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HS 40M Details

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Highlands Sky Trail Run

Monongahela National Forest & Canaan Valley State Park
Davis, West Virginia

June 18, 2016

Welcome to the 14th running of the Highlands Sky.  Immediately below you will find race-specific information updated for this year, followed by complete race details.  Please review all of the race information.TheWVMTR Highlands Sky works to present a high quality experience for all runners and guests.  Over the past two years, Canaan Valley Resort State Park experienced renovations to its lodging, banquet halls, and lobby.  Furthermore, as of July 2015, the resort is under new management.  These improvements are welcome and make for a greater race experience; however, such improvements come with some cost increases.  Highlands has and will continue to strive for excellence while maintaining a fair entry fee.  This year the entry fee has increased from $85 to $95.Last year the optional $15 catered post-race meal was discontinued and instead a self-serve, light, post-race meal of sandwiches, drinks and snacks at was provided at no additional cost.  This was very well-received, so we will expand lunch to include soup and hearty snacks for runners, race volunteers, and guests at the finish line pavilion. If you would like to bring your special something to share that would be welcomed.

For many years we have held two training runs on the first half of the course; the first around April 1 and the second May 1, and have held a trail work day in late April. Many times the April 1 trainer was in 6″ to 10″ snow which did not provide a true course training experience. This year we are combining these into a Trail Work & Trainer Weekend on April 23-24. We will camp Saturday evening near the Start on Matt Young’s property. While help is appreciated clearing trail, do not feel it is necessary to participate on the Sunday 21 mile trainer. Please let us know if you are coming We will meet both days at the Highlands Sky Start at 8:00am. See Directions to Start below. See a report on the 2011 trainer Here.

The Highlands Sky Course The point to point course begins near the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area on Red Creek in Laneville, WV.  Following a 2 mile paved section, the trail ascends to Roaring Plains, Flatrock Plains and Red Creek Plains into Dolly Sods. The course proceeds north along the Allegheny Front to Bear Rocks.  Here runners will turn west crossing Dolly Sods to the rim of Canaan Valley north of Timberline Ski Resort. A descent through Timberline  leads to Freeland Rd  and into Canaan Valley State Park. This is not an easy ultra, but very rewarding when completed!The course climbs a total of 5474 feet and descends 4856 feet and is basically in three sections;  the Plains, the Road Across the Sky, and Dolly Sods. Two significant climbs occur in the first 15 miles where a 2500′ ascent is followed by a 1700′ descent, and then another 1200′ climb. In the first half of the course highly technical (rocky), single track sections occur from mile 7-11 and 16-18. The Dolly Sods section has an exciting boulder-hopping stretch from mile 30-31. The course is 75% trail, 15% Forest Service road, and 10% paved road.   There are eight aid stations. You should carry fluids and fuel due to remote location and distance between of some of the stations.
Photos from the first half.

Restrictions Limited to 200. Must be at least 18 years of age. No pets accompanying runners.

Time Limit There is a 12 hour time limit to complete the course. There are 4 Aid Stations where runners must meet cutoff times. Aid #2 Gas Line by 9:15am (3hr 15m), Aid #3 Forest Rd 70 by 11:05am (5hr 5 min), Aid #4 Dolly Sods by 12:05pm (6hr 5min) and Aid #6 Bear Rocks by 1:40pm (7hr 40min). See Course Maps for more details.

Rules While keeping these to a minimum, there are a few. Crew can only drive to Aid Station #4 Dolly Sods  mile 19.7 and Aid Station #8 Freeland Rd mile 36.9, crew SHALL NOT drive from #4 to #6 along the Road Across The Sky. Pacers are not allowed on the course, however friends may join a runner from the last Aid Station #8 Freeland Rd to the finish. No one may run using another registered runners bib number.

Race Registration Printable mail in ENTRY FORM or online through Run Sign Up. Early fee $95, beginning May 20, 2016 the fee will be $115.

Packet PickupFriday June 19 at Canaan Valley Resort State Park lodge from 5-8:00pm. Arrangements can be made for later pick up. There will be no race day registration.

Pre-race dinner Friday June 17 from 6:00-7:30pm. Dinner is included for registered runners.  Guest tickets are $15 (kids 5 and under free).  Menu – Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce, Veggie Lasagna, Tossed Salad, Rolls & Butter, Cookies, Tea, Coffee, Soda. The race briefing starts at 7:00pm.

Late Arrival Please let me know if you will arriving late or even early Saturday morning,

Aid Stations There are 8 aid stations. Station 1 will only have water and Tailwind sport drink. Stations 2 thru 8 will in a mix of utlrarun cuisine such as; pbj, fruit, cookies, pretzels, chips, potatoes, candy, soup if it’s cold, salt, Tailwind, Coke, Mt Dew and more. There will be no gels at the aid stations; please come prepared.  See Course Maps for Aid Station locations.

Drop Bags will be collected at the Start and be available at Aid Station #4 Dolly Sods, mile 19.7. Label your bag with name and bib number.

The Start Shuttle buses will depart Canaan Valley  Lodge at 5:00am for the 25 min trip to the start. The race starts at 6:00am. The start begins at the gray metal bridge crossing Red Creek near the Laneville DNR Cabin at the entrance to the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area.  All runners must check-in with the race director Saturday morning at the start.  There will be no shuttle service back to the start after the race. If you have family or crew driving you to the start, please indicate so on the Entry Form.

Crew, Family, Spectators All are welcome at the Start, but please park out of the way of runners and busses. This will be discussed Friday evening. The best place to meet your runner is Aid #4. This is the approximate half way point at mile 19.3. Here runners have completed the tougher first half and support will be appreciated. If you have any special needs please let me know. Directions to Start, Aid Station 4 Dolly Sods and Aid Station 8 Freeland Road.

The Finish is backat the Canaan Valley Resort Lodge.  Showers are available.

Finishing Award Runners completing the course in the 12 hour time limit will receive a Patagonia Capilene shirt. The shirt is available in men’s and women’s sizing.

Place Awards  Top Five Overall Male and Female, 1st  Place Masters 40-49, 1st Place Grand Masters 50-59, and 1st Place Super Masters 60 and over Male and Female. Awards will be presented at the finish line pavilion.

Directions Canaan Valley Resort State Park is on Rt. 32 10 miles south of Davis, WV and 9 miles north of Harman, WV. Go to Canaan Valley Resort State Park for travel directions.

Directions to Start For those driving to the Start
From Canaan Valley Resort entrance turn right and proceed south on Rt. 32 one mile and turn left on County Rt. 45/4 East Laneville Road.  Continue on this curvy, narrow road 5.7 miles to the gray metal bridge and FS 19 at the entrance to the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area.
From Harman go north on Rt. 32  3.7 miles and turn right on County Rt. 32/3 Bonner Mt. Road at the Assembly of God Church. Go 5 miles to a stop sign and turn sharp right. Go 1.5 miles to the gray metal bridge and FS 19 at the entrance to the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area.

Accommodations Canaan Valley Resort is offering special rates for the weekend.   Cabins and camping are also available at the park very near the lodge where activities will take place. Go to lodging and camping for rates and reservations.

Results Photos and results will be posted online at and

Refunds A request for refund of entry fees, minus a $10 fee, will be granted up to May 20, 2016. Please don’t ask after this date. Refunds may be requested by email

Questions of any sort, email Dan Lehmann, or call 304 924-5835, or Adam Casseday Every attempt has been made to meet runners’ needs. If you have any concerns or suggestions, please feel free to contact us.


The WVMTR is a permittee of the US Forest Service, Monongahela National Forest

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