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Goal Training Hikes

by Steve Mentzer last modified May 12, 2012 09:04 PM

Rachel Carson Trail Challenge Saturday June 23, 2012

These eight training hikes are intended to prepare you to take on the Challenge on June 23. These hikes not only help you build your endurance, but they also allow you to field test your gear. Your new shoes or pants may seem fine on your 10 mile hikes, but only when you approach 20 miles over hilly terrain do previously imperceptible problems become incapacitating.

  • Everyone is welcome on these hikes; you do not need to be entered into the Challenge to participate.
  • There's no need to notify the hike leader of your plan to attend. Simply show up on time.
  • Please bring at least a quart of water (more if the temperature will be warm) and some energy snacks (e.g. Powerbar).
  • Minimum unaccompanied age is 12.
  • We will meet at the hike end point and carpool to the start point, leaving a sufficient number of cars behind to carry people back to the start when the hike is over.
  • All hikes meet at 8 AM. Plan for later hikes to take up to 9 hours (7 hours for the hike plus up to 2 hours for sign-in, announcements, car shuttling, and so forth).
  • The hikes are free. A suggested donation of $3 per person may be given to the hike leader on the day of the hike.

Sunday, April 22 Leader: Donna Stoltz 412-303-6102 7.9 miles Elevation change: 3115 ft.
We start near the Rachel Carson Homestead in Springdale and follow paved roads out of Springdale, up and over Log Cabin Hill, LeFever Hill, and Rich Hill and end in Emmerling Parkl. Meet at the Emmerling Park lot. Directions: Take Route 28 to Exit #11 and follow Route 910 (Yellow Belt) west about 4 miles and turn right on Cove Run Road. Travel about 0.5 mile to park entrance on the right. Map
Sunday, April 29 Leader: Brian Droz 412-848-4810 8.9 miles Elevation change: 4925 ft.
On this hike we start at the Bull Creek Road checkpoint location in Tarentum and quickly encounter a steep uphill climb followed by even steeper ups and downs - including Crawford Run hill and Murray Hill. We pass through Agan Park and end in Springdale. Meet at the Springdale Veterans Association Hall parking lot in Springdale. Directions: Take Route 28 to Exit #11 (Harmarville). After exiting onto Route 910 head towards Harmarville, turn left at the second traffic light onto Freeport Road and travel about 4 miles through 9 more traffic lights. The Springdale Veterans Association Hall entrance will be on your left just past the last light. Park on the far side of the lot. Map
Sunday, May 6 Leader: Frank Matousek 412-654-8998 9.8 miles Elevation change: 4245 ft.
Starting near the Springdale Veterans Association Hall in Springdale, we get in some road hiking and then come the hills, including Log Cabin hill, Lefever Hill, and Rich Hill. We'll stroll through Emmerling Park and end in Dorseyville. Meet in the Eichenlaub Landscaping company parking lot on Saxonburg Boulevard. Directions: Follow Route 910 along the Yellow Belt to the Saxonburg Blvd. intersection and turn north for 0.2 miles. Map
Sunday, May 13 Leader: Frank Matousek 412-654-8998 14.0 miles Elevation change: 7266 ft.
This hike starts at the eastern terminus of the Rachel Carson Trail, a part of the trail which Challengers never see. We'll hike through Harrison Hills Park, past the Bobwhite Shelter, then over Burtner Hill and down Crawford Run hill to Creighton. Meet at the parking area behind Sheetz in Creighton. Directions: Take Route 28 to Exit #13. At the bottom of the ramp, turn right and in about 30 feet turn right again into a gravel parking lot surrounded by a chainlink fence. Map
Sunday, May 20 Leader: Patty Brunner 412-609-8422 13.9 miles Elevation change: 6295 ft.
We start near the Sheetz in Creighton and head west where we'll encounter a plethora of hills: impressively steep Murray Hill, Agan Park, Log Cabin hill, Lefever Hill, and Rich Hill. We'll pass through Emmerling Park and end in Dorseyville. Meet in the Eichenlaub Landscaping company parking lot on Saxonburg Boulevard. Directions: Follow Route 910 along the Yellow Belt to the Saxonburg Blvd. intersection and turn north for 0.2 miles. Map
Sunday, May 27 Leader: Todd Chambers 412-559-8395 13.5 miles Elevation change: 5166 ft.
This hike begins at the Log Cabin Road checkpoint location and covers Lefever Hill and Rich Hill. We'll glide through Emmerling Park, then through Hampton and Crouse Run and into North Park, ending at the Harmar Shelter, the endpoint for the Challenge. Meet at the Harmar Shelter in North Park. Directions: Take I279 north to the McKnight Road exit and travel 6.4 miles north. Take the North Park/Ingomar Rd. exit east and turn right at the third traffic light onto Babcock Blvd., then take the next left onto Hemlock Drive, then left again into the swimming pool lot. Follow the perimeter drive all the way back and bear right. The Harmar Shelter is ahead on the left, behind the guardrail. Map
Sunday, June 3 Leader: Craig Fowler 412-491-6643 18.1 miles Elevation change: 6915 ft.
On this hike we'll cover the second half of this year's Challenge course. Starting in Springdale near the Springdale Veterans Association Hall, we'll hike through Springdale then hit Log Cabin hill, Lefever Hill, and Rich Hill. Then we'll stick the landing in North Park. Meet at the Harmar Shelter in North Park. Directions: Take I279 north to the McKnight Road exit and travel 6.4 miles north. Take the North Park/Ingomar Rd. exit east and turn right at the third traffic light onto Babcock Blvd., then take the next left onto Hemlock Drive, then left again into the swimming pool lot. Follow the perimeter drive all the way back and bear right. The Harmar Shelter is ahead on the left, behind the guardrail. Map
Sunday, June 10 Leader: Craig Fowler 412-491-6643 20.8 miles Elevation change: 10337 ft.
This hike was specifically chosen to be the final, longest and most difficult hike prior to the Challenge. We begin at the Bobwhite Shelter in Harrison Hills Park and wind through the park. Once outside the park, we pass through a horse farm, then up and down hills - including Burtner hill, Crawford hill, Murray hill, and Log Cabin hill. We end at the Log Cabin Road checkpoint location. Meet at the Log Cabin Road parking area. Take Route 28 to Exit #12. Turn right at the end of the ramp, then right at the stop sign onto Little Deer Creek Road (aka Russellton Road). Travel about 1.5 miles and turn right on Log Cabin Road. Park about 100 yards ahead on the right. Map

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