Panoramic view from the Big Schloss during the 2017 run.

Keith Knipling

The Big Schloss

A big loop up to a big rock.

  • Sat Sep 28, 2024
Start location
Start time
  • 7:30 am
  • 33.3 miles
Total ascent/descent
  • 6,150 feet
Aid stations
  1. Bucktail Trail Head (8.1 miles)
  2. Stony Creek Trail Head (18.8 miles)
  3. Wolf Gap (24.7 miles)
  • Entry opens on Tuesday August 6, 2024 at 9:00 am. Entry will be limited to 60 runners.
GPX file
Print or download
In charge
Course records
  • Adam Watkins
    5:13 (in 2017)
    Kelly McDonald
    6:04 (in 2017)

This challenging loop is within the George Washington National Forest on the West Virginia side of the Virginia border, south of Wardensville, West Virginia and west of Woodstock, Virginia.

A waitlist will be developed if the event fills. In the usual tradition of a VHTRC fat ass event, the runners will be asked to bring a food or drink item to contribute to the common aid. You will receive an email detailing what to bring the week of the event.

Course Description

The course is a single clockwise loop around the Trout Run Valley, with a mix of single-track trails and some dirt roads. There are three aid stations. The highlight is the ascent of Big Schloss about 2/3 of the way into the loop, with panoramic 360° views of the surrounding ridges and valleys.

Here is a public version of the route that is available on Strava.

The run will end at Picnic Pavilion A in the Trout Pond Recreation Area. We’ll be grilling brats, burgers and vegan fare for everyone, so plan to stick around after the run to cheer on your fellow finishers. It’s also a tradition to camp out and socialize after hours. Trout Pond campground is right next door. Reserve your spot EARLY, as they WILL sell out.

Aid stations and cut-offs

There are three aid stations with intermediate cutoffs as indicated.

Aid Station Split Cumulative Cutoff Map
Bucktail Trail Head 8.1 mi 8.1 mi 9:50 am
Stony Creek Trail Head 10.7 mi 18.8 mi 1:30 pm
Wolf Gap 5.9 mi 24.7 mi 3:45 pm

Photos and videos

See RD Kirstin Corris’s entire Big Schloss photo collection and Marc Raimondi’s video of the 2009 Big Schloss.

More photographs may be found linked or embedded in the run reports, available along with the results for each year of the event in the column on the left.


If you are not planning to run but still want to spend the day in these beautiful mountains, your help as a volunteer would be most welcome! In addition to volunteers for the usual run day roles, we are seeking help in working on the course trails that we will be using and will announce a Trail Work day closer to the date of the event.

Please email Cara if you’re interested in volunteering at either the trail work day or the event.

Driving Directions

WARNING: OBEY speed limits everywhere in West Virginia, especially in Wardensville.

Directions from the DC area

  1. I–66 west to where it ends at I–81.
  2. Take I–81 South (left exit from I–66) for 4 miles to exit 296, Rt. 55 West.
  3. Take Rt. 55 west 18 miles to Wardensville, WV.
  4. In Wardensville, make a left turn at a stop sign at the intersection with Rt. 259 (at a used car dealer) to remain on Rt. 55. (WATCH SPEED). Pass a Liberty Gas station on the left.
  5. Left at the “Garrett Insurance” sign on the left onto Trout Run Road, CR23/10.
  6. Follow Trout Run Road for 5.4 miles to the intersection with Thorny Bottom Road.
  7. Turn right onto Thorny Bottom Road.
  8. Follow Thorny Bottom Road for 6.2 miles to the entrance for Trout Pond.
  9. Turn left into park.
  10. Follow the Trout Pond access road for about a mile to the entrance station.
  11. The road forks.
  12. Take the left fork (which may involve passing the entrance station and turning left) if you want to go to the Start.
  13. The right fork goes to the campground.

Alternate Directions from Woodstock, VA

There is a Wal-Mart located in Woodstock exit at Route 81 for any last minute supplies. This route adds about 20 minutes to your drive.

  1. West on 66 to South on Route I–81.
  2. Go about 13 miles and Exit at Woodstock, take a right at the top of the ramp to head West. The Walmart will be a couple hundred yards up the road on your left.
  3. From Woodstock, take VA 42 west for 5.3 miles to Columbia Furnace.
  4. Turn Right on Union Church Road (there may or may not be a sign - but there is a church and cemetery there) for a .10 of a mile
  5. Turn Left on Rt. 623 Back Road for .20 of a mile.
  6. Turn Right onto SR 675, Wolf Gap Rd, for 3.0 more miles. Bear right where the road appears to swing left to remain on Wolf Gap Rd. There might be a small sign here indicating Wolf Gap Road.
  7. Go exactly 10.0 more miles, climbing a winding, narrow, paved road with blind curves, crossing the mountain at Wolf Gap Recreation Area, and descending the west side (now WV) on a winding, narrow, paved road with blind curves. You will see a brown sign signaling an upcoming left turn for Trout Pond.
  8. Turn left onto the road to Trout Pond, paved, curvy at first. This is CR 16, Thorny Bottom Rd, but there are no signs that say so.
  9. Go 6.2 miles on CR 16. A sign on the left announces the Trout Pond Recreation Area. Turn left onto a paved entrance road.
  10. Go over a mile to the entrance station.

Last updated September 26, 2023

Club Event Participant Medical Policy

This is an event with very real risks to your well being. The VHTRC does not provide medical care for runners at this event. Runners are responsible for their own health, safety, and well being at this event. No doctors, nurses, or emergency medical technicians, or anyone with any medical training are available along the course, at any aid station, or at the finish. The club does not supply any medical goods or services, including bandages, splints, antiseptic, or Ibuprofen or any other drugs to maintain the health of runners. Physical, medical, and emergency care is the runners' responsibility. In case of an emergency, we will endeavor to get local emergency personnel to an injured runner as soon as possible. Since most of our events are in remote areas, medical care may be far away in distance or time. Each year, runners finish — or are forced to drop out — with scrapes, deep cuts, hematomas, dislocations, and sprains. Runners have experienced cuts, bruises, bee stings, and asthma attacks. This is an event with very real risks.