Barbarian Challenge

Approximately 1,200 thrill seeking athletes make their way to Gadsden from across the southeastern United States for the Barbarian Challenge, a five to six mile premier obstacle course race featuring mud and extreme obstacles through Noccalula Falls Park.  

The course consists of natural and man-made obstacles including rope climbs, mud pit, creek crossings, monkey bars, drainage pipes to crawl through and tires to run through up and down Lookout Mountain on Park property.  The course varies each year, with different obstacles and different lengths, usually between five and six miles.  Racers have to scale steep hillsides, cross Black Creek multiple times within view of Noccalula Falls, crawl through mud pits, and climb walls.  The race requires endurance, strength and determination.

The top finishers in each age division will win a custom medal. The overall female and male winner participating in the 8 a.m. horde will receive the coveted “Conan the Barbarian” Sword engraved with authentic runes. Children 5 to 12 years old are invited to participate in the Kids Barbarian Challenge, an approximately one mile long course with 15 to 20 obstacles.

In addition to the race, there will be music, a kids’ fun zone with inflatables and Gerbil Balls and food vendors selling barbarian-inspired food.  The race is held rain or shine.


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Latitude: 34.039114 Longitude: -86.02136 Elevation: 726 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Angie Pierce

Event Dates

6/20/2020 – 6/20/2020

Admission Fee (if any)

Admission is free for spectators.  There is a registration fee for participants.

Participation Requirements (if any)

The Barbarian Challenge is for 12 years old and older and participants can compete individually or as a group.  Anyone under the age of 18 must have their parent or guardian present to sign a consent waiver.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are not allowed in the spectator area.

How to Get There

Organized and staged by Gadsden Parks and Recreation, the Barbarian Challenge is held in Noccalula Falls Park located at 1500 Noccalula Road in Gadsden, Ala. 

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Contact Information

Christina Richardson - Gadsden Parks and Recreation
1500 Noccalula Road
Gadsden, AL 35902 US
Angie Pierce - Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association
256-350-3519 (Fax)
PO Box 2537
Decatur, AL 35602 US


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