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Day One: Sprague Brook Park

     Sprague Brook Park (42.584966, -78.638438) is a popular Erie County park with a combination of forested areas and cultural features. The cultural features include two campgrounds, a good trail network used by both hikers and bikers, restrooms, shelters, and playgrounds. The park is bisected from East to West by the eponymous brook. The forested areas away from the brook tend to be flattish and open allowing for high running speeds. The topography becomes steeper and more detailed closer to the brook. Rocks are notably absent.

     The area is used each year by the Buffalo club for a local event and a "Map Hike" (yearly permanent course). It was last used for a sanctioned national event in 2009 (long) and 2011 (sprint and middle).

Day Two: Letchworth State Park East

     Letchworth State Park (42.577656, -78.028191), known as the Grand Canyon of the East, provides a perfect example of negative relief. The most outstanding features of the park are the steep hillsides, ending in spectacular shale cliffs along the Genesee River. Reentrants that cut into the hillsides are similar, steep sides ending in shale cliffs near the bottom. The steep hillsides are terraced, a feature not always obvious on the map. The terraces create easier running when going parallel to the contours but make for some really steep slopes when running perpendicular.

     The park also has a mix of rolling hills with a moderate trail network. Major trails have blazes and are very apparent. Indistinct trails are not blazed and tend to disappear in places. Deer trails are numerous and are not mapped but do offer pathways through the thicker vegetation. Vegetation varies from open pine forest to forest with undergrowth to very uncomfortable briars.

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