Laurel Springs, NC is the site of the 2012 USATF 10k Trail Championship. Laurel Springs is about 120 miles northeast of Asheville or about 40 miles northeast of Boone. Here’s a description of the race from the organizers:
The course will consist of open grass fields, wide trails/fireroads, and about half will be tight single track. The grass looks and feels like grass. The wide trails/fireroads are wide and easy. The single track is, well… tough. This is a trail national championship, not a run through another park trail race. Those races are great, but sometimes you want to push yourself on tougher endeavors. Most of the descents are fairly gradual but have a lot of turns, like on a trail going down a mountain. The climbs are steep; the race is in the mountains. You may be hiking some of the climbs but are free to run up if you like. There are plenty of rocks and roots to enjoy. So are you ready for a challenge? Come experience some primitive mountain trails and enjoy the beauty of the North Carolina mountains.
Last year several runners from Western North Carolina competed in this race, including Bart Smith and Justin TeBockhorst and I understand several WNC runners will also compete this year. Here’s a course map, followed by an elevation chart: