Route: Knobstone Trail (IN)

Indiana, US
50 mi
Vertical Gain
10,000 ft

"The 48 mile Knobstone Trail is Indiana’s longest natural surface foot path.  It is a popular backcountry trail that runs along high ridges which offer great views across the wooded hills of southern Indiana, and on clear days, even glimpses of Louisville and the Ohio River.  The Indiana DNR manages and maintains the trail, with occasional assistance from a variety of volunteer groups, including the HHC."

Russ Goodman posted (5/29/2013) briefly about some possible FKTs:

"There is a small group of us Indiana trail runners that still meet every April to run the KT. It used to be a 50 mile "run," but the last few years we've been too busy drinking beer to run that far. There was tornado damage from last year and numerous re-routes due to logging over the years. We would always start at the south end and run north to finish at a cabin in Delaney Park. To get 50 miles you need to do a backward S on the Spurgeon and Delaney loops. As far as I know, I have the fastest known time at 9:30. That was 2004 or 2005. I also did a solo double crossing for a 100+ miles in 2009 in 27:59."

GPS Track


Is there currently a listed official FKT on konbstone? 

Sam, good question. I asked Peter Bakwin for clarification, and here's what he said: "Technically the comment doesn’t really constitute a valid FKT. If it was me, I would certainly want to beat the stated time. But, if he submits a slower one we can add it as the verified FKT." To be clear, Russ Goodwin commented in the old proboards forum about his 9h30m time on a 50-mile route he describes there, in 2004 or 2005 (plus a solo out-and-back he did). So we would add any new FKT submitted with verification, while encouraging supported males to aim for under the 9:30 mark. All other categories appear wide open at present.  -Nathan Broom, volunteer Midwest regional editor

Should an FKT attempt follow the "backwards S" 50 mileroute as described by Russ Goodwin? It seems to me the logical FKT northern terminous should be the Delaney Park trailhead but since there are a figure 8 of trails that are officially recognized as the Knobstone Trail in that area, could an FKT attempt simply choose the best route between Deam Lake and Delaney along the Knobstone? It appears the backwards s he described was an attempt to reach 50 miles but doesn't exactly make sense in the spirit of the FKT. (For the record, the mapped route shown on this page shows the direct route between Deam and Delaney)

Mark, fair question. There's some leeway on this one, with good points going both ways. Tradition matters in FKTs, which is an argument for Russ's 50-mile backwards S... as is the appeal of a 50-mile route (and a 100-mile out-and-back). However, that 2004/5 run wasn't apparently intended as an FKT. Technically, the first FKT has yet to be posted on the Knobstone, which leaves some discretion for whoever submits the first one. The FKT site allows for multiple route variations, though I can't imagine the site founders would approve 48-mile and 50-mile variations.

Going for the FKT this weekend. I'll be doing the "backward S" variation at the north end of the trail. I'll shoot for the 9:30 mark, but I'll be glad to just get a verified FKT on the board for this trail. Looking forward to sharing results!

Going for the FKT tomorrow, will follow route laid out in Ethans post, will update how it goes in a day or two. 

I had a happy day on the trail chasing Peter's strong mark, and I came up about an hour short (or long). Grateful for the excellent support I had, and the creation and maintenance of this trail. We got to cheer in another 50 miler finisher at Delaney--Alex found this route on this site, and made it his first 50 miler.

Trails were dry and the creeks were wet.  It was a great day for an unsupported run.   I had 20 Huma gels, hammer bar and a PB&J for calories.  I also started off with Perpetuem in each soft flask.  For water I used a 3L Beefree bladder with filter cap to refill my 2 soft flasks with creek water. Family was at the finish, great times!