Two months might be left in 2023, but the 2024 trail race calendar is already rapidly taking shape.
The race will be held at South Mountain Reservation in West Orange, New Jersey, and will feature distances of 50 miles, 33 miles, 20 miles, and 11 miles.
The Squatchapple course features three different loops that all start and finish at the reservation’s Tulip Springs Trailhead. The loops are 4 miles, 5.5 miles, and 7 miles. Participants will complete a combination of these three loops to achieve the distances that they registered for.
The 4-mile Turtleback Loop has 370 feet of elevation gain, and it is 75 percent carriage roads and 25 percent singletrack. Organizers describe this loop as mostly mellow doublewide trails with a bit of singletrack. There is one big climb and one big descent. Participants finish the loop by going down a rocky hill of more than 200 feet.
The 5.5-mile Locust Grove Loop features 600 feet of elevation gain, and it is 90 percent carriage roads and 10 percent singletrack. The loop is mostly mellow doublewide trails. The one exception is a rocky, technical climb up the steep Lenape Trail, which gains 300 feet in half a mile. Organizers say the other 300′ feet gain in the loop are gentle rollers. Participants again finish the loop descending the 200-foot rocky hill.
The 7-mile Mayapple Loop has the most elevation gain, with 960 feet. It has 35 percent singletrack, 30 percent road, 34 percent carriage roads, and one percent grass field. Participants again finish the loop descending the rocky hill.