Participants must attend the mandatory pre-trip meetings
on May 24 and
June 6, 2018, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. at Garfield Park Center, Garfield Reservation, 11350 Broadway Ave., Garfield Heights, OH 44125.
- Participants must be adults.
- Participants must complete and bring the event waiver to the pre-trip meeting.
Registration Opens: February 15, 2018. $260 after May 9.
Length: 4 days and 3 nights.
Trip dates: June 14, 7 a.m. start – June 17, 10 p.m. return, departing from Garfield Park Center.
Terrain/Distance: Natural surface terrain with extremely rocky trails and nearly 1000’ elevation changes with mileage between 5 - 8 miles a day.
This intermediate geared, 18-mile trip steps through history while meandering along an Appalachian ridge. Camp AT-style, while practicing Leave No Trace etiquette. This trip is focused on enhancing the skills a backpacker needs to get out on their own. Participants for this trip should have previous experience packing a backpack and carrying the load of the pack on at minimum an overnight trip. Participants will experience extremely rocky trails that climb upward and descend for substantial periods of time, where good foot wear is important. These trails will travel through historic monuments, past awe-inspiring views, along the path the C & O railroad once ran, and into our destination of Harper's Ferry.
These mandatory meetings on May 24th and June 6th 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 will be asked to bring their personal gear to the second pre- trip to ensure you will be as prepared as possible. Participants will hike with their backpacks loaded, to get a feel for the weight they will be carrying on the trip and to practice packing a pack. The Pre-Trip Meeting is exclusive for all paid trip participants.
Day 1- The group will depart from Garfield Park Center traveling 6 hours to the trailhead, stopping for lunch along the way. Upon arrival, the group will have the opportunity to stretch their legs while setting out on the first section of our adventure. A 2-mile journey will bring us to our first overnight location. Here the group will review cooking on backpacking stoves and experience an AT-style bear hang, while making a home for the night.
Day 2- After breakfast, participants will break down camp, packing packs under guided assistance from instructors. The morning will feature a water filtration demo as participants refresh their water supplies for the day’s trek. A short drive to the trailhead begins our backcountry adventure. The afternoons’ camp is at the end of a 5-mile section of trail that meanders featuring an uphill endurance section of trail, the first bird's eye glimpse of the country side, and lunch on the trail. Instruction focuses on water filtration, camp hygiene, and keeping your feet blister free.
Day 3- The morning begins with breakfast among the trees, before departing for the day's 4-mile journey. The day features a historic site and an afternoon in camp.
Day 4-Participants will get an early start for the biggest mile day of the trip While descending off the ridge to the flatlands of Harper's Ferry and the C&O, this 6.5-mile day features a scenic view, a historic town, and the Appalachian Trail Museum before departing for Cleveland. Participants will arrive at Garfield around 10 p.m.
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 meetings 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 second 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… 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.
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.