Border Patrol Challenge
Border Patrol Challenge Start and Finish times:
Begin on Winter solstice 2022 at 4:47 PM EST on Wednesday, December 21.
Finish before Spring Equinox 2023 at 5:24 PM EST on Monday, March 20.
You are required to wear at least 200 square inches of orange during hunting season in RI. When is hunting season? It’s easier to tell you when it isn’t. Wear orange. Yellow, green, and pink are not orange, and you can probably get away with those colors in other states. RI is very specific about what they want you to wear. It has to be solid blaze orange (no mesh, no apricot).
Each route link above has links to a route that you can follow on your phone in Strava. You can read the route descriptions from a computer, but those notes are not available on the phone app. You can also download the GPX file to your watch and follow it. However, for most of these routes, we highly encourage you to bring your phone in case of emergency and to help with wayfinding. Some routes are marked better than others. Tippecansett is a disaster. Please bring your phone and read below:
Take a look at this run I did on the Tippecansett Trail and familiarize yourself with the photos and where they are from on the route (this is best done on a computer): https://www.strava.com/activities/7967828722.
The southern portion of this trail is well-marked and mostly easy to follow, other than some very overgrown sections. It also overlaps the CT section of the Narragansett Trail for a bit, so be sure to follow the YELLOW blazes. Also, turn around at the big state marker to make sure your GPS doesn’t cut you short.
There is a right turn off the Tippecansett Trail that is unmarked. It shares space with the motorcycle loop (Pachaug Enduro Trail), and it seems they have removed or covered up almost every yellow blaze on that section of trail. You might find one. You will also pass through an area adjacent to the South County Rod and Gun Club. This is marked with a gate that says NO TRESPASSING. We still pass through here. Remember this gate because you will need to find it on your way back.
I just mentioned that gate because further up the road, there is a big, beautiful Tippecansett Trail sign that you might think is to mark the entry to the trail. It’s not. There is a red gate next to that sign. Do not turn here. There’s nowhere to go.
Falls River Road - when you’re going down this, the trail is on your right, and the signs are buried in the woods. Look for yellow blazes.
Unfortunately one of the coolest sections of the Pachaug Trail (near Beach Pond) is closed due to fire damage. Please see the route notes for this year’s detour.
Q: From your comments on Tillinghast Strava route, I see that you can run loops in any direction that you want. That’s good!
My question is regarding the start/finish location. Are the Border Patrol Challenge rules the same as FKT rules, in which you can start anywhere you want on a route, as long as you run the whole route? For example, on West Thompson loop, your Strava route shows a Ravenelle start. If I start in my usual place coming in from the campground at the start of the disc golf course, as long as I run the entire loop, I assume this works as well, but please just confirm.
A: Yes, you can start wherever you want for these routes as long as you run the whole route.
Q: What if I go off course?
A: As soon as you realize you’re off course, backtrack to the place from which you veered off route, and resume the course. Yes, you might have gone off course by 2 miles. It happens to the best of us. Luckily, we let you have do-overs here in the BPC.
1/4/2021 - Tippecansett Trail - From Ben Q: “I am not sure if you guys have done the Tippecansett yet this year, but I had a little trouble locating the correct turn off the rod and gun club road directly off Escoheag Hill Rd. I attached a picture with a circle of the turn. The GPX route is accurate, but there is a fence across the trail with a couple orange "No Trespassing" signs hung up. The blazes here are also extremely faded, so hard to read them correctly. Eventually we just went around the gate and continued on no problemo.”
Please see Ben’s pic below. Also, this handy website (click here) will give you a VERY detailed description of the trail, including this confusing area (which is by a gun club and sometimes a little scary). We took a screen shot of the important info from that site and it’s below Ben’s pic from the trail.