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Shooting for Spring Backpacking Overnight at Zaleski
Giving it another shot since the winter trip didn’t work out! Let’s try to get out for some hiking and camping at Zaleski before I move to California at the end of March… (And I want to be optimistic, really I do, but we’re going to start right off by saying the weekend of March 10 will be a rain date for this trip and if we go that weekend, it may turn into a 3-day trip to Big South Fork if I can get Friday off!) Zaleski State Forest, near Lake Hope State Park, offers a variety of history, interesting features, terrain and flora/fauna. This 2-day/1-night trip will total approximately 17 miles. This hike is probably appropriate for beginning backpackers who are comfortable hiking 10+ miles per day on hilly terrain and are capable of doing so with a full pack; speed will be 2.5-3 mph. There are a few good climbs on this trip but some nice scenery with rock formations, a couple ponds and a neat old pine plantation on the north loop. Zaleski State Forest Info: http://forestry.ohiodnr.gov/zaleski WINTER-ISH BACKPACKING: This trip may not be ideal for brand new backpackers as it could dip below freezing at night and could be pretty cold. You need warm sleeping gear, layers-layers-layers of clothes, maybe some hand warmers and a mylar emergency blanket. If you’re new to cold weather backpacking, please comment below or get in touch with me to discuss your gear and strategies for keeping warm. HIKE PLAN: Saturday we’ll meet at the trailhead at 9:00 a.m. and hike approximately 4.8 miles up the east leg of the middle loop to Camp H where we’ll break for a quick lunch, pitch tents if you like, maybe gather some firewood while it’s light out. Then we’ll hike the 6-ish mile north loop (headlamps may be required) back to Camp H where we’ll spend the night. Sunday morning we’ll hike about 5.5 miles back to the trailhead via the west side of the middle loop. WATER: Potable water is available at the campsite, as is a pit latrine. Water in creeks and ponds in the area is not recommended for drinking even if treated due to mining pollution. Plan to arrive with your water bottles full, as water at the trailhead is not always turned on. GEAR/FOOD: You’ll need all your own gear/food for this trip and enough to keep you warm. If you’re newer to backpacking and have questions about gear or this trip, please email me at sonyacarius at onemillrun dot com or call/text 614-725-6827. You’ll need lunch, dinner and snacks for Saturday and breakfast and snacks for Sunday. WEATHER: It’s too early to predict but the weather could go either way—it could be 40/20 or colder, or 60/40, or 70/50--who knows... OPTIONAL: Brunch buffet at Lake Hope Lodge Sunday if anyone is interested; the food is very good. Cost is $15-$20. You already know I’m in! CARPOOL: Discuss in the comments. I’m in Columbus. CANCELLATION DISCLAIMER: This trip will likely be canceled if it’s going to be too cold (below 20) and or/wet. RAIN DATE OR ADDITIONAL TRIP: March 9-11 (maybe Big South Fork).

Zaleski Backpacking Trailhead

39°19'53.4"N 82°20'23.6"W · Zaleski State Forest, OH

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Public Group

Three things we got tired of hearing from folks:

1. “None of my friends are into backpacking! So I have nobody to go with.”

2. “None of my backpacking friends are available to go when I’m free!”

3. “I love the outdoors, but I don’t know anybody who can help me get into backpacking!”

Assuming that the above is true (and not due to bad breath, personal hygiene issues, or offensive personality traits) all you really need is some new friends who backpack! ;-) You have come to the right place! Relax and take a deep breath!

Backpacking is what we do! Check out our Message Board and Calendar. Look at our trip photos. We have some awesome, experienced trip leaders and instructors. We have several events per month. Come out and take a hike!

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