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Goal Training Hikes

by Steve Mentzer last modified Jun 01, 2013 12:29 AM

Rachel Carson Trail Challenge Saturday June 22, 2013

These eight training hikes are intended to prepare you to take on the Challenge on June 22. 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.

ATTENTION! Route 910 is closed near Emmerling Park for bridge reconstruction. Please take this into account and allow sufficient time for the detour so you will not be late!

Sunday, April 21 Leader: Dewaine Beard 412-719-9904, Michelle Parolini 412-310-8234 7.7 miles Elevation change: 3749 ft
This hike begins at Bull Creek Road near Tarentum with about a mile of uphill road hiking. Soon we hit Burtner Hill, one of the biggest and toughest hills on the Trail, followed by some easy, pleasant terrain and ending in Harrison Hills Park. Meet at the Environmental Learning Center in Harrison Hills Park. Take Route 28 to exit 16, turn east (right if exiting northbound) at the end of the ramp, then right again at the T-intersection with Freeport Road. The park is about one mile down on the left. Take the left fork of the Park entrance road, then the next left and follow it up to the ELC. Map
Sunday, April 28 Leader: Jeff Sarabok 724-816-3824, Clarence Woods 724-826-0992 8.9 miles Elevation change: 4925 ft
On this hike we start in Springdale and head up to Agan Park followed by some steep ups and downs - including Murray Hill and Crawford Run hill. We end with a sharp descent near Tarentum. Meet at the parking area at the intersection of Bull Creek Road and Ridge Road. Take Route 28 to Exit #14 (Tarentum). Turn north on Bull Creek Road for a very short distance, turn right on Ridge Road, then immediately turn into the parking area on the right. Map
Sunday, May 5 Leader: Patty Brunner 412-609-8422 9.7 miles Elevation change: 4132 ft
Starting near Dorseyville, we work our way over to and through Emmerling Park, then hit Rich Hill, Lefever Hill, and Log Cabin hill. After some road walking, we end near the Springdale Veterans Association Hall in Springdale. Meet at the Springdale Veterans Association Hall parking lot in Springdale. Take Route 28 to Exit #12A (Pittsburgh Mills). At the end of the ramp, turn away from the mall on the main entrance road, then turn left onto Tawney Run Road. After about 1/2 mile turn right on Riddle Run Road. Follow this road until it ends at Freeport Road and turn right. The Springdale Veterans Association Hall entrance will be on your right in about 1/4 mile. Park on the far side of the lot (the gravel section). Map
Sunday, May 12 Leader: Donna Stolz 412-303-6102, Eileen Lessman 412-760-8863 13.4 miles Elevation change: 5055 ft
This hike begins in North Park and heads over to Emmerling Park, then up and over Rich Hill and Lefever Hill. We end at the Log Cabin Road checkpoint location. Meet at 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
Sunday, May 19 Leader: Donna Stolz 412-303-6102, Dewaine Beard 412-719-9904 14.1 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. (On this hike, we travel in the opposite direction of the Challenge because of parking limitations at the eastern terminus.) Meet at the parking area behind Sheetz in Creighton. 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 low chainlink fence. Map
Sunday, May 26 Leader: Dewaine Beard 412-719-9904, Frank Matousek 412-654-8998 14.4 miles Elevation change: 6186 ft
We start in Dorseyville and head east, passing through Emmerling Park and up and down a plethora of hills including Rich Hill, Lefever Hill, Log Cabin hill, and impressively steep Murray Hill. We'll end in Creighton. Meet at the parking area behind Sheetz in Creighton. 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 low chainlink fence. Map
Sunday, June 2 Leader: Clarence Woods 724-826-0992 17.5 miles Elevation change: 6538 ft
On this hike we'll cover the first half of this year's Challenge course. Starting in North Park, we march over to Emmerling Park, then up and over Rich Hill and Lefever Hill, then Log Cabin hill, some road walking, then we finish in Springdale. Meet at Springdale High School parking lot in Springdale. Take Route 28 to Exit #12A (Pittsburgh Mills). At the end of the ramp, turn away from the mall on the main entrance road, then turn left onto Tawney Run Road. After about 1/4 mile turn right on Butler Road. Follow this road until just before the first stop sign, turning left onto Henderson Road. In about 1/3 mile, turn right onto Marion Avenue and immediately turn right again into the parking lot. Map
Sunday, June 9 Leader: Eileen Lessman 412-760-8863, Frank Matousek 412-654-8998 18.6 miles Elevation change: 9057 ft
This hike was specifically chosen to be the final, longest and most difficult hike prior to the Challenge. We begin in Dorseyville, glide through Emmerling Park, head up and down Rich Hill, Lefever Hill, Log Cabin Hill, Murray Hill, Crawford Run hill, then undulate through Creighton and end at the Bull Creek Road checkpoint location near Tarentum. If you get through this, you can do it! Meet in at the parking area at the intersection of Bull Creek Road and Ridge Road. Take Route 28 to Exit #14 (Tarentum). Turn north on Bull Creek Road for a very short distance, turn right on Ridge Road, then immediately turn into the parking area on the right. Map

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