Use the links below for details of the Dam Half course.

Course view 1

Course view 2

Elevation profile


The Dam Half course is situated within Bald Eagle State Forest, and you really get the feeling of being far from civilization when doing this course! Mostly narrow single track trails with some jeep trails and a little bit of dirt road mixed in to relax your legs (but not too much), the Dam Half has a total elevation gain of 2,300 feet. The course has several climbs with a few boulder fields mixed in to test your legs (and wits)! Between the climbs there are some nice flat and rolling sections winding through beautiful hemlock and pine forests with a few stream crossings here and there. The toughest climb of the event is near the end. The dreaded Stairway to Heaven is a brutal single track climb with over 700 feet of elevation gain within a half mile straight up the side of Naked Mountain. But once you summit, it痴 just 1.3 miles downhill to the finish!!!

Mile 0-2
The Dam Half starts out on the plush, rolling, hemlock needle-covered Nature Trail within R.B.Winter State Park which takes you westward to the park boundary. Participants will then cross over Rt.192 and turn south on the West Boundary Trail, which winds downward to Rapid Run. After crossing a little bridge over Rapid Run (careful - it might be slick!), you値l start the first climb of the event, a 250 ft. ascent on a nice bouldery section of single track on the north face of Brush Mountain. After summiting, follow the well-defined single track down the south face, where you値l pick up the well-known Mid-State Trail.

Mile 2-5
After turning west onto the Mid-State, you値l find a very gradual, plush single track climb for the next mile where it then plateaus for a while. After mile 3, the Mid-State gets pretty rocky in a few places. Pay attention to your footing, as you don't want to go down so early in the race! After another gradual climb and plateau with rocky sections, you値l turn north onto Douty Mill Trail and head downhill. Crest a small ridge and head down into a dense white pine and hemlock glade. Your feet will love this! You値l come out onto a gravel driveway where Aid Station 1 is located. If it hasn稚 already, the fun is about to begin!

Mile 5-6
Right after Aid Station 1 and crossing back over Rt.192, you値l hit two semi-short, but steep climbs (over 400 ft. of ascent) in a row on Frederick Gap Trail, crossing over Hough Mtn, then Tunis Road, then McCall Mtn. Be careful on the descent down the north side of McCall Mtn! The north side is very steep with loose rocks. At the bottom of the hill, you値l cross Jamboree trail - a grassy Jeep road. After a short juke to the right, continue on Frederick Gap trail.

Mile 6.2-10.7
Shortly after you cross Jamboree trail, you値l turn east onto Black Gap Trail. After about a mile, you値l turn north onto a segment of Jamboree for a short bit before veering east onto the eastern end of Black Gap Trail. This part of Black Gap Trail is defined by a dry streambed with lots of rocks at the beginning! After a while it turns into nice plush singletrack through a hemlock stream valley. At the end, you値l turn north onto Black Gap Road heading down to Aid Station 2. After the aid station, you値l turn east onto White Deer Creek Trail which is a mixed bag of smooth and rocky single track, gently rolling and slightly downhill. You値l find another small stream crossing near the end.

Mile 10.7-11.7
You値l turn right (south) onto McCall Dam Road and see the final aid station, Aid Station 3, right off the bat. Fuel up for the final climb of the event the dreaded Stairway to Heaven on Rocky Corner Trail! You値l have a gradual uphill approach on the gravel road until you hit the Stairway, which will feel like a brick wall. The Stairway starts off very steep in the beginning, and.. pretty much stays that way for the next half mile until you reach the top. You値l know when you hit the top, because after that 700 ft. climb you値l have a beautiful field of white Tuscarora boulders at the top of Naked Mountain to greet you. But look at the bright side, it痴 all downhill from here!!!

Mile 11.7-13.1
Watch your step across the boulders heading down the south side of Naked Mtn. Rocky Corner trail will be all narrow, winding single track to the bottom with rocky sections at the top and bottom, fairly plush in the middle. At the bottom, you値l turn onto Boiling Springs Trail which is a nice, plush piece of single track to take you to the finish at the pavilion. Congratulations, you made it!!!


2023 Dam Half
Sunday, September 17th



ゥCopyright  MidPenn trailblazers