The Wild Oak Trail 100 - "Hot" TWOT
October 12, 2013
The Wild Oak Trail 100
February 8, 2014
Starting Time: 8 AM
If you don't know about TWOT or Hot TWOT, please learn more about them before you consider participating. Each is a tough run.
TWOT is run each year, weather permitting, on the second Saturday in February. "Hot TWOT" is held in the warmer weather of early October - it is scheduled for the second Saturday of that month each year.
If you want to run TWOT or Hot TWOT, please e-mail Dennis Herr at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember this run is "semi-invitational." Requests to enter TWOT should be sent in after January 1, and if you want to get in to Hot TWOT, then your email should be sent after September 1.
From Dennis Herr:
[Submitted for prior years, but still valid.]
"Wild Oak is . . . the same format as prior years - no fee, no aid, no awards, no time limit and no scoring. It's a 100 miler again, but people can do 1, 2, 3 or all 4 loops. (For people who want to do more than one loop but not two this year I'm going to give them the option of doing the old 34 mile loop. They'll need to find their own way though, because it won't be marked.) It's a semi-invitational. I want people who have a low to zero (preferably zero) probability of getting lost. I will write a course narrative this year which I will give to you.
"I'm limited to 75 people. That's the maximum number the Forest Service allows without a permit. Our main problem is going to be parking, so maybe you could mention that on your Web site and encourage people to carpool if at all possible. There's plenty of space, but most of it is a quarter mile away from the trail head which adds an extra half mile per loop to get to your car."
E-mail Dennis Herr at email@example.com
DIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD:
I-81 to Exit 240 then Rte 257 West to Bridgewater. Left on Main St.
(Rte 42). Right on Rte 727 (right after crossing bridge). Six miles
on 727 to Sangerville. Left on Rte 730. Six miles on 730. Right on
Rte 718. One mile on 718. Cross cement bridge, do a right-left
dogleg onto FDR 95. 0.1 mile on 95 to trailhead parking lot on the right.
Parking: There is limited parking right at the trail head and then other parking down the street at the girl scout's camp. Dennis has asked that those only doing one loop save the good parking for those doing multiple loops. Don't make someone who is going back on a second loop walk to his car when you are going to drive away to a warm bed! And don't park in front of any gates!
View from Big Bald
Cantrell would call this entire trail a candyass trail. In fact, it's so
easy my grandmother could do it and she's dead.
The entire trail is marked with white blazes painted on the trees and
light gray plastic diamonds nailed to the trees and a few yellow
diamonds. The turns are not marked. This narrative is for the
clock-wise direction. It's your choice as to which direction you
want to run. (How many courses give you that option?)
From the parking lot, go a quarter mile on the trail to a split and go left.
You'll be returning on the right branch many hours later. Go another
quarter mile, cross the road and pick up the trail on the other side
and a few yards uphill. Go a half mile to the bridge. Follow the trail
PAST the bridge and then switch back to the bridge. DO NOT CUT
DOWN THE BANK DIRECTLY TO THE BRIDGE. The reason will be
obvious when you see the bank. Cross the bridge. Turn right. Go 30
yards and turn left at the trail sign. Go approximately 3.5 miles to
another split in the trail. You can go either way. (How many courses
give you that option not once but twice per loop or 8x in 100 miles?)
Go another quarter mile or so to the junction with the North River
Campground Road coming in from the right. Go left. The next 2.5
miles is easy road running. Once the trail resumes, go about a mile to
the Dowells Draft Trail/FDR96 sign at the top of a little hill. Turn right
and descend (more or less) for a little more than 2 miles to FDR96.
(The sign says 3 miles, but it's wrong.)
Cross the road and ascend for 1.5 miles on a gentle grade to the first
of 2 old tank traps. Right after crossing the first tank trap, there is an
obscure little trail going down the bank to the right to a little waterfall
on the Mitchell Branch. This is one of 3 water sources on the trail.
The other 2 are the 2 stream crossings. Continue climbing on a steep
grade for more than 0.5 miles to a pond. Skirt the pond on the right side and turn right near the back of the pond. Continue climbing
for more than 0.5 mile to the top of Big Bald. Descend for less than
a mile to the junction with the Hiner Spring Trail coming in from the
left. Go straight. Descend another 1.5 mile to Camp Todd. Cross
the road. Cross the river and climb for 3 mile to the top of Little Bald.
Make an ACUTE right turn at the trail signs. DO NOT GO STRAIGHT
ON THE LITTLE BALD KNOB ROAD. Anstr has an excellent picture
on the Web site illustrating this turn. (Here is another picture.) Descend(more or less) for 3 miles
and turn right 30 yards BEFORE reaching the Grooms Ridge Trail/FDR101
sign. Descend (more or less)another 2 mile to the Little Skidmore Trail.
Do a 10 yard left-right dogleg at the sign. Descend (more or less)
another 2 miles to the parking lot.
The 34 mile loop goes like this: Follow the course narrative for the clockwise direction to Big Bald Knob.
Descend off of Big Bald for 0.8 miles and turn left at the Wilderness sign (if it's there - it may be lying on the ground). Go 1.2 miles to the headwaters
of Ramsey's Draft (no sign here). The trail comes to an indistinct "T" at this point. Turn right. Go 0.25 miles to the Hardscrabble Knob Trail branching off to the left. Go straight at this point. Go another mile to the junction with the Shenandoah Mt. Trail (another indistinct "T" and no sign). Turn right and go 3 miles to FDR 95 (dirt/gravel road). Turn right again and go 4.2 miles to Camp Todd (the sign is on your right). Turn left, cross the river, and you're now back on Wild Oak heading for Little Bald Knob.
Who is Invited
Since this is a semi-invitational, here are some guidelines to help you
determine if you are "invited". Actually, most of the following determines
who is not invited.
If you are even the least bit worried or concerned about getting lost,
- If you have questions, don't come.
- If you need a crew, don't come.
- If you need toilet paper, don't come.
- If you expect to be pampered in any way shape or form, don't come.
- If you're a whiner, don't come.
- If you're a freeloader, don't come.
- If you're seeking fame and/or fortune, don't come.
- If you're thinking about writing a report about your experience at
Wild Oak, don't come.
- If you crave abuse, if you yearn for abuse, if you are addicted to abuse
in any way shape or form (be it physical, mental, sexual, verbal,
mathematical, artistic or whatevah) BY ALL MEANS, BE MY GUEST.
(This applies to abusees only. Abusers are not welcome. The only
abuser allowed is the trail.)
Comment from Anstr:
This is not a race. Expect nothing that you would get at a race. Do expect, however, a fantastic, challenging trail. It will likely be very cold and there will probably be snow on the ground. The course will not be marked and if you have a crew, he or she can't see you very often at all. This is absolutely not for everyone, but for the right people this is a fantastic experience. This is not a VHTRC event. All the credit (and liability) goes to Dennis.
Wild Oak Trail Information
2001 Racers Take Break During Relentless Assault of First Hill