Join us on March 26th at Bear Lake Reserve for our inaugural Run with the Bears charity 5K, benefiting Western North Carolina’s Uncomplicated Kitchen. We’ve carved out a gorgeous, yet challenging route alongside Bear Creek Lake culminating in a finish line celebration where your Run with the Bears pottery stein and complimentary beer fill awaits! Stick around after the race to refuel at our buffet, relax in one of our two hot tubs at the Lake Club, and take part in all the mountain activities your heart desires. If your legs have more juice in them, try one of our hiking trails and see what new views you can discover. If you’re dying to get out on the water, our full-service marina will be open for watercraft rentals so you can explore Bear Creek Lake till your heart’s content!

About the Race

It may not be a marathon, but this is not your average 5K either! With 326 feet of elevation change along a winding mountain trail that provides breathtaking views of Bear Creek Lake, this route provides a rewarding challenge even for experienced athletes. It comes to an end at our wedding lawn, where we’ll have fruit, water, and a party waiting for you! If three-plus miles sounds like a bit much or you would like to enjoy a shorter route with your family, we have you covered with our one-mile Fun Run, which runs in the opposite direction on flatter ground.

Whether you choose to walk the mile or push the pace in the 5K, join the Bears as we raise money for Uncomplicated Kitchen!

A map showing Bear Lake Reserve's location in Jackson County.
A map showing Bear Lake Reserve's location in Jackson County.

Schedule of Events

10:00 am –  1 Mile Fun Run begins
10:30 am – 5K begins
10:30 am – 1:30 pm – Finish Line Celebration
12:00 pmBuffet opens



5K – $40
(includes wristband, RWTB beer mug + one free fill with valid ID)

1 Mile Fun Run – $25 
(includes wristband, Run with the Bears water bottle)

Post-Race Buffet – $30

Want to stay the night?
10% off lodging, 25% off shopping/marina/activities, 
and $100 BLR gift card

Contact: 828.293.3455 (press 1) or

A map showing Bear Lake Reserve's location in Jackson County.

Benefiting: Uncomplicated Kitchen

We are proudly donating a portion of the proceeds from this event to Uncomplicated Kitchen, a nonprofit organization in western NC focused on improving food security through educational outreach. They believe that cooking delicious AND nutritious food is for everyone, regardless of how many bells and whistles your kitchen appliances have. By teaching community members how to meal plan, shop for ingredients, and cook, they bridge the gap between accessible food and the knowledge needed to prepare nutritious meals. Their commitment to sharing a message of nutrition and health makes them a valued part of our community!



Chef Santiago Guzzetti

The co-owner of Ilda and The Wine Bar and Cellar in nearby Sylva, Chef Santiago will be providing the heavy appetizers and wine at the Castle prior to Pete Ripmaster’s presentation!

Jackson County Tourism

A special thanks to our friends at for their continued support. Visit their website for some inspiration to turn this 5K into a weekend full of amazing experiences!