Welcome to the buffet of adventure weekends.
Created in celebration of the popular Patapsco Valley State Park, Patapsco Trail Fest is a full weekend event of practically everything outdoors:
- Trail running
- Mountain biking
- Rock climbing
- Trail running
…plus beer gardens, food trucks, brand demos, and a playground and activities for the kids. Those competing in trail running races get a few extra benefits, such as tech-material event shirts, unique finisher medals, food truck and beer tickets.
Patapsco Valley State Park (PVSP) lies west of Baltimore, about an hour from Washington, DC. The 14,000 acre park serves many outdoorsy groups, including hikers, climbers, mountain bikers, and paddlers—all of which are being celebrated in this annual event, organized by Friends of Patapsco Valley State Park.
The Pickall area of Patapsco Valley has been reserved for the night of September 13th and 14th. This is a huge camping area typically reserved for large events. There will be more than enough space to pitch your tent, and nearby amenities like picnic shelters, fire pits, sport courts, and lots of open play fields.
Many of the event’s food and beer facilities will be set up around the campsite, so you can think of this as a cool little “tiny town” for the weekend. There is also a free s’mores campfire party presented by REI on Saturday night.
With over 200 miles of rugged and diverse trail, Patapsco Valley is one of the nation’s top mountain biking destinations. Mountain bikers make up a huge portion of PVSP’s annual usage, so it’s no surprise to see a large chunk of the itinerary dedicated to MTB activities.
More than a dozen races will be held, with Men’s and Women’s classes of varying distances and difficulty. There will also be a few non-competitive rides, including “fun rides” for families.
The deadline for registration is September 1 for the discounted fee, and September 10 for general online registration.
True or false– trail running makes “regular” running look easy. True, obviously. Running through rugged trail terrain is challenging, gratifying, and really freaking fun. Whether you’re jumping over fallen trees, pushing through a grueling hill, or trying to soar over a particularly muddy spot, it’s hard to feel more alive than you do on the trail.
Challenge yourself with or a full or half trail-running marathon, or take it easy (ish) with a 11k, 6k, or 1-mile fun run. All runners receive a tech-material event shirt, a unique finisher medal, and free food truck and beer tickets.
If you’ve been curious about rock climbing, this is a great weekend to give it a try. Local climbers from the American Alpine Club (including yours truly) are inviting the public to join them for an afternoon of supervised climbing- no experience or equipment necessary.
Already know your way around real rock? Join the American Alpine Club or check out one of the other few dozen climbing sites throughout the park. See Mountain Project for more details on climbing in Patapsco Valley State Park.
The Daniels area of Patapsco Valley State Park is a great kayaking spot, with calm waters, scenic surroundings, and various wildlife. The American Kayaking Association will be on-site, getting people in the water with guided tours, flatwater instruction, and general tips and information on kayaking .
With over 200 miles of trails, 70+ considered “highly maintained”, Patapsco Valley State Park offers more than enough ground for a weekend full of hiking and exploration.
The Mountain Club of Maryland will be leading 5- and 8-mile hikes, while Patapsco Heritage Greenway will lead a 1-mile family-friendly hike and scavenger hunt. Of course, you’re always welcome to explore on your own and get recommendations from the many hiking groups and aficionados at the event.
Learn more about Patapsco Trail Fest at their website, where more information is being added regularly.
Hope to see you there! You can find me at the American Alpine Club table, unless I’m out gettin’ muddy.