H3 Challenge Hike: Valley Forge Park: Misery & Joy 12 Mile Weekly Wintry Workout

  • Mar 9, 2014 · 10:00 AM
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Please Join Me For Some Hardcore Exercise and Outdoor Activity...And A Weee Bit of Off Trails Bush-Wackiness (OK, Maybe A Lot)... On My Weekly Wintry Workout Hike at One of My Favorite Hiking Locations...The Beautiful, Scenic Valley Forge National Park.

Hike Starting Location and Rally Point: We'll meet at The Washington's Headquarters Parking Area (GPS:[masked], [masked]) on Valley Forge Rd...1/4 mile up from the intersection of Valley Creek Rd and Valley Forge Rd (aka Route 23 and Route 252). Text/Call me at[masked] To Coordinate.

Please Note: Per Park Officials...Parking Longer Than 2 Hours In This Lot Will Still Be Permitted Until The Spring or Until Further Notice!

If you're using Google Maps and/or Google Navigation you can put Washington's Headquarters in as the destination for turn-by-turn directions right to the parking lot.

Click Link for Map and Directions: http://g.co/maps/xvk9m

The Plan: We'll hike both The Mt Misery and Mt Joy Trails with some additional scenic trails in between (trails will be remixed each week). Please note that we will venture off trails at various points to add some elevation gains and to explore some interesting areas and terrain.

Important Note: This hike is setup so that hikers can easily jump off at various points along the route...if you decide you want to cut your hike shorter or if you've just plain had enough. :)

Hike Trail Map PDF's

- Mount Misery Trail Map

- Mount Joy Trail Map

We'll climb Mt Misery from at least two sides...possibly all three. We'll start out doing a figure 8 loop on The Mt Misery trail and this will include the steep .29 Mile Wolfinger Hill Trail (a great workout). As this will be a figure 8 loop...we may criss-cross The Wolfinger Trail TWICE.

Important Note: Hikers that do not wish to climb The Wolfinger trail can easily continue along The Valley Creek Trail and meet the group at the next intersection point. If you do decide to do it, you should feel free to take your time and climb at your own pace. We always stop at the top of this trail for a rest and water break.

We will traverse deep into the Outer Boundary Trails...a beautiful area deeper in the woods.

We will do some added scenic trails past The Wilcox Library and along both sides of Valley Creek and come out by The Valley Forge Farm / Gen Knox Quarters where you can get some water at the fountain.

After we complete Mt Misery...we will then continue over to The Mt Joy Trail via THE TWISTED TWILIGHT ZONE TRAIL.

The Mt Joy Side will include a 15-minute rest stop for snacks near the rest rooms and another water fountain. We will also do a figure 8 loop on the Mt Joy side...climbing up to the peak where the observation tower used to be. The last 2 miles will be 80% flat or downhill as we wind back down the mountain to return to Gen Washington's Headquarters.

Distance: Approx +10 Miles Total

Total Time: Approx +4-5 Hours

Hike Level: Moderate/Intermediate and Above (Distance, Hills and Pace)

This hike is for INTERMEDIATE+ Hikers due to distance, hills and the pace (+3 mph avg). Please note that I will ALWAYS stop at various points along the way to let any slower hikers catch up whenever necessary. We leave no hikers behind! ;)

For those not familiar with Mt Misery and Mt Joy...please be prepared for some steep hills and some rocky terrain on parts of the trails.

Sturdy shoes are recommended. Dress appropriately for weather conditions...including extra layers, gloves, hats, rain gear and Micro Spikes/Trax For Boots.

As weather gets colder, rain will most likely cancel this hike. Severe thunderstorms will definitely cancel this hike (ON BAD WEATHER DAYS I WILL ALWAYS POST A HIKE STATUS IN COMMENTS AROUND 60-90 MINUTES PRIOR TO POSTED HIKE START TIME OR YOU CAN CALL/TEXT ME AT[masked] FOR AN UPDATE).

As always...PLEASE REMEMBER TO HYDRATE BEFORE THE HIKE AND BRING PLENTY OF WATER, snacks and other essential items you may need.

You may also want to consider bringing a hat, first aid kit, walking stick(s), field guides, binoculars, and a camera.

Dogs: Always Welcome (A Leash Is Recommended)

Note: Please add a comment if you do plan to bring along your pooch OR if you are ALLERGIC so that everyone is made aware in advance and can plan accordingly.

Arrival and Start Times: Please plan to arrive at the scheduled starting time for meet and greet introductions, hike overview and group count. We'll start the hike promptly at 15 Minutes after the scheduled arrival time.

Facilities: There are Bathrooms and Water Fountains at The Washington's Headquarters Parking Area and over on The Mt Joy side of the trails. Water Fountains Are Usually Shut Off During The Winter.

NOTICE: By attending an event you are agreeing that YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY AT ALL TIMES. No member of the group EXCEPT YOURSELF can be held responsible for any damages, accidents, or liabilities incurred while hiking with us.

As always, I want to make it clear that I do plan to lead my hikes always observing Safety First...but also with the intention that these hikes should be fun, enjoyable, relaxing and non-stressful social meetups...with a bit of a work out too.

Let's Take a Hike! I Look Forward to Seeing You There! ;)

Click the link for directions: http://g.co/maps/xvk9m


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  • hope

    Its actually Shoprite. How about right next to it in front of the CVS? What time do you think we should meet?

    March 13, 2014

  • SP

    Excellent workout hike on a beautiful day. Paul, you'll be proud to hear that Hope did a great job of leading the rest of the hike… was just as challenging. Feel better. See you next week

    1 · March 9, 2014

    • hope

      Thanks Sue, glad you liked it. are we still carpooling Sat.?

      March 12, 2014

    • SP

      Yes, let's. Shall we meet at Drexel Line Shopping Center?… is it Pathmark now?

      March 12, 2014

  • Paul

    For me, this was shaping up to be an awesome hike. The weather was great...we were making great time with a smaller group of great hikers. But then once again I tweeked a calf muscle...yay! I decided it would be best not to complete an entire hike this time on an injured calf...so luckily we had Hope there to take over and finish up the hike for me! Many thanks to Hope....I really appreciate it. I hope everyone enjoyed the hike! Thanks to everyone for coming! Hope to see you all again soon!

    March 10, 2014

    • hope

      It was a pleasure. Are you ok?

      March 11, 2014

    • Paul

      Hi Hope, Yes...not bad. It's not as severe this time. See you soon.

      March 11, 2014

  • hope

    see you at 10. missed you guys yesterday, I was hiking with my grand daughters around there back yard and all over the house. more challenging than a 15 mile hike!

    1 · March 9, 2014

  • Paul

    Hi All, I'm bumping this hike to 10 am due to Spring Forward Clock Change. Hope you can still join us.

    March 9, 2014

  • marion h.

    I have to work this weekend, going on vacation on the 13th, to Germany.
    I will be joining you again after I return.
    Happy Trails,

    1 · March 5, 2014

    • Paul

      Hi Marion, I hope you enjoy your vacation...I imagine great hiking there if on your itinerary. See you when you get back.... in the Spring! ;)

      March 5, 2014

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