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

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

The 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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  • Ron

    Thank you Brenda and DeAnna for making it a great day today!

    DeAnna - I'll share a little secret with you. When Brenda was driving me back to my car, I confessed to her that you probably had a heavier pack then I did by a several pounds! Way to go!!! You did great!!:-)


  • Melissa P

    Bummer!! I have a conflict. Hope you do another session.

    November 29

    • Ron

      Hi Melissa - I plan on doing several backpacking trips anywhere from 2 to 5(maybe 6) nights in length starting sometime in May 2017. I'll probably do several of these "backpack training hikes" right up until then. Mostly to give people a chance to think twice before they RSVP on a real trip. As long as I'm convinced that a person is physically capable of completing the trip with a good attitude regardless of weather, I'm happy to take people along who may not know what they're doing. The nightmare scenario would be to get 20 miles down the trail and have someone decide they don't want to continue for reasons that have nothing to do with injury or some emergency. Anyway, hope to see you next time.

      November 30

    • Melissa P

      Thanks!!! 30 lbs is definitely something to work up to.

      November 30

  • Pamela

    I have a family engagement on that day so I can't attend but I hope you can so this again as I would like to do some multi-day AT hikes with backpacking.

    November 29

    • Ron

      Hi Pamela - See my reply to Melissa above. Hope to see you next time.

      November 30

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