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Trails Collective

Toughest Trail Races in the Northeast: 5k Division

Much of the mediasize and romance with trail running over the past decade + has circled around ultra. The press, the sponsorship dollars, where the bar is set for a sense of challenge and achievement. However, shorter distances don’t require consumption of life in training and breakdown. Furthermore, mile for mile, the events measuring 5k or below layed out below may take the cake for most elevation gain per mile.

For those arriving directly here, check out our lineup of the Toughest Trail Races in the Northeast across distances. We also have related articles on Most Scenic, Historic, Flat & Fast, and others to come. For now, let’s checkout the ranking of the Toughest 5k’s and under in the Northeast.

#11

King of the Mountain

Lynchburg, VA

Month:

March

Distance:

1 mile

Elevation Gain:

352′

Gain / Mile:

352′

#10

Race to the Top of Bradford

Bradford, VT

Month:

June

Distance:

3.4 miles

Elevation Gain:

1,004′

Gain / Mile:

295′

Race to the Top of Bradford Elevation Profile

#9

Mt. Abram Ascent

Greenwood, ME

Month:

October

Distance:

3.4 miles

Elevation Gain:

1,073′

Gain / Mile:

316′

#8

Toughest 5k (Between the ADK’s & Rockies)

Canandaigua, NY

Month:

October

Distance:

3.1 miles

Elevation Gain:

1,156′

Gain / Mile:

373′

“Toughest 5k (Between the ADK’s & Rockies)” Elevation Profile

#7

Battle at Bristol Mountain 5k

Canandaigua, NY

Battle At Bristol Mountain 5k Elevation Profile

Month:

October

Distance:

3.1 miles

Elevation Gain:

1,281′

Gain / Mile:

388′

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoeNWRkf7zc

#6

Jay Peak Trail Festival Black Diamond 5k

Jay, VT

Month:

September

Distance:

3.1 miles

Elevation Gain:

1,265′

Gain / Mile:

408′

Jay Peak Trail Festival Black Diamond 5k Elevation Profile

#5

Gunstock Mountain Race

Gilford, NH

Gunstock Mountain Race Elevation Profile

Month:

June

Distance:

1.5 miles

Elevation Gain:

1,267′

Gain / Mile:

845′

#4

Mohawk Mountain Race

Cornwall, CT

Month:

October

Distance:

3.2 miles

Elevation Gain:

1,405′

Gain / Mile:

439′

Mohawk Mountain VERTual Challenge Elevation Profile

#3

(Technically not trail, but giving them a pass)

Race to the Top of Vermont

Stowe, VT

Month:

August

Distance:

4.3 miles

Elevation Gain:

2,584′

Gain / Mile:

601′

Race to the Top of Vermont Elevation Profile

#2

Sugarloaf Uphill Climb

Carrabassett Valley, ME

Sugarloaf Uphill Climb Elevation Profile

Month:

October

Distance:

2.2 miles

Elevation Gain:

2,382′

Gain / Mile:

1,073′

#1

Whiteface VK

Wilmington, NY

Month:

August

Distance:

2.4 miles

Elevation Gain:

3,110′

Gain / Mile:

1,275′

Whiteface VK Elevation Profile
RankEventTownStateMonthStravaPlotarouteHello,DrifterTopoFusionAvg ElevationMileageGain Per MileDivision
12King Of the MountainLynchburgVAMarch34629834841735213525k
11Race to the Top of BradfordBradfordVTJune10039281024106210043.42955k
10Mt. Abram AscentGreenwoodMEOctober108110261109107510733.43165k
9Toughest 5k (Between the ADK’s & Rockies)CanandaiguaNYOctober117011541161114011563.13735k
8Battle at Bristol Mountain 5kCanandaiguaNYJuly131812701266126912813.33885k
7Run It To the SummitTullyNYAugust127911351184127912192.15815k
6Jay Peak Trail Festival Black Diamond 5kJayVTSeptember131212171253127712653.14085k
5Gunstock Trail Festival Mountain ClimbGilfordNHJune127612531266127212671.58455k
4Mohawk Mountain RaceCornwallCTOctober141614141388140014053.24395k
3Race to the Top of VermontStoweVTAugust256625322615262325844.36015k
2Sugarloaf Uphill ClimbCarrabassett ValleyMEOctober240823492369240023822.2210735k
1Whiteface VKWilmingtonNYJuly3,11531143097311431102.4412755k
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