“A 22K trail race in the Shenipsit Forest featuring Killer Hill and Soapstone Mountain.
— Tony Bonanno
Race - May 20, 2018
The Soapstone Mountain Trail Races are popular, long-standing races in North Central Connecticut. 2017 marks the 33rd year for the Soapstone events. There are two races on event day: a 22K (approx. 13.5 miles) and the Jerry Stage 6K
. Both races run through the extremely beautiful and scenic area around Soapstone Mountain, Shenipsit Forest State Park. Participants in the 22K race climb to the peak of Soapstone Mountain. The races are put on every year by the Shenipsit Striders, a 42-year old trail running club in north-central Connecticut.
Need to Know
Register for the Soapstone Mountain Trail Races at Ultrasignup.com.
The first mile of the 22K travels along a slightly downhill dirt road before turning sharply onto a more 'traditional' hiking trail. From there, it starts a slow ascent towards Soapstone Mountain. After crossing the first road, the trail makes another sharp right where participants are challenged with the first difficult climb - a very steep 1/2 mile trail named "Killer Hill".
Once at the top of the hill, runners travel by the Soapstone Mountain observation tower and then run down a steep descent. Following the downhill, the trail becomes a series of switchbacks and rollers through the woods - though it's challenging, the rollers aren't steep enough to dramatically alter one's overall pace. There are brook crossings and a muddy stream descent. There are lots of rocks and roots to twist ankles on. Watch your footing!
Towards the latter half of the race, the course has one more significant climb up a singletrack, followed by a steep descent on a dirt trail continuing on dirt road and finishing on singletrack to end the race in a grassy field surrounded by family and friends. The entire course is marked with painted white dots on rocks and trees. In areas where the trail splits or is tricky, there will be additional flagging.