Alexander County, NC – RockyFest 2018 is just around the corner, set for Saturday, April 21 at Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area. To kick off the event, there will be 4.5-mile, 9.0-mile, and 13.5-mile trail races beginning at 8:00 a.m.

Alexander County residents, as well as active and retired county employees, emergency service personnel, military, and teachers may participate for FREE this year. Free registrations should be done via the PDF registration form and submitted via mail, email, or in person.  If you don’t fall into one of these categories, the fee for either race is only $25 if postmarked by April 8, with an additional $10 fee at a later date, including race day. T-shirts are not included with free or paid registrations, so please include $10 more if you want a race t-shirt. Visit to learn more about the race, view the course map, and register. Please note that even those running for free must register.

The start and finish line for all races is at the new multipurpose building at Rocky Face Park, which is located at 3645 Rocky Face Church Road in Hiddenite.

The 2018 RockyFest course is new this year, but it is very beautiful and challenging. Runners will start at the multipurpose building and continue on Grindstone Trail, turn right at the campground area, and up the popular but difficult Stairway to Heaven Trail. At the intersection at the top of the hill, turn right onto Hollow Rock Trail, up the loop, turn right on Short Cut Trail, back down to Hollow Rock Trail, turn right and travel to intersection of Grindstone and Prison Camp Trail. Then runners will turn right and travel Prison Camp Trail to the bottom, turn left on Buzzard Loop Trail up to Hollow Rock Trail, then turn right on Grindstone Trail back to the finish line. That’s one lap which equals 4.5 miles. If you choose the 9.0-mile event, complete the course twice, and three times for the 13.5-mile event.

Since it is a new course this year, there will be new course records. Any runner who can complete one loop in less than 40 minutes, two loops in less than 80 minutes, or three loops in less than 120 minutes will receive a refund of their registration fee (t-shirt cost not included).

The RockyFest Trail Races are included in the Alexander County Running Points Challenge. Special awards will go to the top three (3) overall males and females in each race. Masters awards will be presented to the first male and female (age 40+) in each race. All finishers will receive a custom medal.

Race numbers and t-shirts may be picked up at the Rocky Face Park Multipurpose Building on Friday, April 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on race day from 6:45 to 7:45 a.m. Late registrations will also be accepted at those times.

For more information, visit or contact race director Rick French at [email protected] or (828) 632-9332.

Beginning at 10:00 a.m. on April 21, RockyFest 2018 will continue with live music, children’s activities, free rock climbing and rappelling classes, food, arts/crafts vendors, and more. The music lineup will include Gap Civil at 10:00, Spencer Branch at 11:00, Cane Mill Road at 12:00, Crooked Road Ramblers at 1:00, The New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters at 2:00, and Five Mile Mountain Road at 3:00 p.m. Flatfoot dancer Rodney Sutton will be performing throughout the day.. There will also be a picking tent, so bring your instrument and join in the fun. For more information about the RockyFest 2018 event, contact Alisha Stamey at [email protected] or (828) 632-1308, or visit