What we're about
Upcoming events (3)
An intermediate skill level backpacking trip the weekend beginning 5 November (Friday) through 8 November (Monday). "Intermediate" because of the mileage, ~10-12 miles (16–19 km) per day, with strenuous uphills and downhills (10-30% grade) for the first and last 5 miles.
Friday is optional, but I'll have group camp G2 at Wilderness Road Campground and will almost definitely be doing some hiking in the area until the sun goes down, then probably sitting around the campfire until it's way too late. You are welcome and encouraged to drop a tent on G2 and stay the night Friday. Driving down Saturday morning is not a guaranteed recipe for success, unless you *like* getting up at 3:30 am.
Trail time is 10 am sharp on Saturday. If you have trouble with the concept of "sharp" (I know I do), then just pretend that says 9:30 am instead. Pay attention to the time zone change (to EDT) if you are traveling from points west. The DST change is on Sunday.
This trip is cross-posted to Central Kentucky Backpackers (https://www.meetup.com/Central-Kentucky-Backpackers/events/280800937/), for a total group size of not more than 12.
Guests welcome, assuming I pushed the right button to allow them. I would prefer no dogs, for reasons, but we can discuss and negotiate that privately if this is a deal-breaker for you.
The second itinerary below (the more likely one, if we're being honest) will require shuttling cars. This was something I REALLY wanted to avoid, but if you have any qualms about being packed four-to-a-car with strangers, wearing masks, please set your RSVP to "no" as soon as possible. I'm going to remind everyone at least twice more that masks must be worn if we need to shuttle cars, so please don't be that guy. And yes, it's always a guy. ;)
If you feel unwell or have any symptoms of this virus disease that's going around—almost two years of this now, you know the drill—you need to cancel. If you need to call off for *any* reason, I need to be notified, either by Meetup or text messages, so we're not waiting and wondering what happened to you. I'm a worrier. I will worry.
T R I P _ D E T A I L S
Due to recent bear activity at the preferred campsite(s) for this trip, there are two possible itineraries, detailed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hEHctsoDnx8DGcyyd6E6MBzFWIB2w1jcTKIm_bK4fMI
Itinerary one: out-and-back from Wilderness Rd Campground
Itinerary two: through hike from campground to Civic Park
You'll need to be able to make it 3+ days in the backcountry, with a water filtration system, food, shelter, and outerwear sufficient for +20°F (-7°C) weather, with possible rain and snow.
O T H E R _ N O T E S
Paper maps will be provided. I will typically hike sweep (in the back). Basic trail etiquette would have you wait at major trail junctions for the rest of the group to catch up anyway, but if you want to hike fast, you are welcome to hike ahead *if* you point with your finger on the map where we can meet you. Otherwise generally just stick with the pack. The group got split up on this same trip last year, and I don't want the stress.
There are some pretty dangerous spots on this hike. While I will do everything I can to keep my fellow humans safe, and make this an enjoyable trip, you understand that there are some risks you assume entirely on your own. By joining this group, you accepted the waiver of liability, which you can review here: https://www.meetup.com/indybackpackers/messages/boards/thread/52382750
Post-hike recovery will likely be Sagebrush Steakhouse, or possibly Pelancho's, although outdoor seating is somewhat limited at the latter.
I have all my shots, and am willing to carpool from Cincinnati in my luxury automobile (a rusted-out 2004 Mazda 3), but that's max one person. Passenger gets to DJ.
RSVPs are open until Halloween at 11:59 pm.
Location visible to members
Same basic itinerary as the trip earlier this year (https://www.meetup.com/indybackpackers/events/277101269/). I will be paring down the miles to make it more beginner-friendly, at more like ~6-8 miles (7-13 km) per day.
Anything below here is copy-pasted from the April event. The meeting place and the dates/times (6 pm Friday after Thanksgiving to ~2 pm on Sunday) are fixed, but the route is subject to change. I will get an up-to-date itinerary and GPX tracks posted in the coming weeks.
Just want to get this out now in a rough form so people can plan.
PDF map of the entire AHT (no need to print this; I'll provide maps with the exact daily routes on them on Friday):
O'Bannon Woods State Park web site and map:
Daily routes, which you can download as GPX files:
Geocoded PDF map showing daily routes (you can use this with the Avenza app):
Terrain itself is not challenging (grades ~10-15%), but there will be plenty of ups and downs, so we'll still be tired when we get to camp. See the CalTopo map (link above) for elevation profiles for each day.
T R I P _ D E T A I L S
No backcountry permit is required, but there *is* a day use fee if you leave your vehicle parked inside O'Bannon Woods SP ($7/$9 for in/out-of-state). In any event, you need to sign in with the on-duty park staff at the SP gatehouse, who's there until 11 pm.
The AHT map/brochure (link above) says "due to the karst landscape of the area, water is frequently scarce." Carry an extra liter if you are a thirsty hiker. If you have a Sawyer, bring a scoop, because streams could be low. I do also plan on caching water; see below for details.
There will be a night hike in on Friday evening (~4 miles), from the parking pad off Cold Friday Road to the first established campsite, called "Primitive Shelter" on the PDF map. Fear not, it's a relatively easy section of trail. *DO* bring a headlamp and spare batteries.
Saturday will be ~9 miles to the flats below Greenbrier Knob, or the Hog Barn site, if we're feeling sprightly. If we stay at an undeveloped campsite, which is a possibility, be sure to mind your Nature Manners (i.e., leave the place better than we found it).
Sunday's hike back to the cars will be ~10 miles. If you want a shorter hike out on Sunday, you can leave your car at the Pioneer Cabin or Ohio River Shelter parking area on Friday (DO clear this with the on-duty park staff first), and ask one of the group to shuttle you back to the parking pad off Cold Friday Rd (checkered flag on CalTopo map) where we'll start.
Trip will happen rain or shine, and will only be rescheduled in the event of severe weather. 40–50 °F (+4–10 °C) + rain is hypothermia weather. Make sure you are prepared.
E X P E C T A T I O N S
I will typically hike as sweep. No hiker will be left behind. If you choose to hike ahead, please stop at trail intersections, marked or otherwise, or else agree to wait up for the group at a designated spot on the map. I will provide paper maps.
Leave No Trace (https://lnt.org/why/7-principles); or, if you've backpacked with me before, you know this also means "remove all traces."
Remember that I am not a tour guide.
Know your own limits. If you have doubts or concerns (or pain), let me know early. There's no shame in cutting the trip short to avoid making a situation worse.
As a reminder, in becoming a member of Indy Backpacking Club, you have accepted the waiver and release the organizer(s) from any liability in the event of injury or other calamities (https://www.meetup.com/indybackpackers/messages/boards/thread/52382750).
Come and backpack along a part of the Sheltowee Trace and along the Rockcastle river. This has become my favorite trip and I make it an annual occurrence. Friday night we will hike in a short distance and setup camp, could be after dark. Saturday we will hike along a creek and see several water falls and the Rockcastle river. Then Sunday we will return to the parking area around noon or shortly after. Total distance is approximately 13 miles (feels like more), see the highlighted route on the map.
This year we will hike the loop portion clockwise.
See pictures from the previous trip (Nov 2012) here: (https://www.meetup.com/OhioValleyBackpackers/photos/11707182/)
The trail difficulty is listed as moderate with some strenuous parts.
The expectation is to be on the trail by 9:00 am each morning.
Caltopo map: https://caltopo.com/m/37U7
Trails 100 and 401.
This trip is cross posted to the Ohio Valley Backpackers too, it is only necessary to RSVP on one.
Well behaved dogs are welcome.