Black Hawk Ridge Details

Details for 2021 (Check back later this summer for 2022 event details)


8K  and 16K 

  • Sunday, October 24, 10:00 am

  • Maximum 270 runners

Self-Timed 8K  and 16K

Run the 8K or 16K course anytime from Thursday, October 21, through Saturday, October 23.

In-Person Event Info

  • Runner check-in 8:30-9:45; both runs start 10:00

  • Chip timed. 

  • Long-sleeved T-shirts! Register early to help us get the right sizes.

  • Post-run soup, bread, and cookies for runners.  Buy an extra lunch ticket for family/friends if they are coming along.

  • Overall and age group awards for the fast.  Door prizes for the lucky!

  • Parking is limited; please car pool if you can.

  • For the 16K, we will have a cutoff time of 1 hour, 30 minutes to complete the first 10K, so that all runners and volunteers can be off the course in time for soup.  If you want to run 16K but are concerned about making the cutoff, contact us about an early start.

  • Since we are not out of the COVID woods yet, we anticipate the following modifications to our traditional event:

    • Registration and food will be in the open-sided picnic shelter instead of the cabin​

    • We ask everyone to maintain social distance and ask anyone not vaccinated to wear a mask when you are near others.

    • Spread out at the start, faster runners near the front, to reduce crowding in the early K.  With chip timing, your time won't start until you cross the mat.

    • As always, the COVID situation may change.  We'll post updates if that happens. Please let us know if you have concerns.

  • Results will be posted on the trail run website.

Self-Timed Event Info

  • The course is real, the crowd of other runners is virtual

  • Run anytime from Thursday, October 21, through Saturday, October 23

  • Maps and GPX files will be available on the website

  • Course will be marked, but we can't check it all every day, so we recommend you carry some form of map.  Please let us know if you get out there and find markings are missing or unclear.

  • Long sleeved t-shirts! Register early to help us get the right sizes. We'll have a couple pickup options for self-timed runners, and if that isn't convenient for you, we'll pop it in the mail to you.

  • After you run, submit your results. If you don't want to post a time (or forgot to start/stop your watch), you don't have to, but put your name in as a finisher to get your K counted for the 100K Club. 

  • Self-timed event participants are not eligible for overall or age group awards, but your time will be posted with other self-timed results.

  • For the Savanna Series, the self-timed result counts for participation in the event/series, but can't be used for the time "percent-back" rankings.

  • Share a photo or two from your run.  Upload link will be posted before the run.



The Black Hawk Unit is located 18 miles northwest of Madison in Dane County.  Take State Highway 12 north to County Highway Y, west to State Highway 78, south 1 mile to Wachter Road on left.  Parking is at the top of Wachter Road.


Proceeds benefit Groundswell Conservancy (formerly Natural Heritage Land Trust) and the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Fund. Groundswell works to protect special places, forever, in the Dane County area.  The Riverway Fund supports the DNR wildlife habitat restoration and management activities along the Lower Wisconsin River.


Trail Description


The 8K and 16K courses begin together with a scenic prairie loop to the north. Then runners will divide and the 8K course runs South along the ridge top with dips down a few side valleys, taking you through restored prairie, hardwood forest, and pine plantation with views of the Wisconsin River valley and beyond.  The 16K heads to the  bottom of the ridge to tour the Wisconsin Heights battlegrounds. You'll climb back up to the top of the ridge, then rejoin the 8K course, pass by the cabin, and head out for the last 6K of your event.

For the self-timed run, start at the cabin heading toward the big open pavilion and end at this sign post.



Both in-person races  Overall m/f top three

10 year age groups beginning at <20  for the 8K and 16K (to 70+ for the 16K and 80+ for the 8K). Awards for top 3 in each group.