The South Mountain Trail climbs up to series of ridges that encircle a large cove. Ridgeline running isn’t usually that tough, but this is a severe trail. Imagine the longest, rockiest, most painful single climb you’ve made in recent years.
Now imagine it a dozen or more times in the space of 18 miles; not a pretty picture. But the descents are worth it: crazy-fast over loose rocks with dozens of water bars. Even the paved section runs a ridgeline, and we hit 40 miles per hour coasting it at one point. If you think you can hammer anything for 16 miles, then come to South Mountain, but consider yourself warned about spending the night on the mountain. Tread: 15.7 miles of old Forest Service road/doubletrack; 2 miles of pavement.
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