Mint Springs Trail 5K

Come experience the beautiful mountain trails of Mint Springs Valley Park with the 8th annual Mint Springs Trail 5K (formerly Crozet Running Trail 5K) on Saturday May 13th 2023 at 8:00am!  Enjoy a great morning at the park as this challenging course winds up and down the mountain trails and finishes at the pavilion at the upper lake.

Registration is just $10 adults, $5 kids 12 and under!  This is a community event, meant to bring runners, kids and families, and walkers all together on the trails.

Also, this will be the first race of the Charlottesville Summer Trail Running Series, a 4-race series of 5k to 5 mile distance trail runs that finishes in August.

Register for this race here; Mint Springs 5K Registration

Register for series here;


Please register early to ensure a shirt in your size.  Prizes will be awarded to the top three overall male and female finishers, and men’s and women’s age group finishers for 12 and under, 13-17, 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70+.  Kids and families are encouraged to enter!  Walkers and hikers welcome!

This will be a timed event and all runners will be given bibs with a race number at packet pickup.

Course Info:

The Mint Springs Trail 5K is a 3.1 mile course starting at the field above the upper lake, winding up and down the single track trails of Bucks Elbow Mountain and Little Yellow Mountain, before rounding down around the upper lake and finishing at the pavilion near the beach.  This is a challenging course with a lot of steep climbs and rugged terrain, however it is a beautiful course serving up some of the best trails and views in Crozet.

Distance:  3.1 miles

Elevation gain:  668 ft

What to Expect:

-Your shoes will get wet and dirty

-There is a lot of elevation gain.  You will likely be hiking some of the steep uphills and running the flats and downhills.  You will be cursing the race director once you reach the powerlines.

-Beautiful trails, mostly single track, some double track.  No roads.

-Bibs, timing, and a fun, friendly, and festive atmosphere!

-A playground and rocks for your kids to play on while you run

-Your GPS will lie to you, as will the maps.  The course distance is “around” 3.1 miles;)

Detailed Course Description:

The Crozet Running Trail 5k is a unique race in that it is a true, mountain trail 5K.  You will get see all of what trail running is about, in a great 5K distance course.

Course Map on Strava (click here)

  • Start-0.5 miles:  The course starts in the large field above the upper lake and quickly enters the woods on the ‘Fire Trail’, an old fire road trail that slowly, but steadily takes you up the mountain, getting steeper as it progresses.  You will likely get your feet wet at a small stream crossing at the beginning of this trail.
  • 0.5-1.3 miles:  The Fire Trail hits a T-intersection (at the bench) and here the course turns right onto the ‘Big Survey Trail’, one of the best parts of the course, taking you by waterfalls and giving you scenic views of Crozet down below.  From the bench, the trail continues to climb, at times very steeply, for the next 1/4 mile until it ends at the powerlines (note, you will NOT be going under the powerlines).  The Big Survey trail then meanders through the highest portions of the park until rejoining the Fire Trail
  • 1.3-1.5 miles:  After turning right onto the Fire Trail, you’ll be treated to a short section of wide downhill to get your heart rate back down.
  • 1.5-1.8 miles:  You’ll turn left onto the Hollow Trail which takes you back down almost to the playground.  This is a rocky, rooty descent, but a lot of fun and filled with mountain laurel.
  • 1.8-2.3:  Turn right onto the ‘Little Yellow Trail’, which takes you up Little Yellow Mountain on a beautiful winding trail, but with a few steep sections of climb.  This trail spits you out at the “Old Red Oak”, an impressive ancient red oak tree.
  • 2.3-2.6:  Now you’re back on the Fire Trail and will descend down a wide but rocky trail through a mature forest of poplar trees.
  • 2.6-2.7:  Turn right on the Mountain Orchard Connector trail, then take another right onto the Mountain Orchard Trail.
  • 2.7-3.0:  Enjoy the rolling single track of the Mountain Orchard Trail as it takes you down by the lower lake, where you’ll turn left onto the Lake Trail to bring you back home
  • 3.0-3.1:  The Lake Trail takes you along the shores of the upper lake and finally spits you out at the finish line by the pavilion/shelter.

Directions and Parking:

The race is held at Mint Springs Valley Park in Crozet, Virginia.

From the 4-way stop in downtown Crozet, head west onto Railroad Ave for 2 miles, and Mint Springs is on your left.

Google Maps Link


Race Reports: