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Backpack Training/Hike - PHT from Seneca Rd. to Riverbend Park

  • Riverbend Park

    8700 Potomac Hills St, Great Falls, VA (map)

    39.019485 -77.246300

  • If you're new to backpacking (or have never been) and you want to attend one of the multi-day trips along the AT I plan on doing in 2017, this is a great opportunity to see if you're up for the challenge. This is also a great way to try out a new backpack before you head to the wilderness. The plan is to bring your backpack fully loaded and hike from the end of Seneca Rd. to Riverbend Park along the PHT to see if you're up for the challenge. The mileage will be around 6.5 miles. We'll meet at Riverbend Park and run shuttle to Seneca Rd. We will need to retrieve shuttle vehicles at the end of the hike.

    YOU DO NOT NEED ALL YOUR GEAR FOR THIS EVENT. Feel free to borrow or rent a backpack and fill it with water bottles or something else to get your weight up to 25-30 lbs (no cheating). In fact, since the AT is pretty hilly, I recommend that you build up to carrying as much weight in your pack as you can comfortably handle during these training hikes. Getting used to carrying an extra 20 lbs during these training hikes will go a long way to improving your level of physical comfort on a real trip.

    If you want to go ahead and purchase gear, feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.

    Hikers welcome - If you want to hike along with us, feel free to join.

    This is NOT an overnight trip. Just a hike with your pack. :)


    DIFFICULTY: Easy (Intermediate if your carrying a backpack)

    LENGTH: About 6.5 miles

    ELEVATION GAIN: A few ups and downs to avoid cliffs but nothing of consequence. 

    DURATION: Approximately 3.5 hours.


    Afterwards, for those that care to,  a visit to

    Tho Old Brogue (Village Centre, 760 Walker Rd C, Great Falls, VA 22066)

    is planned. 


    Ron has been a lover of nature and an outdoor enthusiast for the last few decades and back in 2009, left an 18 year career in information technology so he could pursue his dreams and passions in nature and the outdoors on a full time basis. Currently, he works as a Sr. Park Ranger for NOVAParks at Algonkian Regional Park. In addition to his day to day duties, he runs all of the parks guided kayak tours and also started the Algonkian Nature Preserve which is a long term labor of love of his. You can read more about the ANP by going to scrolling down a little ways and clicking the graphic of a little girl looking through a magnifying glass. 

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  • Sha

    I'm new to backpacking. As such, I'm gearless. I would love to come for the hike and ideas for gear along the hike, if that is ok. I will purchase mine later, if I think backpacking is for me. By the way, anyone want it carpool from Ashburn?

    3 days ago

    • Sha

      Yes, that is what the plan was. Unless you have another location in Ashburn you'd like to meet. I'm offloudoun county parkway towards brambleton.

      2 days ago

    • Brenda

      I'm good to meet at the Wegman's in Ashburn at 8:15.

      1 · 2 days ago

  • Rhonda J.

    I don't have all the appropriate gear either, but I do get teased for how big my daypack is due to having some camera lenses and such :)

    3 days ago

  • DeAnna

    I love those backpacking ideas, Ron

    1 · November 29

  • DeAnna

    Ron, when next year, do you plan on doing the backpacking trip?

    November 29

    • Ron

      HI DeAnna - I'd like to go on several trips anywhere from 2 to say 5 nights long at a time. The longer trips are probably going to be to sections of the AT that are a little farther away from the NVA area such as Southern VA and PA which logistically get a little more complicated. I'll probably start with the local sections of the AT sometime in May and continue on through Nov. I've already backpacked the AT from the Southern end of SNP to Penmar Park, which is on the MD/PA state line, and am keen to do sections of the AT that I haven't already done. But I'm happy to redo some sections for the company and to have help with trip logistics especially on longer trips.

      2 · November 29

Want to go?

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8 going

  • DeAnna
    Event Host
  • Ron
    Event Host

    Greetings - I'm an ex cubicle sitting IT guy who now works as a Park Ranger at Algonkian... more

  • Edith C.

    Love's hiking, kayaking,campi­ng, traveling. Love old music and reading.

  • Sha
  • Brenda

    On a quest for a healthier life and hoping to make new friends along the way..

3 not going

(See all)
  • Trish C.

    I am a retired grandma who likes to hike, but not long distances and likes to paint, but am new... more

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