The Good Water Loop is a 27 mile, mostly single track trail that completely circumnavigates Lake Georgetown in Central Texas, just north of Austin.
Lake Georgetown is part of the North San Gabriel River, created by a dam on the south end of the lake.
This trail passes through dense Oak/Ashe Juniper forest, bottomland hardwoods and prairie grasslands. The route varies from easy Jeep trail to technical single track with some short but steep climbs. There is a short paved river crossing on the far Western side at Camp Tejas. The Southern "crossing" is a one mile run across the dam.
Note that this Goodwater Marathon covers all but about 1/4 mile of this route. The fastest times have almost certainly been set in the race. A Strava segment is here: https://www.strava.com/segments/16647273?filter=overall
This route is pretty rocky & rooty, especially on the south side of the lake, so I found it best to start at Cedar Breaks park and run clockwise, to get the hard part out of the way when it was cooler and I was fresh (and then your mileage matches the trail signs!). There are also 3 easy-access public water spigots right near the trail:
* Mile 11: drinking fountain & faucet at Camp Tejas in the field by the trash cans across from the parking lot restrooms
* Mile 21.5: faucet w/ hose at the guard house where you cross the road at Jim Hogg park
* Mile 25: restroom with water at Overlook park before the dam
Thanks a ton for these tips Russell!
I completed this loop on 3/25 unsupported in 5:03. I’ll submit soon. I also did the exact gpx route posted under the map above. I believe this is the exact trail route since the I saw each mile marker. Russell mentioned a smaller trail near a TH turn off that seemed like an unnecessary detour. Although that loop can be bypassed by staying on the grass road, it’s a part of the main trail. Mile 15 signpost lies on this small loop trail. There are several diversions that aren’t signed so you must have the gpx downloaded to your watch and verify it at all turns. I’m glad I did it CW starting at cedar breaks parking TH. The first 7 miles is viciously rocky and I ran into dark without bringing a light so finishing the last 3 miles on bike path and road worked out great.
BayouRougarou, would you be willing to let me know what your total elapsed time was so I have an idea whether or not I have a shot at the FKT? Thanks a ton!
Wow, this route is really getting a lot of attention this month! Congrats Russell and Bayou and thanks for the helpful info! I will be visiting family in the area this coming weekend (4/1). I was hoping to run this route. BayouRougarou, would you be willing to let me know what your total elapsed time was so I have an idea whether or not I have a shot at the FKT? Thanks a ton!
Sorry, I wish I could edit my comments. I see that Bayou did include his time in his original post. I must have overlooked it.
Hi all, I ran this loop on 4/4/21 and took about 30 minutes off of the current unsupported FKT. I submitted it and I am waiting approval. Thanks a ton to all of you who included notes about the terrain and the water filling areas! That helped me a lot! I really enjoyed the trail and the area. It was a beautiful and challenging loop.
Regarding the Goodwater marathon course/segment and this FKT. I'm not sure it matters, but the marathon course deviates from the original gpx in two places for about a half mile each. Starting at Russell Park (the start of the marathon course and the associated segment), the gpx for the FKT deviates for about a half mile around mile 14.1 (half way between cedar breaks park and Sawyer park). This doesn't change the distance of the course, but I'm not sure what the course is like on the marathon route for that half mile (I ran following the gpx posted above). Also, the ~0.4 mile extension to include the mile 15 signpost that others have mentioned is part of the FKT is *not* part of the marathon segment. I'm guessing that extra ~0.4 miles is not enough to make those running the marathon course ineligible for FKTs (the current supported FKT was part of that race and was already approved). But I thought I would share those observations in the event they do impact any FKT submissions. Thanks a ton!