Another training hike for the RCT challenge! Let me tell you, my legs were WRECKED after this one. This was officially the longest hike I’ve never done and by far the biggest elevation gain. And I’ve hiked National Parks people! Thank god I’ve had ToryTalksTrails keeping me on task for this training! We’re slowly building miles, gaining elevation, and snacking hard. Has anyone else started their training for the challenge??
THE HIKE: Rachel Carson Trail – Saxonburg Rd to Agan Park
Length: 11.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 2800 ft
Time: 4.5 hours
Trail use: Hiking, leashed pets
Parking: Small pull off for 3-4 cars. No bathrooms
Once again, Tory and I did a point to point trail, leaving one car at Agan Park and driving the other to our starting point at Saxonburg road. If you’re looking to do this section hike, here are the coordinates:
Saxonburg Road: 40.65513180064524, -79.72686400487738
Agan Park: 40.56013506403363, -79.78197053025322
Having done about 9 miles on our last training hike, we decided to up it to around 11 this time! Now this section of the hike is actually part of the full RCT Challenge, so I won’t actually be hiking this section in June. BUT I still think it’s super helpful to hike as much of the trail as possible to get a good feel for the hills and how much stamina you have!
What this section lacked in stream crossing, it really made up for in elevation. Our feet stayed (mostly) dry but, man were my legs throbbing towards the end! I cannot believe how much hiking with a friend for these long training ones has helped me get through! If I was on my own, I don’t know that I would have kept with it. Like most of the RCT, this section of the trail varies a lot in landscape. There were road sections, wide open fields, heavily wooded areas and lots of steep inclines. I was very grateful not to have a heavy pack on and at times I would have liked a trekking pole to help with balance. Undignified butt scooting definitely was happening! Also plenty of snacks is an absolutely must for this trail! I’m still a newbie with planning hikes so I probably didn’t bring enough to fuel me. I stuck with an apple, peanut butter pretzels, and a granola bar. I will definitely need to add in some electrolytes, especially as it gets hotter!
Have you ever trained for a long hike? What are your go-to trail snacks?
Thanks to my friend Tory for planning out these training hikes! Check out her awesome blog that is full of hiking resources: https://mytrailsaremany.com/. You can also follow her adventures on instagram: @torytalkstrails