High Country Half Marathon

Saturday, October 23, 2021 • Boone, NC • Course Map

The rolling Appalachian hills and peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, filled with misty mountain air just a short drive from the Pisgah National Forest and a slightly longer one from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, serve as the setting for the 9th annual High Country Half Marathon, part of the High Country Triple Crown race series at Appalachian State University.

Part of a three-event race series that also includes a seven-mile run in early June and a two-mile race in late October, the High Country Half follows a point-to-point course that starts at ASU’s Kidd Brewer Stadium — the home of the Appalachian State Mountaineers football, field hockey and track and field teams — and finishes in Blowing Rock, a small mountain town that lies just a short drive south from Boone.

Along the 13.1-mile race route, runners can expect to encounter a mixture of flat stretches in the early couple of miles followed by a long, gradual uphill stretch from about the mile 2 through the mile 5 markers, and then some rolling uphill and downhill sections in the second half of the race.

The first part of the half marathon takes runners through the ASU campus, from the stadium and past several academic buildings and athletic facilities along River Street, and then out into the town of Boone on Blowing Rock Road.

With the foothills of the Appalachians rising just outside town, runners follow Blowing Rock Road for roughly half a mile before making a right turn onto Winkler’s Creek Road, which starts the long, gradual uphill toward the mid-point of the race, following alongside the scenic Winkler’s Creek along the way.

Runners follow Winkler’s Creek Road for the next few miles until they meet up with Russ Cornett Road, where they veer to the right and head onto Russ Cornett. Here, the course begins a stretch with more curves and gradual uphills and downhills until runners reach the intersection with Poplar Grove Road, where they turn left and then begin a downhill stretch that lasts for roughly a mile, taking them past ponds and alongside the creek.

After passing the half-way point of the race, runners then turn left onto Shulls Mill Road and start another gradual uphill stretch that unfolds over the next two miles as the course heads into the Moses Cone Memorial Park, towards Blowing Rock.

The course remains on Shulls Mill for nearly the next three miles, taking runners through the densely wooded forest (and under the Blue Ridge Parkway) before turning onto Wonderland Trail, for the final two miles that lead into the race finish line near Davant Park in Blowing Rock.

Race Weather & Climate

Nestled among the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, about 85 miles west of Winston-Salem and just over 100 miles northwest of Charlotte, Boone typically sees cool to mild (and sometimes cold, especially in the morning) weather in October, with temperatures that average between the high 30s and the mid-60s.

On race day (Oct. 23), the average low is 43ºF and the average high is 58ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the High Country Half Marathon course map here.

Starting Time

  • 7:30 AM


  • $65 – $75 for the half marathon


To reserve your spot in the 2021 running of Appalachian State University’s High Country Half Marathon, visit the event website below.

Official Race Website



Ever run in the High Country Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments box below.

See more races in: October, North Carolina

1 comment… add one
  • Janet Irvin January 9, 2017, 9:16 am

    What is your date for the High Country Half Marathon in August 2017. I would like to make accommodation reservations in the area now. Also, when is registration open for the 2017 race?

    Thanks for your help.


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