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Backpacking

Do you dream of adventures on the trail? There’s a lot that goes into a safe and successful backpacking trip. Metroparks outdoor skills staff are here to help you learn all you need to know! We offer short informational programs with practice hikes, beginner friendly overnight trips, and intermediate to advanced multi-day treks to prepare you for a safe and environmentally friendly outdoor experience.


BACKPACKING 101 PROGRAMS

Online registration opens Thursday, January 21. If you have questions or need assistance registering for a program call 419-407-9700. Please note that because of the intense planning for this trip, 50% of the fee is considered a non-refundable deposit per the refund policy. If you need to cancel for any reason, please call Ashley Smith at 419-265-2920. Anyone who would like to cancel their trip due to concerns related to COVID-19 may do so with no financial penalty. Reservations Required.

BACKPACKING 101: NAVIGATION AND TRIP PLANNING
Oak Openings Preserve, Buehner Center
Tuesday, March 16, 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Learn map and compass basics to keep you on track while you trek. We will make use of the power of magnetism and navigate to a few points outdoors. Then we will discuss key points of how to plan a trek of your own. We will complete the evening with a hike carrying a weighted pack (optional). Please dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear for hiking. Free, [Register]

BACKPACKING 101: SLEEP SYSTEMS
Side Cut, Lamb Center
Wednesday, May 5, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Learn how to sleep cozy while camping with this crash course on sleep system choices. We will discuss sleeping bag degree ratings, types of sleeping pads, tents and more! Let us de-mystify some of the terminology and show you gear to consider for your car camping, glamping or backpacking needs. We will complete the evening with a hike carrying a weighted pack (optional). Please dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear for hiking. Free, [Register] 

BACKPACKING 101: TRAIL COOKING
Oak Openings Preserve, Oak Openings Lodge
Wednesday, July 14, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Fuel your hike with some good trail cooked meals. Learn about planning meals and snacks to keep your pack light and belly full. Metroparks staff will share some of their favorite trail recipes and samples will be available to try. We will complete the evening with a hike carrying a weighted pack (optional). Please dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear for hiking. Fee: $8, [Register]

BACKPACKING 101: WATER FILTRATION SYSTEMS
Pearson, Macomber Lodge
Tuesday, August 10, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
 

Stay hydrated and stay well! Learn about good spots for collecting water along the trail. We will discuss different types of water filtration systems and which ones remove which contaminants and show a few survival tricks. We will complete the evening with a hike carrying a weighted pack (optional). Please dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear for hiking. Free, [Register]

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BACKPACKING 101 OVERNIGHT ADVENTURES PROGRAMS

BACKPACKING 101: HAMMOCK BACKPACKING ADVENTURE (15 MILES)
Oak Openings Preserve, Buehner Center
Saturday, October 16, 9 a.m. through Sunday, October 17, 2 p.m. 

Escape into nature for an overnight retreat and explore the incredible variety of habitats protected within Oak Openings Preserve Metropark. View forests, savannas, and prairies in their autumn splendor as you backpack 15 miles over two days on the Scout Trail. At night, learn the tips and tricks for hammock camping on the trail and enjoy a night off the ground. This hike takes place on a primitive dirt trail with roots, some elevation changes, and uneven terrain.  No backpacking experience necessary. For additional trip information including itinerary, packing list and recommended meal planning, Click Here or contact Amanda Domalski at Amanda.Domalski@MetroparksToledo.com or 419-277-6276.  Fee: $35, [Register]

BACKPACKING 101: MOSELY TRAIL BACKPACKING OVERNIGHT (12 MILES)
Location: TBD
Saturday, October 23, 9 a.m. through Sunday, October 24, 11 a.m.
 

Backpack your way through dynamic habitats of Secor Metropark, connect to the Moseley Trail and spend the night camping at the serene Wiregrass Lake. Along the way you will see a number of featured Oak Openings habitats, including; tall oak trees, wet lowlands, meadows and prairies. The hike will take place on a smooth gravel trail.  No backpacking experience necessary. For additional trip information including itinerary, packing list and recommended meal planning, Click Here or contact Alissa Caple at Alissa.Caple@MetroparksToledo.com or 419-280-9235. Fee: $35, [Register] 

If you are a beginner and are looking for classes, check out our Backpacking 101 Series

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BACKPACKING 201 PROGRAMS

Online registration opens Thursday, January 21. If you have questions or need assistance registering for a program call 419-407-9700. Please note that because of the intense planning for this trip, 50% of the fee is considered a non-refundable deposit per the refund policy. Some previous backpacking experience recommended. If you need to cancel for any reason, please call Ashley Smith at 419-265-2920. Anyone who would like to cancel their trip due to concerns related to COVID-19 may do so with no financial penalty. Reservations Required

BACKPACKING 201: TWIN VALLEY BACKPACKING ADVNTURE (14 MILES)
Friday, April 23, 6 p.m. to Sunday, April 25, 4 p.m. 

Step up your backpacking game with this two night trek on the Twin Valley backpacking trail. This trip will feature the scenic rolling terrain and limestone slopes of the Dayton area. The hike will involve some rock scrambling and constant changes in elevation. For additional trip information including itinerary, packing list and recommended meal planning, Click Here or contact Alissa Caple at Alissa.Caple@MetroparksToledo.com or 419-280-9235. Fee: $180, [Register]

BACKPACKING 201: APPALACHIAN TRAIL BACKPACKING ADVENUTURE, GRAYSON HIGHLANDS (18 MILES)
Wednesday, May 26, 7 a.m. through Saturday, May 29, 11 p.m.

