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KTA Trail Challenge

The 9th Annual KTA Trail Challenge



F. A. Q.




When: September 9, 2017


Where: Lancaster County to York County - this is a rare, point to point course covering 2 counties


50k Start: Pequea Creek Campground, 7 am - registration opens at 5:30 am.

The 50k course will be the same as 2016 - Thanks to Lancaster County Conservancy for negotiating the opening of the Conestoga Trail through Holtwood Pincnic Area!

The elevation profile for the 50k and the map for both courses will be posted under Course Details and Elevation Profile tab to the left.


25k Start: Susquehannock State Park, 9 am - registration opens at 7:30 am.

The 25k course will be the same as 2016 - following State Parks Trails to a road section, where it joins the 50k course on the Norman Wood Bridge crossing the Susquehanna River.



Finish Line for 50k and 25k: Otter Creek Campground, Airville, PA - parking for friends and family available in adjacent lot on Furnace Road. This is a timed event. Participants must finish by 7pm.


Shuttles will be available to take participants back to their cars at Pequea or the Park from the Finish Line during the event.


Checkpoints along the course will have water, sports drink, snacks, and volunteers to cheer you on :).


What to Bring: all the gear and necessities that help you hike/trail run. Most important: water (refillable containers), basic first aid (like blister treatment, an epi-pen if you carry one), sunscreen, bug repellent and raingear. The event is rain or shine, and in the great outdoors. Consider bringing extra snacks, i.e., gels/ energy bars. There will be plenty of food available at the checkpoints, but it’s good to have an extra energy supply when you need it.


How to Register: There are two ways to sign up. Download the REGISTRATION FORM to send in with your cash or money order. Or, to use a credit card or PayPal, sign up on Pretzel City Sports.

I registered on Pretzel City Sports but haven't heard anything from KTA: Pretzel City Sports handles the credit card registrations for the KTA Trail Challenge. Every 3 weeks, they send KTA information about those who signed up. That's when you'll receive the confirmation email from the KTA office. If you have pressing questions before then (it can be a long wait when you're training, we know!) please reach out to shaxby@kta-hike.org or call the office at 717.766.9690.


What is the KTA Trail Challenge?



The KTA Trail Challenge is an event for adventurous trail runners and hikers on the wild river hills of the lower Susquehanna Gorge.

This daunting trail challenge event on the Conestoga Trail and State Park trails and the Mason-Dixon Trail System, alternates breathtaking vistas with steep descents into dark, scenic hollows followed by strenuous climbs to the next vista. Prepare yourself for the steep hills, rocky terrain and deep ravines of the KTA Trail Challenge, an arduous, undulating and demanding course.

Although the KTA Trail Challenge is a timed event, the challenge is not to "win" or "come in first," but to complete the hike in 12 hours or less (10 hours for the 25k). For many participants, the KTA Trail Challenge 50k is the ultimate test of physical fitness and mental toughness. "Winning" is the personal satisfaction that comes with finishing the course in the allotted time.

Just a few of the highlights of the 2016 50k course include Wind Cave, House Rock Vista, Tucquan Creek, the Pinnacle Overlook, Kelly's Run, crossing the Susquehanna River on the Norman Wood Bridge, then together with the 25k course, historic Lock 12 and Oakland Run. Participants of the 50k enjoy scenic Urey Overlook and Otter Creek. The 25k course includes the beautiful Overlook Trail, Wisslers Run, and a sweeping view of the unique Muddy Run Power Reservoir.
Everyone who reaches the finish line earns a beautiful, carved wooden medallion.


All participants receive a tech t-shirt at the Finish Line. If you would like a certificate with your finishing time, please request that one be mailed to you, after the event.



THANKS: four of KTA's member clubs are responsible for building and maintaining the Mason-Dixon and Conestoga Trails and put in hours and hours of work preparing the route for this event: the York Hiking Club, the Lancaster County Conservancy, the Lancaster Hiking Club, and the Mason-Dixon Trail System. The Lancaster County Conservancy saw to it that the Conestoga Trail and others through Kelly's Run Natural Area would remain open to hikers from Holtwood Picnic. Without their efforts, the KTA Trail Challenge would not be possible!



VOLUNTEERS: Volunteers ARE NEEDED for the KTA Trail Challenge. Many volunteer opportunities are available including registration (Saturday morning), parking, trail sweeps, and more. Please considering registering.



Here are some of the kind words we've heard from participants:


“The race was a blast, and so so so well supported.”
“The volunteers were awesome for braving the heavy rains and thunder! The runners and hikers couldn't have done this wonderful trail event without them!”
“Great volunteers! I appreciate the boy scouts volunteering ! Maybe next year girl scouts could volunteer too! Thank you for all you did so I could realize my strength and enjoy the outdoors.”
“Thanks KTA and volunteers! I definitely couldn't have done it without your cheering, help filling my water, and encouragement! You all rock!”
“I just want to thank those volunteers that duked it out in that weather. Hikers are crazy. We sign up for the challenge and are expected to brave the elements. But these kind souls did it out of the goodness of their hearts. Standing in that rain with umbrellas to make sure we crossed Hwy 372 safely, hanging under the tents to be sure we were fed at each stop, greeting us with a smile, congratulating us when we arrived at each checkpoint and encouraging us to continue. Most of this in torrential downpours. I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you! Your time, your smiles and your selflessness is greatly appreciated!”
“I thoroughly enjoyed the course. I so enjoyed the volunteers.”
“So, to all the volunteers at the 2015 Super/Ultra hike, thank you for your dedicated time and effort. It was truly outstanding and very much appreciated by this beat-up old hiker. Salute!!”
“The volunteers were awesome. I thanked as many as I could along the way.”
“I had a wonderful time letting the hike kick my butt. The support I received from each rest break area was more than I expected”
“the volunteers who stood in the pouring down rain and helped us in many ways were outstanding.”


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