Sunday July 8th, 2018

TO: 2018 Afton Trail Run Volunteers

Dear Friends,

Another year is in the books. This one just so happened to be a significant milestone as it was the 25th running of the Afton Trail Run. That is a quarter of a century, perhaps with some luck the race will see a half century, and then who knows, maybe someday those that come after us will celebrate a centennial. Over the first 25 years of the event some things have changed, for one, there are a lot more runners, but to an overall net good – the trail running community is bigger, has more diversity and is more vibrant than ever. That said, even with an increase in numbers most things remain pretty well unchanged in that each Summer a very special community comes together around one of the biggest and best trail races in the country.

After getting up and nursing my race hangover with a cup of coffee on Sunday morning I dug into my emails and scrolled through the social media outlets to get reactions from the previous days race. I was happy to see many glowing emails, Facebook posts and images of our friends; working aid stations, enjoying each other’s company, impromptu dance-parties, hands in the air as runners crossed the finish line. I came across a comment made by a friend of a friend who ran his first ever trail race with us yesterday – his words really struck me, once again crystallizing what this is really all about and why we do it; directors, volunteers and runners alike.

“I loved every moment – even the painful ones. Distinctions dissolved between mind and body, between body and nature, and between nature and humanity. I couldn’t help but smile all day in the midst of so much fun, passion, and beauty.”

At some point, the seed was planted within this individual to train for and run a trail race – he then found our race, signed up and toed the start line. With the immense power of its history behind us, channeled through our dedicated, skilled, selfless and cohesive team we once again created the scaffolding for a transformational experience via the Afton Trail Run. As I often say, trail running is not the most important thing in the world, but these experiences undeniably create real, tangible and positive energy in people and thus, in the world. Multiply this one story by 850 finishers this year, then by 25 years (so far) and the only conclusion that I can draw is that the metamorphic experiences that the Afton Trail Run creates, ultimately have a positive impact on people and parts of life that go well beyond trail running and our event. I know this is true for me and continues to be, and I know the same is true for many of you and that is why you keep coming back regardless of which side of the aid station table you are on at any given event.

As always, we cannot thank you all enough for your friendship and for doing this with us year in and year out. Should you ever have any comments, concerns, questions, suggestions, compliments or complaints regarding the event, please let me know.


John Storkamp

Race Director
Afton Trail Run


Afton Trail Run
50KM & 25KM Trail Races
Afton State Park – Hastings, Minnesota
Saturday July 4, 2020
50KM 6:30AM
25KM 7:30AM

Opens Wedneday January 1, 2020 at 12:01AM CST
Closes Friday June 26, 2020 at 11:59PM CST
*Or once the field limit has been met
Complete Registration Details HERE

Directions to Race Start:
Afton State Park
6959 Peller Avenue South
Hastings, MN 55033
Hastings, Minnesota
Google Maps Directions HERE
Approx 25 minutes East of St. Paul, MN and 40 minutes East of Minneapolis, MN

Terrain / Course Description:
The Afton Trail Run consists of a hilly 25K loop (two loops for the 50K), winding through Afton State Park’s trail system. The race is held 100% off road, primarily on very runnable / not very technical single double and single track. There are 7 long climbs per loop, rising from the river valley and down again with a good mix of rolling and flat terrain between the hills.  Be sure to see maps, elevation charts and stats provided on this website HERE.

2 x 15.5 mile loops =  31 miles
Elevation Gain 4,670 FT
Elevation Loss 4,670 FT
NET Elevation Change 9,340 FT
11 Aid Stations
9 hour time limit
Complete 50KM Info HERE

1 x 15.5 mile loop = 15.5 miles
Elevation Gain 2,335 FT
Elevation Loss 2,335 FT
NET Elevation Change 4,670 FT
5 Aid Stations
8 hour time limit
Complete 25KM Info HERE

More About the Race / Area:
The Afton Trail Run is one of the most challenging and beautiful trail races around.  The race was established in 1994 and is now one of the oldest, largest and most competitive trail races in the country and routinely draws runners from all 50 states and beyond.  The race takes place entirely within the borders of Afton State Park.  Afton State Park lies on a glacial moraine, scribed with deep ravines running down to the St. Croix River.  The 169 mile St. Croix River was one of the original eight United States rivers to have significant portions placed under protection by the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968.  Within the park sandstone outcrops have been exposed in some of the ravines. The vertical drop from the blufftop to the water is 300 feet.  A few patches of remnant prairie survived the decades of farming that took place on the blufftop. Today the former fields are being restored to prairie and oak savanna. The ravines leading down to the riverbank are thickly wooded with oak, aspen, birch, and cherry.