Put your boots on America’s most famous scenic trail. This trek will take you to new heights in the Grayson Highlands where we will spend three nights on the A.T. and climb Mt. Rogers—Virginia’s highest peak. There are stunning views from the treeless balds and if we are lucky, we may catch a glimpse of the local herd of wild ponies. The hike will involve some rock scrambling and constant changes in elevation. For additional trip information including itinerary, packing list and recommended meal planning, Click Here or contact Jake Willing at Jake.Willing@MetroparksToledo.com or 419-277-0107. Fee: $350, [Register]

BACKPACKING 201: APPALACHIAN TRAIL ADVENTURE - MCAFEE KNOB (14 MILES)
Saturday, September 11, 7 a.m. through Tuesday, September 14, 11 p.m. 

Let your backpacking dreams come true with this destination trek to one of the most photographed locations on the Appalachian Trail.  We will hike to McAfee Knob in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia and spend three nights camping on the Appalachian Trail. The hike will involve some rock scrambling and constant changes in elevation. For additional trip information including itinerary, packing list and recommended meal planning, Click Here or contact Jake Willing at Jake.Willing@MetroparksToledo.com or 419-277-0107. Fee: $350, [Register]

If you are a beginner and are looking for classes, check out our Backpacking 101 Series

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BACKPACKING 301 PROGRAMS

Online registration opens Thursday, January 21. If you have questions or need assistance registering for a program call 419-407-9700. Please note that because of the intense planning for this trip, 50% of the fee is considered a non-refundable deposit per the refund policy. Some previous backpacking experience recommended. If you need to cancel for any reason, please call Ashley Smith at 419-265-2920. Anyone who would like to cancel their trip due to concerns related to COVID-19 may do so with no financial penalty. Registration Required.

BACKPACKING 301: PINE CREEK GORGE BACKPACKING ADVENTURE (30 MILES)
Thursday, May 13, 5 p.m. through Monday, May 17, 3 p.m. 

Commonly hailed as “The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania,” Pine Creek Gorge offers hikers stunning views ranging from forest scenes to steep canyon walls and waterfalls. We’ll camp and hike 30 miles along the rim of the gorge, enjoying multiple scenic vistas. Previous backpacking experience required. This is a truly backcountry backpacking experience. We will not be camping in established campsites, and camping locations will have no amenities (no shelters or tent platforms, no fire pits, no restrooms or outhouses, no seating, etc.). Daily mileage will average 8 miles over rocky and steep terrain. For additional trip information including itinerary, packing list and recommended meal planning, Click Here or contact Amanda Domalski at Amanda.Domalski@MetroparksToledo.com or 419-277-6276.  Fee: $450, [Register]  

BACKPACKING 301: RED RIVER GORGE BACKPACKING ADVENTURE (30 MILES)
Thursday, August 26, 2 p.m. through Monday, August 30, 3 p.m.  

Take your backpacking skills to a new level with a true wilderness experience. Explore the beauty of the Red River Gorge Geological Area as we hike along the spectacular rock and water features this gem has to offer. Previous backpacking experience required. This is a truly backcountry backpacking experience. We will not be camping in established campsites, and camping locations will have no amenities (no shelters or tent platforms, no fire pits, no restrooms or outhouses, no seating, etc.). Daily mileage will average approximately 6-8 miles over rocky and steep terrain. For additional trip information including itinerary, packing list and recommended meal planning, Click Here or contact Amanda Domalski at Amanda.Domalski@MetroparksToledo.com or 419-277-6276.  Fee: $450, [Register]  

If you are a beginner and are looking for classes, check out our Backpacking 101 Series

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OVERNIGHT ADVENTURES PROGRAMS

MAUMEE RIVER OVERNIGHT KAYAK ADVENTURE (17 MILES)
Saturday, June 5, 8 a.m. through Sunday, June 6, 6 p.m.

Do you like backpacking, but not thrilled with the idea of carrying the weight? Let your boat do the work for you. Paddle 17 miles on our very own Maumee River Water Trail. Enjoy 2 days of paddling and the unique opportunity to camp on Granger Island. Previous kayaking experience required. For additional trip information including itinerary, packing list and recommended meal planning, Click Here or contact Amanda Domalski at Amanda.Domalski@MetroparksToledo.com or 419-277-6276. Fee: $85, Click Here to join the Waitlist 

VIRGINIA CREEPER TRAIL BIKING ADVENTURE (34 MILES)
Sunday, September 26, 7 a.m., through Tuesday, September 28, 6 p.m. 

Let your love for cycling take you on an adventure and ride one of the most beautiful bike trails in the country, the Virginia Creeper Trail. Ride all 34 miles of the stunningly scenic trail as you cross 47 trestles and enjoy the gorgeous Appalachian Mountains. The trail is primarily gravel and will include sections with some larger (softball-basketball size) rocks and uneven surfaces. Our route will be primarily downhill, however, the last one-third of the ride has some moderately strenuous uphill sections. For additional trip information including itinerary, packing list and recommended meal planning, Click Here or contact Jake Willing at Jake.Willing@MetroparksToledo.com or 419-277-0107. Fee: $280, [Register]   

If you are a beginner and are looking for classes, check out our Backpacking 101 Series