Barkley 100 Mile Run

Barkley Map and Course Description

The description and map below are for the 2001 course. The books moved from year to year, and there were sometimes course changes as well. Any changes were revealed the day before the race. Books were generally wrapped in plastic and tied to trees about 1-2 weeks before the race begins.

1. The race started at the yellow gate at the north end of the campground and heads north up the Bird Mt. trail. The trail forks just before the top of the ridge and follows the faint trail to the left (easy to miss) and goes over the ridge. (The good trail heads toward Bald Knob and is not shown on the map below). Head down to Phillips Creek at the NW corner of the park (marked with orange markers). The trail disappears with a few hundred yards to go just after crossing a small creek where the terrain levels off. Keep going north here.

2. Follow the old North Boundary trail east. The first ridge is labeled Jury Ridge on the map. The second has a sign on top that says "Jury Ridge". Don't let this bother you. After crossing Son of a Bitch Ditch, you will reach the Coal Ponds and probably lose the trail. Continue east up to the Garden Spot at the NE corner of the park, marked with orange markers. You will cross an old jeep road (not shown) about 50 feet below the book, which is on a parallel jeep road (also not shown).

3. Go SW down the jeep road. Continue straight through 2 intersections (not shown). The second intersection is 4 way with the least obvious trail straight ahead. This turns to good jeep road down to Coffin Springs (Goblin Springs on the map below) where water jugs will be set out. From there follow a jeep road SE for 150 ft and cut through the woods, dropping to 2600 ft to a clearing. Follow the muddy dirt road to Bobcat Rock, a large formation on your left at a bend in the road. Turn right (SW) and slide down Leonard's Butt Slide, 3 muddy pitches of 50-100 ft at a 45 deg. slope to the book. In previous years, the book was at the top or after the first pitch.

In 2003 the course was modified to travese Stallion Mountain with a book at the summit. (The map shows the old course). From Coffin Springs, go back 1/4 mile NE, toward the Garden Spot, but then turn S and follow the ridge to the summit. Continue S along the drainage of the Barkley Mouth branch until you meet the coal road at 2600 ft, at the sharp bend to the S, then continue S along the old route to Bobcat Rock and Leonard's Butt Slide.

4. Continue down the very steep hill to a house sized boulder past Barley Neck falls where it intersects the New River near a level area and the ruins of an old cabin. In prior years, there was a book here. Then turn left (SE) along the New River on faint trail. You will eventually cross the river and continue along an old railroad bed on the right side to a small rock wall about 3 ft. high with a frying pan sitting on top. Cross the side stream and turn right and head up Hell. The book is 100-150 ft. up the 30-45 deg. slope. (In prior years, the book was in the rock wall).

5. Continue W straight up Hell for 1500 ft. until you reach a dirt road at a hairpin turn. The book is in a log at the edge of the road.

6. Turn left (down) and watch for a very sharp turn to the right on an overgrown level dirt road. Follow that W to the end, to a crumbling 2 story guard shack with a fence around it. The book is inside the shack.

7. Go back to the power lines you just crossed under (not shown on map). Climb Rat Jaw (N) 1000 ft. to the fire tower, where water jugs will be out. Take the dirt road down to the 5 way intersection (the South Old Mac trail heading W is not shown) and turn sharp left (SW) onto the Spicewood trail. Turn left again (S) on the Chimney Top trail. Look for a small stone on your left with some red paint and "MF" carved in it. Turn right (SW) and climb the "hump". The book is in the big log at the top. (The hump was new this year. Prior to that we stayed on the trail).

8. Continue S and pick up the Chimney Top trail (white blazes). At the hairpin turn, continue S on the faint trail to Indian Knob, along the left side of the rocks and through a gap (in prior years there was a book here). Go straight down (SW) the Zip Line to Beech Fork (the stream from the north is not shown). The book is in a hollow tree about 20 ft. up a steep bank on the far side of the confluence.

9. Climb Big Hell (NW, 1500 ft). The book is in a tree at the very top edge of the hill, just before the Chimney Top rocks.

Finish. Go N along the right and then left side of the rocks. Turn left (W) on the Chimney Top trail and follow it back to civilization. Take the paved road N to the campground.

Repeat for loop 2. Reverse direction for loops 3 and 4. On loop 5, you have your choice.

Frozen Head State Park, TN

Map by DeLorme Topo USA 2.0, annotated by Matt Mahoney. You can also obtain topo maps (more detailed, but not marked with the course) directly from Frozen Head State Park