The Naturalist


Oct 01, 2022 at 8:00 AM

The Naturalist

35 East NE Main St

Franklin NC, 28734


Entry Fee $65
(Lowest or Early Registration)

Entry Fee 2 $80
(Highest or Late Registration)

Prize Money: no


  • 25K
  • 50K

Type: Ultra

Percent of the course on un-paved trails: 100%

First Year of the Event: 2015


The Naturalist Trail Race – 25 / 50k, which is a part of the Outdoor 76 FALL CELEBRATION, is back for another round of leg hurting fun on October 5, 2019! This day encompasses our trail race, 3 bands throughout the day along with 18 draft craft beers for all post race celebrations!! Our sponsors this year include: The North Face, NC Bartram Trail Society and Salomon.

Come explore the same trails that William Bartram, “The Naturalist”, ventured on in the late 1700’s. This ultimate 50k will cover some of the most challenging ground in the Southeast. Runners will leave from downtown Franklin, NC at 8am and travel to the Bartram Trail area on Wallace Branch. Here runners will start the brutal climb that ultimately leads to Wayah Bald. From the Wallace Branch trail head to the top of Wayah Bald is approximately 11 miles. The 25k will have over 5500′ of climbing (50k will have over 8,500′ of climbing), making your legs feel weak just reading this. There will be multiple stations with food and water. 25K racers will end on Wayah Bald after running up the Bartram Trail. When 50k racers reach Wayah Bald they will circle the bald, resupply then head back down the Bartram Trail. Make sure you grab a t-shirt as you cross the finish line located on the square in downtown Franklin….you just earned a spot in the “I’m Incredible” book! Outdoor 76 will host the post race meal, music, beer….and oh yeah awards!

Ready to signup for the 25/50k? Visit:

Event details and schedule

– Limited to 100 racers (25k & 50k combined)
– Limited parking available on Wayah Bald, carpooling is highly recommended.
– Racers are encouraged to carry at least 1 liter of water on the climb from Wallace Branch to Wayah Bald. Very limited access in the area.
– Race check-in will be Friday, October 4 from 5-8pm AND race day, Saturday morning from 6:30-8am at Outdoor 76.
– Race will begin promptly at 8am in front of Outdoor 76 on Main Street.
– 25k runners will be given 3 cache bags that will be dropped off by race staff at mile 3.7 and mile 9.6. Any items needed at those check points must fit in those bags. Cache bags must be turned in by 7:45am at registration area.
– 50k runners will be given 3 cache bags that will be dropped off at mile 3.7, mile 9.6, mile 15.5 and mile 21.6. Any items needed at those check points must fit in those bags. Cache bags must be turned in by 7:45am at registration area.
– Aid Stations will be at mile markers: 3.7, 9.6, 15.5, 21.6, and 27.5.
– Aid Stations will include the following items: Water, Gatorade, Fruit and Powerbars.
– Cut off times are when the runners MUST leave the aid station, not arrive at the aid station. Example: 25k runner arrives at Harrison Gap at 10:55am they must be back on the trail by 11am.
– 25k cut-off time will be 11am at Harrison Gap (mile 9.6)
– 50k cut-off time will be 2pm at Wayah Bald (mile 15.5)
– 50k cut-off time will be 3pm at Harrison Gap (mile 21.6)
– Shuttle service will be available for 25k runners. Race directors must know if a runner needs a shuttle no later than 5pm on October 2, 2019.
– The Bartram Trail is home to lots of different types of animals. Yellow jackets are occasionally encountered in early fall and poison ivy in some areas as well. Two poisonous snakes inhabit the area– the timber rattlesnake and the copperhead–but are rarely seen. Black bears are also present in the area but never seen. Please be aware of your surroundings while running.
– Participants will be provided a free meal, which will consist of: Lasagna (vegetarian or regular), bread and salad.


No photos available.


Past Event Dates

Held on Oct 01, 2022

Held on Oct 02, 2021

Held on Oct 03, 2020

Held on Oct 05, 2019

Held on Oct 06, 2018

Held on Oct 07, 2017

Held on Oct 08, 2016

Held on Oct 10, 2015

Event Results