Route: Burr Oak + Wildcat Hollow Trails (OH)

Submitted by bob.alexander on Fri, 11/27/2020 - 07:19pm
Location
Ohio, US
Distance
38 mi
Vertical Gain
4000 ft
Description

The Burr Oak Backpack Trail and Wildcat Hollow Long Loop are both accepted FKT trails on their own. They are located in southeastern Ohio; Burr Oak Backpack trail is completely within Burr Oak State Park, Wildcat Hollow is in Wayne National Forest. Both trails are similar in that they contain rocks, roots, creek crossings, beautiful ridge tops and secluded bottoms. Burr Oak provides you a view of Burr Oak lake for most of its 22.2 miles. Wildcat Hollow Long Loop is a popular 15.5 mile backpack destination with many primitive campsites and the aroma of a breakfact campfire on early morning runs is common. Burr Oak is generally better taken care of since it is a state park with many campers in the more contemporary campsites and Burr Oak Lodge visitors taking day hikes. 

Both trails will challenge you; however, neither is so technical that a beginner would not enjoy exploring either trail. One is tailored for primitive hikers and campers, one is tailored to family camping in a camper with amenities like electric. Burr Oak is generally free of deadfalls and Wildcat Hollow has new obstacles every time you run it. Yet, the distance between where Burr Oak Backpack Trail crosses Sunday Creek and the Wildcat Hollow Trail are less than 3/4 of a mile apart. Strava shows them at 0.6 miles to be exact. This proximity makes it possible to connect these two sought after trails into one run by simply leaving one trail, running a short distance on Sunday Creek road, a gravel covered road with a great view of Sunday Creek, and entering the other. Since both the Burr Oak Backpack Trail and Wildcat Hollow Long Loop are both closed loop trails, connected by Sunday Creek road, combining them is essentially one 39.3 mile loop. 

There are multiple road crossings on Wildcat Hollow Long Loop and the Burr Oak Backpack trail intersects with boat ramp parking lots, the Nature Center parking lot and the beach parking lot that can be used for aid station stops for a well supported run that a run of this length would benefit from. If you're not local and traveling in you can choose from lodging at Burr Oak offering both campsites for all types of RVs and Burr Oak Lodge, or Wildcat Hollow offering primitive campsites at the trail head and along the trail itself. This combination route is well suited for any running or hiking enthusiast no matter your preference. 

GPS Track

Comments

The Buckeye Trail Association holds an annual Emma "Grandma" Gatewood Solstice (EGGS) challenge that follows this 40 mile loop. The route has been slightly different because the pedestrian bridge across Sunday Creek is new.  I'm not sure if future routes will change.  The challenge hike is 40 hours in 24 hours so very doable for most determined hikers.  The challenge has 20, 60, and 80 mile options as well.  I've hiked this combination this year in about 20 hours.

The Buckeye Trail Association holds an annual Emma "Grandma" Gatewood Solstice (EGGS) challenge that follows this 40 mile loop. The route has been slightly different because the pedestrian bridge across Sunday Creek is new.  I'm not sure if future routes will change.  The challenge hike is 40 hours in 24 hours so very doable for most determined hikers.  The challenge has 20, 60, and 80 mile options as well.  I've hiked this combination this year in about 20 hours.

How did your attempt go? Looks like you may have ran into trouble from your GPS route. Hope all is well.

Went out and ran this loop on 1/30/21. Ended up under the posted FKT (7:26:54), but in doing some research saw a faster time posted by Michael Owen & Mike Cooper (just under 7 hours). The full report is on my Strava, but winter was a great time to run for the most part (mostly frozen mud, not snow). I'll be back to chase after it sometime.

https://www.strava.com/activities/4707356391