The Crooked Compass Adventure Trek


“Always in the big woods when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is the ancient fear of the unknown, and it is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into. What you are doing is exploring.”
-Wendell Berry, The Unknown Wilderness: Kentucky’s Red River Gorge

The Inspiration

Adventure Racers who cross over to race directing often compare racing to directing. Which is harder? Which is more stressful? Which do we find the more rewarding? Which is most enjoyable? There is no right answer to that question, but at Rootstock, we absolutely love scouting our race courses. The idea for the adventure trek came from one of our many scouting adventures, which often involve long rambles through unknown and sometimes unmapped woodlands, usually on foot. We always struggle when forced to accept that we cannot share every nook and cranny we find ourselves during our explorations, but with our adventure trek, we hope to share more of these treasures with our racers, allowing them to take in the landscape and enjoy a healthy dose of adventure and navigational challenge, without worrying about bikes and boats.

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The Race

The Crooked Compass Adventure Trek is part-adventure racing, part-rogaining, and part-walk in the woods! Solos and teams of 2-4 will travel by foot, on-trail and off, using pre-plotted water resistant maps and compass as they locate as many checkpoints as possible within the time allotted.

This year’s course offers a challenging but beautiful journey, complete with cliffs, caves, creeks, ridgeline views, and a touch of fascinating local history too. With sweeping views and rugged terrain, the Crooked Compass serves as great training for bigger events, whether you are taking on a 24 hour adventure race, the four day Untamed New England expedition race, or our very own two day Stockville in the fall. And if you’re new to adventure racing, this is a great introductory event that will challenge and give you a taste for what the sport is.

Course Notes:

  • The full course includes roughly 20 miles of travel (depending on route choice)
  • The minimum mandatory course is approximately 11-12 miles
  • All racers can expect some significant off-trail travel
  • The terrain is quite rocky and steep at timesThere are some stretches of the course during which you will be able to use trails and forest roads, but again, expect some considerable time off trail.


  • 1:24,000 USGS topographic maps
  • Supplemental state forest maps

Event Info:

  • Date: April 7, 2018
  • Time: 8:00am to 4:00pm
  • Where: Buchanan State Forest (near Chaneysville, PA)
  • Team Size: 1-4 racers
  • Divisions:
    • All-Male
    • All-Female
    • Coed
    • Solo
  • Lodging
    • Cumberland, MD is the closest larger town Breezewood/Bedford, PA will also work for those coming from the north (30-40 minutes from check-in). We’re working on a group rate in Bedford — details TBA. There are several campgrounds in the area, too. Use Chaneysville, PA in your search.
  • Post-Race Pint
    • The town of Bedford offers historical charm with plenty of contemporary amenities. We’re working on securing a location for folks to gather informally after the race.


  • $65 per racer until February 28, 2018
  • $80 per racer March 1 through April 6, 2018 (no race day registration)

Register here!

Gear List: Available here!

Racer Update #1

Racer Update #2

Race Designer: Brent Freedland