Backpacking is the perfect opportunity to unplug and immerse yourself into nature. On this 5-day backpacking adventure, you will journey along the iconic Appalachian Trail as we begin in southern Pennsylvania and make our way through Maryland and finally into the historic town of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Along the way, we will experience tumbling waterfalls, rocky overlooks and some of our countries most iconic landmarks. Our expert guide(s) will be there to share their wealth of knowledge about the local wildlife, history and backpacking tips and tricks.
After a full day of hiking, we will arrive to our campsite for an evening next to the campfire and beneath the stars. Enjoy a warm meal and beverage while listening to one of the many stories our guide has about the local area.
For those wishing to explore a little longer, there is an option to add additional days and nights to the trip for an additional cost. Please see the FAQ for details.
Rental Gear: (prices are shown for the duration of the trip unless otherwise noted)
- Camping Combo (Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3 tent, sleeping bag & sleeping pad)- $100
- 1 or 2-person tent (Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3 tent or similar)- $60
- Sleeping bag- $35
- Sleeping pad- $30
- Internal frame backpack- $60
- Trekking poles- $20
- Camp chair- $15
- Headlamp- $10
Each night will be spent tent camping with options for primitive shelters when available. The shelters are open to the public and are not guaranteed, each participant should have their own tents in the event that a shelter has already been occupied. If a shelter does have space, there may be other hikers separate from our group that may be using the shelters as well. Shelters vary based on location but generally include a 3-walled, wooden structure with 4-6 raised wooden platforms for sleeping. More advanced shelters may be completely closed in with windows while others are more simplistic with a portion of the shelter open to the elements and open sleeping space on a wooden floor. Primitive vault toilets are available at some camping locations but not all. Please be prepared to follow Leave No Trace (LNT) principles when using the restroom outdoors. Please note, cell phone reception is unreliable and electricity is not available at the tent camping locations.
Required fitness level (1-5): (1 being low, 5 being high level of fitness) 4/5- This adventure may include 6-8 hours of continuous activity for multiple days in a row. Participants should be in good physical condition and able to walk for several miles (see itinerary for exact mileage) while carrying a 35-45 pound backpack. This trail has steep descents and ascents on uneven terrain and also requires several creek crossings with slick and unstable terrain. Hiking and camping take place outdoors and you may be exposed to adverse weather conditions such as rain, intense heat and sun and insects. For the best experience, it is highly recommended that participants test out their backpacking gear prior to the trip. Our trip director will serve as a source of knowledge for planning and preparation prior to the trip. No experience necessary, just a calling for adventure!
Your trip begins by arriving at 7:00 am at Caledonia State Park to meet the guides and other members of the group. You will start the morning with a brief orientation which includes introductions, a briefing on the trip itinerary, a checking of backpacking gear, and a chance to answer your questions. Please have all of your gear you plan on backpacking with organized and ready to go for a prompt departure. If renting gear, your guides will have the gear prepped and ready to review with you. At 8:00 am you will begin your adventure away from the parking lot and into the wilderness for the next 4 nights. Hike through narrow rock passageways and arrive at expansive vistas that provide a glimpse of the wilderness yet to come. Each night you will aim to camp at a shelter area (see accommodations description). If the shelters are open and unoccupied, hikers are welcome to use them, otherwise, there is plenty of areas to tent camp nearby.
Drive time: see FAQ for drive time from nearby Airport to trailhead
Hiking mileage: 9.8 miles
Elevation gain: 1,621’
Accommodations: Tent camping/Shelters - if available
Meals included: Lunch, Dinner (Backpacking style)