. It features views of Lost City and the Catskills for runners who finish before dark. Some participants will see the sunset over Lost City. And those hiking it in the dark will have the comfort of a mostly downhill walk to the finish at the Testimonial Gateway Tower.
Starting from Lyons Rd, participants will take the following path to the Testimonial Gateway: Trapps Road, Overcliff Road, Oakwood Drive, Duck Pond Road, and Lenape Lane.
All participants will have until midnight to complete the course.
Elevation Gain: +308 ft; Elevation Loss -1,125 ft
Total Course Elevation Gain: +4,730
Total Course Elevation Loss: -4,722
Banner Photo by John Aylward; Up The Ridge by Kate Schoonmaker; Across The Ridge by Martin Weiner; Summit The Ridge by John Hayes; Rock The Ridge by John Aylward