The two-state Ridgeline Trail, joining Crowders Mountain State Park to the north in North Carolina with Kings Mountain State Park in South Carolina, offers a 12-mile training run that’s just about ideal. Start on the North Carolina end and you’re faced with a goodly amount of climbing in your first 2 3/4 miles. A mile and a half in, after some good rollers, you’ll encounter nearly 600 feet of vertical climbing, up to 1,705-foot Kings Pinnacle, in a half mile.


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