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(Note: This option includes both your adventure course and the virtual Community Trail Mile Challenge. You do not need to register separately for the trail mile challenge. Additional courses are not included and adding on other courses to this Adventure Course will not discount them.)
This course is an adventure sure to delight any long distance runner, offering varied terrain, sweeping panoramic views, many different ecosystems, multiple creek crossings, and a journey across pristine conserved lands. Not for the faint of heart, this course boasts a little over 4,250 feet of elevational gain over the 21 miles and includes some steep ascents and descents. Parking and the trailhead begin at the Palo Corona Regional Park Discovery Center, with portalets and an aid station. The course passes through the Palo Corona back country to Santa Lucia Conservancy land before entering Mitteldorf Preserve, where participants will complete the Nature Loop Trail before returning back to the Discovery Center. An aid station and a portalet will be offered at Mitteldorf Preserve. These lands are not open to the public, so this is a unique opportunity to explore these conserved areas.
This is a live, socially-distanced, self-timed, and self-supported event. It is expected that participants will carry their own aid (i.e., at least 1L hydration and adequate nutrition) while on the course, although two limited-supply aid stations will be offered. Runners and hikers are most likely to successfully complete this course if they have previously completed a similar-length event on trail or a marathon-length event on road. You will be required to select a date (4/17, 4/18, 4/24) and starting time slot for this course between 8am and 10:20am. You may begin anytime within your 20-minute slot and should aim to finish the course within 6 hours. The cut-off time for reaching the Mitteldorf Preserve checkpoint is 1:20pm, after which participants will be held at Mitteldorf Preserve and not permitted to complete the course. The Race Team may elect to alter the course or limit the participation of individuals should safety concerns arise due to weather or otherwise.
Palo Corona Regional Park is one of the Central Coast’s most significant undeveloped open spaces. In the largest land conservation project in Monterey County history, Big Sur Land Trust, the State of California, Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District (MPRPD), and The Nature Conservancy partnered to acquire the 10,000-acre Palo Corona Ranch. The acquisition was finalized in 2004. The 10,000-acre ranch was then divided between the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and MPRPD to be protected in perpetuity. MPRPD created the new Palo Corona Regional Park with the northern 4,350 acres of the former ranch. In 2018, in partnership with The Trust for Public Land, California Wildlife Conservation Board, CDFW, California State Coastal Conservancy, California Natural Resources Agency and Santa Lucia Conservancy, an additional 190 acres of the former Rancho Cañada Golf Course was added to the park. Beginning at near sea level and rising to over 3,400 feet in elevation, Palo Corona is home to over 500 species of plants as well as several federally-endangered and threatened species including steelhead trout, California red-legged frog, California tiger salamander, Smith’s blue butterfly, golden eagle, and California condor. Palo Corona also provides habitat connectivity for several previously-protected conservation properties, including Garrapata State Park, Joshua Creek Ecological Preserve, Mitteldorf Preserve, Glen Deven Ranch, Point Lobos State Reserve, Santa Lucia Conservancy lands, and the Ventana Wilderness.
The Santa Lucia Conservancy is a nonprofit dedicated to the protection, study and stewardship of the unique natural resources of the Santa Lucia Preserve. The Santa Lucia Preserve is a unique and forward-thinking conservation community that weaves the human community into a large-scale conservation landscape. As a science guided land trust, the Conservancy conducts novel and essential land management, landscape level habitat restoration and conservation research to support rare and at-risk species and ecological processes. In partnership with the Preserve community of nearly 300 families, the Ranch and Golf Clubs, and the Community Services District, the Conservancy manages 8,000 acres of conservation easements and 10,000 acres of Conservancy fee-owned lands. Contiguous both in geography and spirit, the Preserve is one 20,000 acre conserved landscape with 18,000 acres permanently protected and cared for by the Conservancy and an engaged residential community.
Mitteldorf Preserve is a 1,057-acre property in Carmel Valley, bordered to the west by Palo Corona Regional park, to the south by Joshua Creek Ecological Reserve, and to the north and east by Santa Lucia Preserve. Home to Monterey County's largest redwood tree, this amazing landscape was forever protected from logging when Harriet and Arthur Mitteldorf provided funds for Big Sur Land Trust to purchase the property in 1990. This land features riparian and oak woodlands, chaparral, grasslands, and a rare stand of madrone, all contributing to the beauty of this important watershed and habitat for several protected wildlife species. In addition to hosting hikers, Mitteldorf Preserve may also become home to youth overnight wilderness camps. In 2016, during the record-setting Soberanes Fire, Mitteldorf Preserve served as a critical access point to the backcountry in and around Santa Lucia Preserve. The scars of this fire can be seen on many of the surviving redwoods, as well as by the empty platform where a beautiful barn once stood.
Registration for this 21-mile course is $50 and closes on April 10. Your fee includes both the Palo Corona to Mitteldorf course and the Community Trail Mile Challenge. During your initial registration, you can add on additional courses at their regular rate ($30 for your first course and $10 for each course thereafter, or $50 for Palo Corona to San Jose Creek).
Click here to view this route in Strava, including the elevational profile. Note that the Strava course does not include the Nature Loop, which adds an additional 1 mile and a few extra feet of elevational gain.
Below is a georeferenced and printable PDF version of this course map. If you use the Avenza app on your phone, you can upload this map to display your GPS location on the course.
Click the icon below to download the attached PDF.