SportsEvents Magazine

AUG 2018

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Page 20 of 67 August 2018 21 Special Feature: 2018 NATURAL VENUES GUIDE The Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area is located in the northern part of Alexander County on the southern edge of the Brushy Mountains. The park covers 318 acres, with five miles of hiking trails up the mountain summit and a 100-foot cliff face that is used for rock climbing. More than 60 established climbing routes are available, ranging from beginner to expert. The park also includes a one-third-mile paved walking trail in a former quarry along with a picnic shelter, restrooms, playgrounds, a multipurpose building and 25 hidden geocaches. The park hosts the Vertical Mile Challenge (VMC) on the third Saturday in June each year: runners complete eight loops of a 2.2-mile course totaling 17.6 miles, as well as a vertical mile ascent and descent on the Stairway to Heaven trail. A Vertical Mile Challenge (VMC) Club lets participants com- plete VMC loops at their leisure by log- ging a record of laps at the park office. More than 4,000 people currently par- ticipate in the club, which offers prizes for finishing eight laps, 40 laps and 100 laps. The park receives grants from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. The land was donated to Alexander County by the Carolina Land and Lakes Resource Conservation and Development District with additional assistance from the Felburn Foundation. The recreational area is on the North Carolina Registry of Natural Heritage Areas and the dome-shaped mass of granite that makes up the mountain has an elevation of approximately 1,800 feet above sea level. The summit is about 600 feet above the surrounding terrain, offering runners long, steep slopes on each end. In addition to the Vertical Mile Challenge, the 2019 RockyFest is sched- uled for April 13. and will include rock climbing sessions for beginners, rock climbing competitions and the 2nd Annual Run for the Dogs Trail Race, which features four-mile, eight-mile and 12-mile races. Information provided by Alexander County Economic Development Corporation. For more information, visit, or ► The Vertical Mile Challenge (VMC) A climber at the Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area. Hiddenite NORTH CAROLINA POPULATION: 536 Photos courtesy of Alexander County EDC

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