Participants must attend the mandatory pre-trip meeting on April 30 2018, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. at Garfield Park Center, Garfield Reservation, 11350 Broadway Ave., Garfield Heights, OH 44125.
Registration Opens: February 15, 2018. $140 after April 15.
Length: 3 days and 2 nights
Trip Dates: May 11, 1:00 p.m. start - May 13, 2018, 7:00 pm. return
Terrain/Distance: Natural surface terrain with narrow rugged tread. Mostly rolling terrain with some significant elevation gains.
This beginner geared, mileage friendly trip has a little of everything from old-growth forests to rocky overlooks. Spend a night camping stream side, while learning Leave No Trace etiquette. This trip is focused on the skills a beginner backpacker needs to get out on their own. Participants will be coached on the items necessary to spend a night in the backcountry carrying gear on their back to access wilderness areas.
This mandatory meeting on April 30th will get you prepared for the upcoming adventure. Not only will specific trip logistics be covered, but participants will get to see pictures from past trips, learn to pack and fit a backpack, discuss packing food for a trip, and check out necessary equipment. Participants should bring their personal gear to the pre- trip, so instructors can assure you will be prepared as possible. The Pre-Trip Meeting is exclusive for all paid trip participants.
Day 1- The group will depart from Garfield Park Center traveling 3 hours to our front country campsite. Upon arrival, the group will have the opportunity to assess their packs while stretching their legs on a short hike in an old-growth forest. At our home away from home, participants will learn to cook using backcountry stoves. The evening will finish off around the campfire and star gazing.
Day 2- After breakfast, participants will break down camp, packing packs under guided assistance from instructors. A short drive to the trailhead begins our backcountry adventure. The afternoons’ camp is at the end of a 3-mile section of trail that meanders through rolling terrain dominated by ferns. Frequent breaks will be taken, with lunch on the trail. Moss covered boulders add interest to the day. Instruction focuses on water filtration, the camp triangle, and critter proofing your camp. The evening is spent cooling off near the stream with an after-dinner discussion on backcountry bathrooms.
Day 3- The morning begins with breakfast next to a babbling brook and a brushing your teeth exercise. This 3-mile day features rock cliffs, hallways, and some panoramic views. This lunch is well earned as the morning is spent climbing out of the valley with some steep up-hill sections. Lunch is spent enjoying the views before hiking the short distance out to the trail head. The ride is broken by a stop for dinner.
While this is the general itinerary, the schedule is subject to vary.
The following is included with your trip
Trip leaders and guided instruction
Pre-trip meeting to prepare you for your trip
A fully planned trip and route
Participants will be transported in Cleveland Metroparks vehicles to the trip location departing from Garfield Park Center. Participants’ personal vehicles will be parked in a fenced area at Garfield Park Center for the duration of the trip.
Accommodations and Food
Sleeping under the stars is the theme for the trip. Tents will be provided; however, participants may bring their own if it is appropriate for the nature of the trip. Tent accommodations will be shared as space is always limited in backcountry sites. One night will be spent in a front-country campsite that features potable water and a pit-toilet. The second night will be spent in the backcountry where nature will provide the bathroom.
Food is not provided as one of the hurdles to backpacking is learning how to manage food weight and calories. Each participant will plan and supply their own “food pantry” for the trip. A portion of the pre-trip will focus on backcountry menu planning and suggested options.
It is highly suggested that participants bring everything on the list below to the pre-trip meeting for the leaders to review, inspect, and discuss with you. If you aren’t sure about an item, bring it with you to the pre-trip, and we can discuss it. We want you to be prepared to have a great trip. Use the equipment checklist when preparing for the pre-trip meeting and the trip. Outdoor Recreation can provide items with an “*”, so if you don’t have that item you don’t need to go out and buy it. The most important thing you might need to buy is adequate footwear…sturdy shoes at a minimum; however, boots are recommended due to rocky terrain and the additional weight of carrying a backpack. Most everything else on the list can be found at home, borrowed, or found at a thrift store.
By registering, you acknowledge that you have read and understand the cancellation policy:
Program fees and deposits are not refundable or transferable unless Cleveland Metroparks finds it necessary to cancel a program. Participants assume risk of all changes in personal health and affairs.
If Cleveland Metroparks cancels a program, the cancellation will be posted on the registration page for that program. For programs other than races, participants will also be notified by e-mail and/or phone.
With our professionally trained staff and ability to make equipment adaptations, most programs are accessible to anyone who would like to participate assuming they meet the essential eligibility criteria.
Please make a request at the time of registration but no later than 5 business days prior to the program. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-341-1704.
General Essential Eligibility Requirements that all participants must meet. A participant….
…must meet minimum age and pre-trip meeting requirements for each individual program.
…must meet program fee requirements for each individual program.
…must be able to remain adequately hydrated, fed, and properly dressed in order to avoid environmental injuries such as hypothermia, heat-related illnesses, sunburn, and frostbite.
…must refrain from use of alcohol and tobacco before or during outdoor recreation activities and any illegal drugs throughout the duration of a program.
…must be able, either alone or with the aid of a personal care attendant, to manage, administer and protect any prescription medications currently prescribed to him or her. All medications, including over-the-counter medications shall be declared in medical history section of the registration form.
…must be able, either alone, with the aid of an augmentative communication device, or a personal care attendant to follow directions and communicate needs.
…must not exceed manufacturers’ maximum recommended weight limit for equipment being used.
…must be able to manage personal mobility either alone, with a reasonable amount of assistance, with the aid of a personal care attendant, or with adaptive equipment.
…must be able to independently wear and maintain wearing all safety equipment correctly.
…must be able, either alone or with the aid of a personal care attendant or adaptive equipment to travel at least 1 mile on varying terrain as well as be able to carry their own gear on backpacking trips.
…must be able to, for backcountry programs only, travel in a physically demanding, remote backcountry environment for the uninterrupted period of the trip length, which can range from one to ten days with varying temperatures and environmental conditions including but not limited to, rain snow, hail, sun, and wind. The remoteness is such that cell signal may be unavailable, and it may require at minimum an hour, but perhaps in excess of 2 days travel to reach the nearest road and advanced medical care; participant assumes all costs associated with rescue.
Cleveland Metroparks staff can adapt many programs to be accessible to anyone who would
like to participate assuming they meet the essential eligibility criteria. Reasonable
accommodation can also be made. Please make a request at the time of registration but
no later than 72 business hours prior to the program. Contact us at
or at these telephone numbers.