Health insurance is required to participate in the program.
Thru-Hiking 101 is a guided four-day backpacking trip along a section of the Northville-Placid Trail (31.3 miles from Wakely Dam to Piseco). This experiential course will be an introduction to long-distance, lightweight backpacking. It is designed to assist you in your future thru-hiking or backpacking goals. It entails a cooperative group camping experience with the shared responsibility of camp chores, cooking, and decision making while practicing Leave No Trace skills and ethics. The trip will be led by an ADK Educator who has completed a full thru-hike of the Northville-Placid Trail.
Please plan on meeting in Speculator at 9am. After introductions, a classroom discussion, and a thorough gear shakedown, we will divvy up our necessary group gear and head out on our journey. Throughout the weekend we’ll cover thru-hiking topics and backcountry skills while enjoying the rich natural and cultural history of the Adirondacks.
Our tentative itinerary is as follows: On Day 1 we’ll engage in a morning Beginner Backpacking course covering the thru-hiking basics, caravan to Piseco where we will lock up our personal vehicles at the trailhead, and shuttle together to Wakely Dam. From there, we will depart for our 3-mile hike from the trailhead to Carry lean-to. On Day 2, we’ll hike 11.9 miles to the West Canada Lake lean-to. On Day 3, we’ll hike 12 miles to a campsite along Fall Stream. Day 4 will conclude with a 4.4-mile hike to our cars in Piseco, NY. Plans are subject to change due to weather, trail conditions and numerous other factors. This trip will be physically demanding, especially if the weather is poor. Please be ready for long days and tired feet.
All group equipment (stoves, fuel bottles, cook sets, first aid kit, etc.), breakfasts, and dinners will be provided by ADK. Participants are expected to provide their own lunches and their own personal equipment. Personal snacks are allowed, but due to limited bear canister space they should be small in size and high in calories. Hygienic products and other items with a scent (bug spray, sun screen, etc.) should also be small in size and limited in quantity as they must also fit inside the bear canisters. Travel-sized items are great! Please let us know well in advance if you require any equipment.
No prior backpacking experience is necessary, but prior hiking experience is highly suggested. Be ready for an authentic Adirondack hiking experience along steep, rocky, and muddy trails. Good physical condition, proper clothing, and proper equipment are a must.
*ADK cannot guarantee a time the guided trip will be completed by.*