Great Parks of Hamilton County

Spring Training for Backpacking

Hibernation is good for bears and turtles, but not so much for humans. While winter is typically all about being cozy, it’s also a good time to venture outside together. Join Adventure Outpost instructors for a new kind of winter experience as we prepare for the spring backpacking season. We will condition all winter long, learn new skills, test out personal gear and meet other local backpacking enthusiasts.

Programs cover different discussion topics. Be prepared – hikes increase in distance. Bring a fully loaded backpack to increase strength, comfort and knowledge prior to your first spring overnight.


$10-$20/person. For teens and adults, ages 12 and up.

Spring Training for Backpacking: Get Ready

Saturday, January 4, 10 a.m.–noon

It’s cold and dreary outside, so let’s start planning ahead and preparing for spring. Learn pre-backpacking trip tips, fit your backpack to your body and hike 1.5 miles. Winton Woods/Adventure Outpost ($10, register by January 1)


Spring Training for Backpacking: On the Road Again

Saturday, January 18, 10 a.m.–noon

Get those legs ready for your spring backpacking trips. Learn about backcountry campsite selection while instructors lead you on a 2.6-mile hike. Glenwood Gardens/Cotswold Overlook ($10, register by January 15)


Spring Training for Backpacking: Blowing in the Wind

Saturday, February 1, 10 a.m.–noon

Ever found toilet paper stuck to your shoe after leaving the restroom? Imagine how bears feel when this happens to them in the wilderness. Learn how to leave no trace while backpacking and enjoy a 3.5-mile hike. Withrow Nature Preserve/Highwood Lodge ($10, register by January 29)


Spring Training for Backpacking: Let it Be

Saturday, February 15, 10 a.m.–noon

The wilderness is full of unimaginable sights and sounds, and neat little treasures we would like to remember forever. Join our outdoor instructors to learn how to take only pictures and leave only footprints during this 4-mile spring conditioning hike. Winton Woods/Kestrel Point Shelter ($10, register by February 12)


Spring Training for Backpacking: We Didn’t Start the Fire

Saturday, February 29, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

Fire is a wonder: it provides warmth, cooks our food and plays an important role in nature. Join us to learn how to build a backcountry fire, enjoy a hot snack and hike 5 miles. Miami Whitewater Forest/Timberlakes Program Shelter ($20, register by February 26)


Spring Training for Backpacking: Respect

Saturday, March 14, 10 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

We’re in their house now. Want to be welcomed back? Learn how to be better houseguests when visiting the home of native wildlife. We’ll hike 7 miles along the earthworks and hills of Shawnee Lookout. Shawnee Lookout/Blue Jacket Trailhead ($17.50, register by March 11)


Spring Training for Backpacking: Shiny Happy People

Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Parents teach us to be mannerly and kind. Believe it or not, this is an important skill for our continued enjoyment of the outdoors. Finish off your spring training with an 8-mile hike and learn the backpacker code of ethics. Mitchell Memorial Forest/Mountain Bike Trailhead ($20, register by March 25)