2016 Road Race

Welcome to Ellenville Mountain Running Festival!

Due to the recent forest fires at Sam’s Point, we will not conduct the trail races as originally planned, and will instead be offering a very challenging 9-mile road race, called Satan’s Tar. In the immediate aftermath of the fire, the forest is especially vulnerable to invasive species, which can be tracked in by hikers and runners. And so, it is better if we and others avoid the trails until the native vegetation has regrown. We will be back with the 10-mile, 1/2 marathon, and full marathon trail runs in 2017.

For our July 30th 2016 event, we’ll run on the roads!

Satan’s Tar: The Ellenville-Cragsmoor 9-mile RunUp

According to cyclists, this course is apparently THE most difficult road ascent in the Hudson Valley south of Albany.  Satan’s Tar may be the toughest road race you’ll ever run in the Hudson Valley.

Starting at Berme Rd. Park in Ellenville, the route heads straight up the mountain along the spectacular Mt Meenahga and South Gully Roads to the hamlet of Cragsmoor, perched on the top of the ridgeline. From there, you’ll turn around 180 degrees and head all the way back down the mountain.

  • 1,800 feet of gut-busting climb and quad-crushing descent
  • Passes beautiful waterfalls, steep ravines, and deep forest on back country roads
  • Music and food at the finish
  • Commemorative finisher’s mason jar, good for beer (or other drink) at Aroma Thyme Bistro after the race
  • Earn 9 miles toward special Long Path Race Series 100-mile completion coin

Check out the interactive course map

Click here to register


Please note:  due to recent fires at Sam’s Point, we will not be offering these trail runs in 2016.  However, feel free to check out the pictures, descriptions, and interactive map links, as we plan to offer these three courses once again in 2017.

Join us Saturday, July 30, 2016 for the second edition of Ellenville Mountain Running Festival, a day of adventurous running events taking place in some of the most spectacular, rugged, and remote sections of the Shawangunk Mountains.


All three distance divisions take you through lovely hemlock groves and exotic pitch pine barrens and cross the top of the ridgeline at High Point, where on a clear day you can see for 100+ miles.

This is an adventurous version of trail-running, with steep climbs, rugged, rocky, technical trails including unmaintained carriage roads that may be wet or washed out, as well as single track.  Parts of the trail are exposed to the sun, and in July it will be warm.  There are also sections that are smooth, very runnable, and fast

This is a minimalist format event, which means no aid stations (bring your own nutrition and carry water bottles or a hydration pack) and no supplemental markings.  However, the trail is clearly blazed and signed and we will provide easy-to-follow maps.  We will also provide water at High Point (the half-way point for the 10-miler and 1/2 marathon) and at the turn-around for the marathon.


Festive finish line atmosphere with food and drink, finishers prizes, special awards for male and female winners in each division, and a chance to hang out with people who share your love of the wilderness

Come explore the beautiful Shawangunks, less than 2 hour drive from New York City.  Start/finish is Berme Rd Park in the village of Ellenville.  Click here for Google Maps for the start/finish and here are some places to stay recommended by our friends at the Mohonk Preserve

ellenville pic

The event offers 3 divisions:

*  The 10-mile sprint takes you straight up almost 2,000 feet to High Point, a glacially polished vantage point on top of the ridgeline, then straight back down to the start/finish.  The course is a mix of single track and carriage roads, some of which are rocky and challenging, especially on the way down, until you reach the last mile, which is smoother, giving you a chance to finish fast.

The 10-miler is a great race for beginning trail runners, as well as hikers and walkers, because the course is open until 5:00 PM (eight hours!).  Take your time and enjoy the magnificent views!

Start time:  9:00 AM.   Click here for interactive map

Participants on their way to High Point.  Credit:  Steve Aaron Photography

*  The 1/2 marathon is a fun mix of slow and fast.  It takes you for 2 miles on paved roads around the backside of the mountain, where you then follow the challenging but spectacular South Gully trail (part of New York’s Long Path) up to a section of very runnable flat carriage road high on the plateau.  Then it’s downhill to the start/finish.

Start time:  8:30 AM.  Click here for interactive map.

*  The full marathon is an epic double crossings of the Shawangunk ridge and totals approximately 5,000 feet in elevation gain.  This division heads up and over High Point, passes two sky lakes, Lake Awosting and Mud Pond, descends to Aumick Road, the half-way point, where you turn around and retrace your steps to the start.  We’ll provide water at Aumick Road, and if you have a crew, they can meet you there and provide supplies.

Because of the remote locations and limited checkpoints, the full marathon division is by invitation only, please contact the race directors via email or the form below and provide evidence that you can complete a marathon-distance trail event and that you have basic skills to follow blazed trails using a map.

Marathon runners Iain Ridgway and Ben Nephew.  Credit: Steve Aaron Photography

Start time:  8:00 AM.   Click here for interactive map.

For more information and to register, CLICK HERE

Or if you have a question for the race organizers, fill out the following contact form:

Copyright 2016 Shawangunk Adventures LLC