Runners line up for start of 10 and 20-mile runs,

May 11, 2019


Runners are invited to register for the eleventh Mayapple Trail Runs to be held on Saturday, May 16, 2020 in beautiful South Mountain Reservation in Essex County, N.J. The races are organized by the volunteers of the South Mountain Conservancy (SMC) with the support of the Essex County Parks Department. The USA Track and Field sanctioned races provide an informal but supportive trail race environment for runners who are up to the challenge of completing 10 or 20-mile distances, or ultra-marathon routes of 50 kilometers (31 miles), 40 miles, 50 miles, and 100 kilometers (62 miles).

For the first time this year, you can run 40 or 50 mile distances, or if you sign up for the 100 km (62 miles) you can run the shorter distances (50K, 40 or 50 miles) and not be designated DNF. Medals, however, will only be given to the winners of the 10 and 20-mile races, and the 50K and 100K races. In addition, Conservancy members can use a code to receive a $5 discount. (E-mail opsdirector@somocon.org to get the code.)

All proceeds support the mission of the Conservancy as a steward and advocate for the park and its public programs (go to www.somocon.org for more information). To register, go to Ultrasignup.com. Registration ends at 5:00 p.m., Friday, May 15th. THERE ARE NO RACE-DAY REGISTRATIONS.

COURSE OVERVIEW: All races start at the Locust Grove picnic area in Millburn. The course consists of a 10.5-mile east loop and 10.2-mile west loop through the forested 2,110-acre South Mountain Reservation. Following along the valley floor and the two ridges, the course includes long stretches of double-wide gravel roads, technically challenging, meandering single-track hiking trails with roots and rocks, and (on the east loop) two, quarter-mile stretches of pavement and a water crossing. It is a good combination of level paths, rolling hills, moderate climbs, and a few very steep ascents. The east and west loops total approximately 1,500 feet of ascent. Aid stations positioned approximately every five miles on the east and west loops. Again, this year we are timing the races using a chip system courtesy of Sassquad Trail Running.

To download a course map, click HERE.

START/END TIMES: The 50K, 40 mile, 50 mile, and 100K runners start at 6:00 a.m. with the east loop, and continue alternating loops. Ten and 20-milers start at 9:00 a.m. on the west loop. The 10-milers only run the west loop; the 20-milers continue on to the east loop which has some more rocky, technical trails. (The 9:00 a.m. start allows runners to travel on a 7:11 a.m. train from Penn Station, NYC, to Millburn on New Jersey Transit's Morris-Essex Line. The Millburn station is two blocks away from the Locust Grove starting point.) The cutoff time for all races is 9:00 p.m. at Locust Grove, somewhat earlier for the aid stations.

PARKING: Some parking spaces are available at Locust Grove, but these are limited. It is strongly recommended that cars be parked across Glen Avenue at the lots between the First Aid Station and the Millburn Library. Cars irregularly parked at Locust Grove will be ticketed.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: A full description of the course is available HERE. The course is identical to last year's. (See race course description for details.) To download a course map, click HERE.

RACE REPORTS: This year we are again collecting race reports. After the race, please send your report to mayappletrailruns@somocon.org. In the subject line please put Race Report - [distance run]. We will post them on the website.

DROP BAGS: There are aid stations roughly every five miles where runners can have bags dropped off. At the stations, we offer electrolyte drinks and water, granola bars, pretzels and snacks. If you have a special request, please let us know; we will do our best.

YOU CAN VOLUNTEER: We are always looking for volunteers to help out on the day of the race at the stations. (See below.)

FINAL REMINDERS: To manage the number of participants and administration:

  • There are no race-day registrations -- registration ends Friday, May 15th at 5:00 p.m.

  • There are no refunds.

For Results: CLICK HERE




Special Promotion for Mayapple Trail Runners from the Sneaker Factory

(308 Millburn Ave., Millburn, Ave. - 900 feet from Locust Grove starting point)

  • All racers (and volunteers) get a $25 off coupon good for three weeks until Sunday, June 7th.


  • Because we are using Sassquad Running's chip timing system, we need a couple of days to input the data.

Runners who register by Thursday, May 7th may pick up their race packets at the Sneaker Factory in Millburn from Saturday, May 9th to Friday, May 15th. (Store hours: M,T, & W – 10 am to 6 pm; Th -10 am to 8 pm; F & Sat – 10 am to 5:30 pm; Sun – 11 am to 4 pm.) If you are picking up your packet on the day of the race, please come to the Locust Grove start 30-45 minutes before your race starts.


We love our volunteers and this year we're showing the love with some help from our good friends at the Sneaker Factory. All volunteers who help out for at least 4 hours (trail marking, aid stations, trail marking clean up) will receive a $25 gift certificate from the Sneaker Factory and free registration to next year's Mayapple Trail Runs! Plus, you'll get a pizza lunch (or dinner) and be a hero to all the runners and the good folks who enjoy the South Mountain Reservation throughout the year.

You can also earn free registration to the Mayapple Trail Runs by volunteering at a trail maintenance or forest regeneration event organized by the South Mountain Conservancy. Full details are available here.

For questions, please email mayappletrailruns@somocon.org


The South Mountain Conservancy is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation started in 2000. Through volunteer activities, public programs and partnership with the Essex County Parks Department, the SMC serves as a steward and advocate for the South Mountain Reservation. The SMC strives to preserve, protect, and enhance the ecology, infrastructure and natural beauty of this regional park and to foster public engagement with, appreciation of, and support for it. For more information about joining and supporting the SMC, visit www.somocon.org.

The Essex County Park System was created in 1895 and is the first county park system established in the United States. The Park System consists of more than 6,000 acres and has 20 parks, five more natural reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, paddle boats, three public golf courses, golf driving range, three off-leash dog facilities, a castle and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens. The South Mountain Reservation is Essex County’s largest park and covers parts of Millburn, West Orange, and Maplewood